No confidence voted against Proton

No confidence voted against Proton

Malaysiakini news Jul 13, 08


I hereby updated the FATHER of PROTON, Tun Dr M’s comment about the proton and others’ rebuttal from Rocky’s bru. Malaysiakini news is sandwiched between the above.

Yes it was Chedet

Just for the record, Dr Mahathir did leave a comment on this blog – his first on any blog – under the posting Forgotten Saga.


Dr Mahathir Mohamad said…


Thank you for reminding us all about Proton. I don’t know whether wishing it “Happy Birthday” would bring happiness to this “anak tiri” company. It is now but a shadow of its former self.

It’s a pity. This is a major industry which Malaysians mastered in just 15 years. They can design, test working models, build engines, set-up assembly lines and produce their very own cars meeting world standards.

They were protected, yes. But much of the support has ceased. But foreign cars were allowed in, underquoted and pay minimal tax. And the national car was literally driven off the street by APs.

Another Malaysian icon has been pushed off the pedestal by a Government whose icon is the “Eye of Malaysia”.

10:46 AM
Anak Malaysia

 BUT. . .Consumers’ vote of no confidence

against Proton

Malaysiakini letter by Protonphobia | Jul 18, 08

I am not at all surprised at the negative comments against Proton cars. Indeed, I had owned four Proton cars in the past – first a Saga, then a Wira 1.3, followed by a Wira 1.6. The last was a Waja.

The first two didn’t give me so much trouble, only the fog lamp of the Wira 1.6 used to dislodge and fall off. But my nightmares started with the Waja.

Three years after I purchased the Waja, I started to have problems. The engine would be running, but the car wouldn’t move after engaging the gears. The outrageous thing was that the car would stall right at the junctions during sunny days.

After several attempts to switch off and restart the ignition, I would be able to drive on. I sent it to an EON workshop for a thorough checkup. The mechanic traced the defect to an inhibitor switch. The terminals had apparently oxidised.

He was of the opinion that it was due to a design error, the male/female plugs were fitted incorrectly. During an engine compartment wash, water had accumulated in the plugs and caused the oxidation. I had to pay for the replacement.

Money wasn’t the bigger issue, but it was the great inconvenience that my family and I had to endure through no fault of ours. I heard later that this was rectified by Proton.

I changed the power windows four times (driver’s side) and once each on the other doors. I paid RM430 for the first two replacements. The cables would snap or the plastic material would break and you cannot replace the single part. You have to replace the whole unit. I resorted to opening the door to pay my toll or parking tickets instead of winding down the window.

Imagine my plight! I never understood why Proton’s engineering or the Quality Control Department failed to subject the power windows to more stringent tests before the cars are rolled out. Were they too complacent? Not bothered? Or some people were ‘closing one eye’ and collaborating with the suppliers?

The door handles were also problematic. I cannot remember how many times I had to replace those miserable door handles. All you have to do is pull them hard and they would come off in your hands. I had to caution my family and friends against slamming the doors hard, lest the handles come off in their hands.

The supplier was probably using too much of ‘regrind’ material. Result? I usually ended up paying about RM35 for the raw part and another RM20 – RM30 each time to paint the handle to match the colour of my car.

No matter what they claim about improving quality, Proton will never change for the better. I am very sure the managing director Syed Zainal Abidin, is trying very hard to knock some sense into his people. But how much can he do?

The total Proton operations management and the workforce still have a diseased mindset. Twenty over years of arrogance. Bad mentality. No respect for quality. The list goes on. The typical Malaysian tidak apa attitude. That’s how I describe it.

As for me, I have called it a day with Proton cars. I have suffered enough. Today, I drive a Japanese car. I am very satisfied with it. It is more expensive than a Proton. But my life and limbs and that of my family’s aren’t worth sacrificing just because I want to support a national car maker. To hell with patriotism.


Malaysiakini news Jul 13, 08

Proton’s highly publicised campaign to hike sales appears to have hit a road block, with drivers saying they will snub the national carmaker in favour of foreign models.


Proton last month launched a ‘zero-defect’ campaign aimed at erasing a persistent reputation for poor quality that has left it struggling to compete against Japanese and European carmakers.

proton persona sedan 160807 engineProton managing director Syed Zainal Abidin also announced plans to fit all models with natural gas tanks from October to help motorists beat the rising cost of fuel – following a 41 percent petrol price hike here last month.

But a snapshot of consumers in Kuala Lumpur by AFP on the weekend shows many critical of the carmaker after a string of bad experiences.

“I am not convinced they can improve the quality of Proton cars,” said R Shangmugam, who now drives a Honda after owning three different Proton models.

Shangmugam, 40, said the rear axle of a Proton Saga that he owned in 2001 broke off – while he was driving.

“I saw the rear wheels roll past me. Proton lacks quality,” he said, adding that his Honda, which he bought last year for a reasonable price, was fuel efficient.

Proton was established 25 years ago by former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad as part of an ambitious national industrialisation plan.

But its market share has slumped over the years, as it faced difficulties coping in a new deregulated market.

The government has urged it to forge a partnership with a foreign automaker to give it the expertise and economies of scale that it needs to survive, but talks with Volkswagen and General Motors have collapsed.

Regular problems with power windows

Announcing his campaign on June 27, Syed Zainal said 60 percent of defects in Proton cars were due to poor quality components from vendors, but admitted the rest of the blame fell on the firm’s workforce.

The 45-year-old engineer who took the helm two years ago urged workers to focus on quality control, which is critical to profitability and overseas exports.

But Ismi Ismail, 43, said he will not be swayed to return to Proton.

“I will not buy a Proton car. For me Proton has an image of producing poor quality cars,” he said. “Proton can bring a new car and we can see whose car will face a problem within the first six months.”

Ismi said he bought a Proton Waja for his mother five years ago and faced regular problems with the power windows.

“Each time I had to pay 200 ringgit to replace the part. I got fed-up and we subsequently sold the car and bought a four-wheel drive Isuzu vehicle.”

Ismi said he recently purchased an 18-year-old Volvo, and was confident he would have fewer mechanical and parts problems than a new Proton.

Proton said in February it had made net profits for two quarters in a row, thanks to lower operating costs and increased sales.

However, it still booked a net loss of RM32.92 million for the nine months to December, although it was smaller than the RM590.448 million loss a year earlier.

‘Proton parts cheap but don’t last long’

Taxi driver KC Swaran, who uses a Proton Saga for his business, lists a range of problems including a rattling dashboard but said its engine was reliable.

“If I get a chance, I will go for a Nissan car. There is quality workmanship in Nissan cars,” the 54-year-old said.

“After six to seven months acquiring my new Proton, its dashboard rattles and emits noise,” he said.

Swaran said he lost money every time he went to the Proton workshop to have the problems fixed.

proton satria neoFormer Proton owner CL Cheah, 32, said he sold his nine-year-old Proton Satria last year and wanted a second-hand Japanese car, which he said had more standard safety features like airbags and an anti-lock breaking system.

“I am looking for a used Japanese car. Even if it is a used car, I think I will face less problems than a new Proton,” he said.

“From day one when I got my Satria, it had a rattling noise which just could not be fixed. As time passed, I got used to it,” he said. “The parts are cheap to buy but they do not last long.”

Read my article related to this.


bujai said…

its a pity, bro. once dubbed as the symbol of achievement for our local industry, proton is now being treated as a third-class citizen.

another alarming news is that, proton might sell-off its assembly line in shah alam in 2012, leaving the one in tanjung malim to run and being managed like a puppet on the string.

wonder what will happen to PNB and EPF in 20 years from now…

Asuk said…

No, no, Proton is a complete flop at the expense of the tax payers. Because of Proton, the government puts the development of of efficient public transport systems to the back seat so that more people will have to buy cars( read Proton)to commute. Because of Proton, foreign-made cars are among the most expensive in this country, and the average Joe has no choice buy to choose Proton and fume at its substandard quality. Because of Proton, a few UMNO elite Malays have gotton filthy rich while the majority are still struggling to make ends meet. Don’t expect the peole to love Proton while it continues to mire in mismanagement, to churn out low quality cars, to be protected by the government like a spolit brat.

Anonymous said…

Malaysian “mastered”???

World standards????!?!?!?!?

“build engines”??

Am I blind? Or is this guy still deluding himself?

1) Malaysians had to ride in deathtraps for 15 YEARS FOR YOUR EGO CHEDET. NO AIRBAGS, tin sardin bodies, even when these were STANDARD ISSUE on the cheapest Korean or Japanese cars. God only knows how many lives were lost to stroke 1 man’s ego.

2) World standards? Gosh the self delusion is staggering. Malaysia can’t even sell their Proton in SEA – only a miniscule number sold in Singapore, Thailand or Indon and you dare to call it “world standards”?

Go ahead, do a survey and ask Malaysians if they’d rather drive Proton or Honda/Toyota. In fact, go ask your own UMNO members (most of whom have brabuses in the garage).

What a joke. haven’t you done enough damage in your 22 years to our beautiful nation? Now bugger off to do some horse riding in Argentina and let better people like Anwar or Badawi (yeah, chedet, even he’s better than YOU or NAJIB) get on with the business of ruling the nation.


Anonymous said…

Response to Madman Mahathir:

You must be suffering from delusion. Proton never mastered the art of making cars in 15 years!! If they did then market forces will dictate that their models will be preferred by the rakyat over the competition. The truth is, everyone hated Proton for their unreliability, shoddy workmanship, high prices, poor salesmanship, ….. the list goes on….
Their so called new models were total failures, ridiculed by foreign car reviewers. Only you would buy over the outdated car model manufacturing lines from Mitsubishi and Citroen,I think (for the heap of crap Tiara). The Japs are laughing all the way to the bank having being able to sell what was to be junked. And you think by putting a Proton badge on the car, you qualify to be a car maker? Just like having a Malay name does not make you a Malay. You are still a mamak and there’s no two ways about it. But you do qualify to be a Malaysian since you were born here.

Compare Proton with Hyundai which also launched the Pony around that time Look where they are now. They are world conquerors and giving the Japs a run for their money. Proton is still living in a protected environment created by you. Pls let it die.

You blame AP’s for ruining the local market. How could it when the car imports are still so much more expensive then overseas? Cars like Mercs and BM’s are at least twice the retail price in places like US and UK or even Australia.

Mahathir you don’t know what the hell you are talking about. We have put up with you for 22 years during which time you have destroyed the country. You will be remembered as the devil who destroyed Malaysia to satisfy your selfish power needs. GO TO HELL.

“Not your fan”

Nostradamus said…

Jeyklls and Hydes in Malaysia. Are you?

Malaysians in dilemma? So many events and news both real and unreal.

Why? Because it depends on what you want to perceive and your bias toward your own race, color, religion, party, groups, interests, superiority or plain dumbness.

That makes you something of a Jeykll and Hyde if you can’t differentiate between facts and fictions, good and evil, right and wrong, true or false. Too many Malaysians can’t decide now whether to become Jeykll or whether to become Hyde or when to become Jeykll or when to become Hyde.

Think hard and search your conscience from deep within and “Viola” you can differenciate between Night from Day. Throw out bias towards race, creed, superiority, affiliations, religion and beliefs, greed, power, cronyism etc and then see whether some of the things happening around is right or wrong , true or false, evil or good, facts or fiction.


Old Fart said…

No sir Dr Mahathir, it was not a Malaysian icon. IT was a national nightmare to feed your over blown ego.

So what if you could make a car? So what if you know how to make engines.

If the only way you can support it is for each and every Malaysian buying it has to pay more than its intinsic worth than it has been nothing more than a thief in the night.

Just imagine, after Proton, having to pay an extra RM150 ringgit a month on your car loan because Proton was the cheapest car you could buy. And yet not too long ago you could get an equivalent import for just about the same price. The Ford Telstar that I bought in 1984 for RM27,000 became RM40,000 after Proton was launched.

All that extra disposable income that your prestigous Proton project denied us could have been rolled into driving up the local economy with all that extra spending that we would have done, but for you, could not do.

No sir, Proton from teh very begining was never a viable entity. After you had announced Proton and even before it started production, Vauxhall, (remember that British car?) had announced losses after having produced over 450,000 cars that year. And it was said then that the break even for motor car producers was something in the region of 500,000 cars. Did Proton ever make anything close to that number of cars?

What is there to feel nostalgic? It was a national failure that should not have happened. It happend to just feed your megalomaniac ego.

Today, we continue to be denied our disposable income because of the AP system that you introduced just to benefit a handful of your selected favourites under the so called NEP policies. But sir, the majority Malay population too is paying to feed the greed of these selected individuals. Why they are not protesting is a wonder really. Unless there is such a thing as mass hypnosis over generations.

Really, there is nothing to laud over.
melayu-tertindas said…

Brader Rocky

Congratulations! You have got Tun Mahathir reading your blog and responding to it too. Thumbs Up!

Tun Mahathir himself pushed away Proton Car Industry aside by introducing Approved Permits in thousands to new Malays to sell them for quick money, in return back stab the Proton Car Industry.

Well, what was past is history, and future is mistery. We should concern about today as it is a Gift and that is why it is called “Present”.

I rest my case.

blink4blog said…

rocky, let’s remind him that in the name of developing the country that capable to build cars at the expense of the rakyat that drive lousy quality cars at the price of cheap but quality imported cars.

maybe Tun Mahatir should drive a Proton Wira, pay loan for 5-7 years and
“act” according like a normal citizen instead? Does he feel the pain?

Expending the rakyat working and payoff high instalment while those AP kings enjoying their pride with Porsche, Ferraris? Do you call this fair?
“CheDet-Wuz ‘Ere!”

Antares said…

The Monster Mamak still doesn’t get it, does he? He screwed up all possibility of an affordable, efficient public transport system by forcing his puerile “Malaysian car” project on us when the last thing anyone needs is another energy-inefficient, atmosphere-polluting automobile that runs on fossil fuels using archaic internal combustion engines left over from the 19th century. What’s even more embarrassing, the much-touted “Malaysian” car was actually designed by Mitsubishi!
What mindboggling stupidity disguised as “strong leadership” :-)

Anonymous said…

He was a great M’sian PM of Indian origin. He screw up the Malays by purposely appointed incompetent Malay successor.


ibrahim yahaya said…


Semua orang Masjid Tanah mesti buat kenduri lepas ni.

Kita doakan YABhg Tun (dua Tun) sentiasa sihat walafiat dan memberi sumbangan kepada negara.

Tun, tak lawat ke Dunia Tiger?

( )

Rocky’s Bru said…

Mr Belimbing,

I was invited to a lunch to celebrate his birthday the other day. He spotted me and came up to me and said:

“I left a comment in your blog earlier today!”

We chatted for about 15 minutes at the end of lunch, mostly about blogging and some about Proton.

Nuraina of Jalan Sudin, Ahmad Talib of Pahit Manis, and Big Dog of Big Dog were the other bloggers there. The non-bloggers kept their distance, openly curious about what we were up to.

By the way, this is only the second time I’ve been invited for his birthday do. All those years when I was in the mainstream media, tara chance!

Thank you.

Anonymous said…

You’ll a millionaire soon.


Ranger said…

What world standards? You call the Saga a world class car? I still recall the first time when the Saga met with an accident in Bukit Mertajam when it was first launched. Remember the newly wedded couple who persihed? World class standards, riding on the blood, sweat and tears of the people being heavily subsidised. Riding on the backs of simple folks. This is bullshit and bunkum when you puposely and deliberately raise the taxes on good foreign cars so that people cannot afford to buy them. The Koreans started at about the same time like us with their protective measures in the beginning, guess where they are now. They are world class, Che Det and gang screwed up big time on the way. Anyway congrats for having a comment from an ex PM in your blog. Not anyone can achieve it. You de man!

Zamri said…

Well Rocky,

It seems like although Dr. Mahathir has left a comment on your blog, he cannot defend his pet project on a one-on-one basis with the rakyat, with fair and and square arguments.

The rakyat sudah celik mata and can see clearly the overall picture.

Like many of the other people who comment here, we know how the development of a decent systematic public transportation system that could benefit the masses was neglected. Any nation that aspires to be a 1st world/developed nation must have these backbone infrastructures in place.

But malang sekali, it is not to be.

To Che Det: nice try, though. This is how it is if you are a normal citizen and want to argue an idea out with the rest of the citizens on an equal and fair basis. Ideas that once came forth from an authoritative pedestal don’t hold water anymore when you put it in the forum of public discussion in a democratic way.

Proton should recall Perdana V6 too



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