National cars of poor quality

My PROTON article in Malaysiakini, published in 2002:

Probe Proton bugs


The news of Mitsubishi Motors chief quitting and taking responsibility for the 33 years of cover-up about defective vehicles made me think about Proton.I am 100 percent sure Proton would not emulate this honorable action. Our “Asian values and Malaysian  Values” are different from the Japanese values. Japanese will voluntarily take personal responsibilitybut we point fingers and search for scapegoats.Even if others point fingers to us, we remain in denial. Proton would not try to investigate whether theirpartner, machinery and technology know-how supplier Mitsubishi Mortars could have supplied them with those same faulty cars.


It is widely known that when the late Tan Sri Yahya converted the Proton Wira to Proton Satria in a mere eight months;even Dr Mahathir was impressed and decided to sell the National car project to him.But only after Proton bought the Lotus and started to test and fine-tune the Satria that we indirectly realise to our shock that it had not been done before.


All of us know that there are some problems but no one accepted the responsibility. Only when announcing the ProtonWaja, the facts comparing it with previous Protons were revealed, basically , compromised on safety features,etc.Earlier, the Protons’ package offer for a change of cluth plates had also indirectly indicated that there was something

wrong with them.


Although I ha changed the mortors of the power wondows and repaired them many times, all three of my various Proton driver side windows are not functiong and I had to keep using another hand to push up or pull the fornt edge backwards.We are courting danger everytime we pass by toll plazas.


My putra’s fuel gauge and back sensor has not been working since we accepted the delivery.Since we could not hope for Proton and USPD to come out in open and admit their faults.So I hereby demend Mitsubishi Mortors and the Janpanese goverment to investigate and rectifyour problems.Though I am afriad the Malaysin goverment will try to obstruct because they are afraid of the Malaysian goverment or defer out of sheer politeness, there will ne no life after Afta for Malaysian branded “Mitsubishi”


Proton whitewash


While I welcome Proton’s announcement to recall the 1995 Perdana model , I suspect this as a whitewash to trick Proton users worldwide that other than dust covers’ problems,There is nothing wrong with all other Protons. According to the Proton CEO, the problem was not serious and that dust cover was considered a “wear-and –tear part” which needs to be changed every five years.


Mitsubishi, please answer through Malaysiakini, what was in your letter and what were your advice to Proton. I don’t believe that the advice was to call back this one model foronly this minor defect. Was there any comment about power windows, automatic gears,clutch plates, car-body plastics that are forever coming off, soft disc wheels, soft suspension, jammed doors, car locks that are easily forced-open and many other defects?


I am presently using three Protons with many minor problems. I do not want to elaborate on the notorious power windows. Please do not try to give the lame excuse that power windows are wearing-and – tear items. I complained about my Megavalve window problem upon sending my car in for its first service. And I am sure Proton is responsible for the failure of my nine Megavalve clutches in eight years and a host of other problems too numerous to mention here.


Immediately after accepting the cars, I had noticed few minor defects but the salesmen and Proton and USPD workshops advised me to repair them only when I send them in forthe first service. I had complained many times but up till now they could not rectify all of the defects. All they can say is that each and every car irrespective of the brand and country of origin ,has defects anyway – it depends on the luck of the buyer!


Mitsubishi , I am appealing openly here, the public know Fumio Yoshimi was sent back to Japan because he openly voiced out his thoughts about Proton’s policy . But if you keep quit you will be guilty for the cover-up here and you’ll be blackened when the truth eventually comes out.


By the way, I had a look at the Waja because of the relatively cheap price, hyped safety  qualities and upon receiving invitation card as regular customer. Only then did I find out that the present price does not include those hyped safety qualities!


Wednesday July 23, 2008

The Star online/Letters

WHILE the public are critical over the Terengganu state government’s decision to purchase 14 luxurious Mercedes Benzes for their state exco members as well as other high officials, one can forgive them for changing their official cars from Perdana V6.

For those motorists who use the national cars, a litany of complaints on their shortcomings can be heard or read about in the mainstream media.

From the side windows which malfunction after some time, door knobs which break if pulled too hard and gearboxes which give trouble after a few years, the list of complaints goes on.

If a survey was done on the number of owners who are dissatisfied with the national cars, I am sure the majority of them will feel cheated.

Although it is morally wrong for the Terengganu government to change from national cars to foreign products in view of the Government’s austerity drive, it highlights the low quality of our national cars.

The top management of Proton needs to look seriously into this matter as surely after more than two decades, the quality control of our national cars should be at least on par with vehicles imported from overseas.

The Terengganu government should emulate other state governments controlled by the Opposition that do not change vehicles simply after taking over the previous state governments as taxpayers’ money are involved here.

After all, if the Prime Minister and his cabinet ministers can use the Perdana Executives as their official cars, why can’t the state exco members do the same.

Kuala Lumpur.




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