The opposition’s pledge to slash car prices with the abolition of taxes has got tongues wagging, many in support and a few against.While Pakatan Rakyat claimed that the move would not dent the sales of national carmarkers, their political rivals however foretold doom for Proton and Perodua in the absence of government protection.Proton was the brainchild of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad and its assembly line cranked to life in 1983. It was then a tie-up with Mitsubishi Motors.
While Mahathir, who according to his latest blog posting is sailing along the coast of Italy, had yet to comment on Pakatan’s election drive, he however had in April admitted to turning his back on Proton.
During his term in office, Mahathir, like all other top civil servants, were ferried about in a Proton Perdana Executive.
In a blog posting dated April 12, the former premier said that he had stopped using Proton cars after relinquishing his position in 2003.
Even his car aficionado and businessman son Mokhzani had preferred to steer clear of Proton, opting to be the importer of Porsche models instead.
“I stopped using Proton cars after I stepped down.
“I wanted to enjoy the ‘superior quality’ of the high-end European and Japanese cars,” Mahathir had said, implying that Proton made inferior cars which were not enjoyable to drive.