Proton privatised – but still receiving government subsidies


While certain people are getting hot under the collar over the use of the word Allah, Proton, which was privatised to Syed Mokhtar Albukhary’s DRB-Hicom in 2012, continues to receive close to RM200m in “government R&D grants” (public money), according to reports.

CIMB Research was reported yesterday as saying:

We have been previously positive on Proton going into private hands in DRB but the low-hanging fruit in cost cutting has not materialised and we believe it will be loss making if not for the RM200mil in government R&D grants received every year.

Why should Proton still receive these “grants” (which are actually subsidies) when it has been taken over from Khazanah by a listed company (DRB Hicom) controlled by a prominent tycoon? This at a time when the rakyat are told that the government can no longer afford “subsidies”.

Referring to the RM200m annual subsidy, Kamarul Azhar, writing in The Edge (6-12 January 2014), asks: “Indeed, now that it (Proton) is now in private hands, should we still give it national car status and the privileges that come with it?”

The ailing Proton, propped up by high selling prices and government subsidies in a protected market, is of course part of Mahathir’s disastrous legacy.

Instead of trying to compete with the likes of Thailand and Indonesia over which nation can draw in more automobile FDI and produce more cars, Malaysia would be better off in the long-run pursuing more sustainable transport options. For instance, the annual RM200m government grant could be spent on improving the experience of cycling on our streets. That would provide an environmentally friendly, cost-effective and sustainable transport option.

After all, 2014 is set to become the year of the bicycle! (Don’t play-play, okay.) We wouldn’t want to miss out on that, would we?

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Do not ever buy a Proton.

I regret buying one – lots of problems after 2 months!


don’t understand….if the govemrnent is making billions…why people keep changing cars????????

Stylo Logan


Your article has reinforced public (suspicion) that Syed Mokhtar is (allegedly) nothing but an Umno proxy to divert public fund to private hands.


I agreed. This is part of the conspiracy in the name of DEB or NEP.

georgina t

Latest Proton salemen offer : RM388/month and you can drive a proton on the road !

Proton vs Perodua to fight for jaguh kampung tag in Malaysia.


Since “Problems By The Tons” (Proton) cannot self-sustain for nearly 3 decades of squandered opportunities in a competitive globalised auto industry, it should produce something else less taxing on the minds & less financially draining kia su (local protective measures). Just produce more becas for Penang, Melaka & Kelantan. Then the Rm200m can be diverted from unproductive minds for more productive purposes like more computers for all schools (SJK, SMJK, SM). If don’t want to lose face (bo bin) can also try assemble recon buses or even trams. Who knows, we may have Tram Proton from the classics, 60s to… Read more »

Andrew I

Problems by the tons.

Haha haha.


if Lim Guan Eng runs Proton, Yang and gang will toast him for the RM200m subsidy. Yang, no?


…will toast him for the RM200m subsidy.

Provided he doesn’t ‘gatai with abacus in hands’ to justify his advance-purchase of Rolls Royce (for himself) for Gurney sea tunnel ground breaking bin chui ceremony & pass on his still new MercS300L to his deputy in 2 months time.

Btw, if he runs Proton, I fear there will be more one-way streets & Darth Vader highways no cows can walk safely. Have anyone read about the 4 cows stowed in a modified Proton Wira?


Compared to the subsidies Proton buyers pay because of price difference from imported tax on cars, RM200m is NOTHING. it amounts to BILLIONS each year.

More importantly, ask yourself – if they can’t cut off Proton, what chance do they have to cut off the cheap political capital the zealots want with the “Allah” issue?? Proton is just one man and we know who it really is. The “Allah” issue, lots of very greedy grubby brain-dead opportunist from politics.


No one in the country asked the top man what he meant when he introduced the term “public-private partnership.”

Phua Kai Lit

Privatization of profits, socialization of losses.
From Susan George: