: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s era of political interference in Proton Holdings Berhad has come to an end, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“Now I am pleased to say, there have been significant changes at the top levels of Proton. Tun Mahathir’s era of political interference has come to an end,” he said at the launch of the fourth generation Proton Perdana here today. MEDIA STATEMENT: Launch of new Proton Perdana signals end to Tun M's era of political interference
Najib said such interference in the decision-making process at Proton was the reason why the car maker needed billions in government's assistance to remain viable.
“There has been too much political interference in Proton’s strategy, management - including of personnel - and business model. We saw the results of that early this year. A manufacturer which should be a source of national pride was facing a very difficult situation.
Dr Mahathir resigned as Proton chairman on March 31. He also stepped down as Chairman of Group Lotus plc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Proton. READ: Dr Mahathir resigns as Proton chairman
UMNO Information chief Tan Sri Annuar and Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan have taken to task Dr Mahathir for the current state of Proton.
Annuar said Dr Mahathir's stubbornness was one of the factors which fuelled the local car manufacturer's non-competitive performance while Abdul Rahman wanted Dr Mahathir to answer why Proton is in serious financial trouble despite of billions of Ringgit poured into it. READ: Dr Mahathir must take responsibility over Proton's failure READ: Dr Mahathir's stubborness among factors in non-competitive performance of Proton
Abdul Rahman said "horror stories" of the former premier's interference and "dictatorial leadership style" in Proton are slowly emerging following his resignation.