In my personal opinion, Proton (better known as 'Potong') should have keeled over and croaked long ago if not for the faithful taxpayers, who have been resuscitating it repeatedly.
And hence it continues to live on like a sick, gasping frog.
Lately, Proton shares slid to its lowest level in nearly seven years Wednesday after the government said it has stopped talking with Volkswagen AG and General Motors Corp. about strategic tie-ups.
I can imagine why.
VW & GM: Stop that asinine affirmative action crap that's going on and hire some people based on meritocracy, you fools!
Potong: No way! It's my way or the highway!
VW & GM: It's been nice knowing you. Take a hike.
Money-losing Proton had been in talks with those two companies to help reverse its fortunes - in other words stop losing money.
Proton reported a loss of 591 million ringgit in the 2007 financial year. However, due to political interests, there are no plans to close up and bid farewell for good. Guess who is going to fund it?
Sigh. To think my hard-earned tax money goes to this.
Obviously, Proton needs to take drastic measures to get itself out of the doggy-do it's in - get creative even.
So it lifts its eyes and looks to Mecca. Lo and behold, Inspiration hit like a ton of bricks!
An 'Islamic' car!! What a wonderful concept! A genuine idea! A brainwave!!
If you believe it.
That would appease Muslim fundamentalists, but hardly the economy, unfortunately.
Asia Sentinel has an interesting opinion on Proton's latest bout of creativity.
But as with everything in Malaysia, politics plays a more important role than economics in industrial policy.
Although a foreign partner could very well increase production capacity to around 350,000 units a year and lower production costs, the old bosses of the United Malays National Organisation, don’t want to give the facilities away to foreign partners, Islamic or otherwise.
International Herald Tribune had an equally scathing article on Potong, but when I looked again, I couldn't seem to locate the page.
Everytime I click on it, I only get this notice: Page Not Found.
It certainly makes me suspicious - did the Malaysian communist-dictatorship government get its proverbial knickers in a knot over this truthful but not necessarily kind report and demand its withdrawal?
All this bad publicity isn't helping Proton's sorry situation.
Not that it has any plans to fix itself in a hurry.
According to The Star, no specific timeframe will be given to the management of Proton Holdings Bhd to turn the national carmaker around.
Yeah, they'll just use the everlasting government funds.
More taxpayer money down the drain.