The Bernama Daily Malaysian News has reported that ex-PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said that he believes Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional (Proton) Berhad should have a partner so that the national car maker can benefit from the technology that its partner has.

“We think Proton should have a partner but this is my view and no one else’s view. In fact, we are working on co-operating with Volkswagen, which has the technology,” he said.
He said that maybe Volkswagen should have shares in Proton but not take over Proton.
“Volkswagen can benefit from the lower cost in Malaysia and we can benefit in terms of technology. However, it is up to them (the management of Proton). I believe they are discussing but I don’t know the progress,” he told reporters after a luncheon in conjunction with the 9th Multimedia Super Corridor-International Advisory Panel (MSC-IAP) Meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

Dr Mahathir, who is an IAP emeritus member, was responding to a statement by the Malaysian Automotive Association that Proton needed a large partner after its parent company, Proton Holdings Bhd, announced a pre-tax loss of RM4.3 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2005.

The latest loss was in sharp contrast to the RM198.3 million pre-tax profit in the corresponding quarter of 2004 and the RM165.5 million pre-tax profit in the three months before the quarter under review.