It seems that Putrajaya has granted Proton a soft loan worth RM1.5 billion, a week after Tun Mahathir’s resignation as Chairman of the national automaker. The much-needed financial boost, which was reached by the federal Cabinet today, will help the automaker pay its vendors.
According to International Trade and Industries Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, the Cabinet agreed to approve the loan on condition that Proton comes up with a comprehensive turnaround strategy, and plans to expand its domestic and international markets.
On top of that, Mustapa also confirmed that a special task force will be set up. It will be headed by Performance and Management Delivery Unit (Pemandu) CEO Datuk Seri Idris Jala, who will lead a team of six representatives – three from public sector namely Finance Ministry, International Trade and Industries Ministry, Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and three from the private sector that will be identified at a later date.
“Apart from ensuring the terms of this loan is fulfilled, the task force is also required to look at past Proton business models, identify weaknesses, and identify ways to overcome them,” the minister added.
Mustapa said that the goverment is aware that the automotive industry is a strategic industry. Currently, there are 12,000 Proton employees and 50,000 working for the vendor companies.