PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Proton's soon-to-be-launched sport utility vehicle (SUV) has received a rave review from Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
"It's very good. I found the quality to be very high and I think it's a good car for the market," he told a media conference at the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia headquarters in Menara Yayasan Selangor in Petaling Jaya.
In a Facebook posting on Monday (June 25), Tun Dr Mahathir said he had test-driven the yet to be released Proton SUV model when officials of DRB-Hicom Bhd and Geely Group paid a visit to the Prime Minister's Department last Friday.
The Proton SUV, which is based on the Geely Boyue SUV, is reportedly set to be launched by October.
Dr Mahathir said he told Geely Group chairman Li Shufu that while Proton might be managed by the group, Malaysians should supply the components.
"We want him (Li) to bring in manufacturers from China to help Malaysian manufacturers via joint ventures.
"Otherwise, they will bring in parts from other countries and Malaysian vendors will have to close down, which is not fair - and he agreed," said Dr Mahathir.
On a separate matter, the Prime Minister reiterated that existing terms for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) contract should be re-negotiated.
"If the government manages to negotiate better terms for the construction of the ECRL, then the project will continue," he said.
On plans to renegotiate the existing water supply agreement with Singapore, Dr Mahathir said it was not a priority of the government at the moment, as there were more important issues to address.
In an interview with Bloomberg last Friday, Dr Mahathir criticised the 1962 water supply deal with Singapore, and said that water was among the issues with Singapore that Malaysia needed to settle.