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(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): Proton adviser Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the former chief executive officer (CEO) of the national car maker, Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff, has created history by publicly asking Proton to explain the rationale behind Proton's sale of MV Agusta Motors S.p.A. for one Euro (RM4.48). Never in Malaysian history has a present Proton Advisor (who happens to be a former Prime Minister) and a former CEO of Proton publicly questioned Proton’s judgment selling for only one euro and demanded a full explanation.
In the interests of accountability and transparency, DAP supports the demands by both Mahathir and Mahaleel. The public has a right to know how Proton is so “clever” as to lose RM 500 million in one year as a result of its investment in Agusta in 2004. DAP would state its full position on who should be responsible for the losses incurred in the sale of Agusta for RM 4.48 and incurring RM 500 million losses after the Proton management have answered the questions raised by the two.
Proton suffered massive losses of RM 500 million comprising of 70 million euros (RM 313.6 milllion) in the purchase of Agusta with the remainder in running costs. Both of them have raised many questions relating to the deal which in the public interests must be answered by Proton.
DAP finds it sad that despite being Proton Advisor, Mahathir does not appear to be informed about the sale nor the reasons behind it. Mahathir is so cut off from management decisions that he does not know what is going on until he has to resort to newspapers or public statements to seek information and explanation from Proton.
There is not much point for Mahathir to remain as Proton Advisor if he is ignored and not respected at all by Proton. If Proton is not seeking advice from him, what is the point of remaining as Advisor? Mahathir should take the honourable step to resign to allow Proton to appoint an Advisor they accept and can carry out the functions in giving advice. As Mahathir has obviously failed in this regard, he should not cling on to his post as Proton Advisor or else be known as an Advisor who appears to advice against and not together with the Proton management’s wishes.