Saturday, January 19, 2008

A sad Malaysian Saga

Melayu muda lupa. Yesterday Pak Lah launched the new "Saga", whih was Proton's first brand (launched back in 84). I wasn't there but at a dinner thrown for journos by Zam last night, old friends told me of how, during the launch, everybody lupa (forgot) to mention Tun Dr Mahathir's role in the creation of Proton and the original Saga.
More pics of the new Saga here.


  1. Anonymous2:54 pm

    Itu bukan melayu mudah lupa,tu Badawi hidung kembang semangkuk yang mudah lupa.
    Nanti ade lah orang bawak banner depan Proton Shah Alam bertulis
    "Pak Lah mudah lupa" pulak.

  2. It's a mutant!!!! Warrrgh...a cross between a Hindustani Ambassador (that's a car in India,not a slur, eh), a Waja And Neo (con) scared the hell outta me, Rocky!!

    I like the Waja, the Savvy and the latest Neo...and the Persona better...tapi rear-view problem in the Persona and Gen-2..but which Malaysian driver cares to look back in the rear view mirror anyways???? Heh!

  3. Anonymous3:05 pm

    besa la Rocky..bini tua pun orang lupa..apa lagi PM dah tua...

  4. Anonymous3:18 pm

    I was browsing through Michael Backman's book "Asia Future Shock" in Borders today.

    Recommended reading - Chapter 19 ("From Malaysia Boleh to Malaysia Bodoh").

    Of course, this book won't be reviewed in the Malaysian mainstream newspapers. But if you can get your hands on it, its good reading.

    And from a little note I picked up in the Singapore Business Times today:

    "Singapore has moved up to the First World, and since 1965, the income per capital of Singaporeans has grown to five times that of their neighbours in Malaysia".

    And that without a home-grown "national car" industry!

    Pemudah notwithstanding, there are too many people and institutions in Malaysia with delusions of grandeur.

    Proton being one of them!

  5. Anonymous4:02 pm

    Why Saga Again?

    Saga was one of the "Spark" of the Previous PM?
    So a Spark for the existing one?

    The last spark has a long trail to track
    Not only the performance of the car but the policy that goes around!
    A dream of Malaysian owning their own car
    or a dream that UNMO continue to jeopardize Malaysian owning a competitive car comparable to the world at large?
    Or a symbol that Malaysian have to repeat their suffer for another 25 years to go?
    Or Proton still cannot go beyond what was started 25years ago??

    A miniature of Malaysian dreams via a car with Politicians around!!
    A good spot with wrong way to go!
    Highway for the Convenience of ALL
    turned into private by Concessionaires under OSA!
    Town Parks of public into Private Land!
    Hills of Nature into Building lots with gestures!
    Housing Act for the House buyers into hands of Developers into Management!
    City Council going over TCPA for the Benefits of the Developers!

    Any "Spark" under politician lit the way of the Common?
    or spark the suffering of the Common on their ways?
    The "Sparks" had set fires to many grievance of many on the way!!
    Sad Malaysian not only Saga to say!!

  6. I wrote this in Marina's blog but it hasn't been moderated yet for viewing.
    So here it is again.
    It is an entrenched Malaysian culture to hero-worship and give unquestioning loyalty to the leader of the day.
    But when he is out of power, he is not only quickly forgotten but mocked at since he is no more in any position to hand out goodies.
    Just see the mad stampede to bestow the the PM's wife with titles and a chancellorship. Even the lowly SIL
    is a chieftain of sorts.

  7. Anonymous4:08 pm

    Sad indeed. Memory failure is not new-lah.

    They forgot many years ago that:

    a. A Hindu - Parameswara founded Malacca. What is there in that state to remember him? Nowadays people want to refer to him by his 'converted' name. (The first Malaysian who reached Mount Everest, now dead, will also go down in the official history books by the name after his conversion?

    b. The Bujang Valley in Kedah had evidence of rich Hindu civilization. Is it now very accessible and a tourist attraction?

    c. There were many Hindu temples in the estates which the government was trying to take over into its fold (through government controlled companies). Did they later acknowledge the contributions of these places of worship to keep the Hindus united and focused on not being a social problem in the urban areas? Sorry-lah, they were slowly demolished - citing reasons that they were not built according to plans/approvals - that came very much later that the period the temples were built.

    d. Munshi Abdullah was also an expert in many languages, including Tamil. That example was ignored when national schools slowly sprung every where. Focus was mainly on one language. More than one generation of Malaysians lost their opportunity to master many languages and become confident in the international arena.

    e. United Asian Bank was there - functioning in Malaysia. They did all their best to swallow this financial institution so that there would not be any such bank which the Indians in Malaysia could relate to. (No need to ask anyway why other foreign banks faced same threats and yet now they are allowed to thrive - Citibank, Stanchart, Hong Kong Bank)

    Now recently, they forgot:

    a. The numerous police reports about mismanagement in Maika Holdings
    b. The various donations collections by MIC leaders that was not accounted for properly and against which police reports were done. But they can act fast on alleged mismanagement of funds collecetd by Hindraf.
    c. The numerous police reports on the death of Sujatha, the TV actress who died under suspicious circumstances
    d. The numerous police reports on Malaysian Indians who died under mysterious circumstances in police lock ups.
    e. The way Indian nationals who came to Malaysia to lend their expertise in the upgrade of our IT capabilities were treated by law enforcement personnel in Brickfields.

    This country is indeed heading towards 'Memory failure' syndrome......

    And we should fell comforted that people who held high positions in this Bolehland are leading the way.

  8. Pada pendapat saya tugas tetap tugas. RMK yang keberapa sekali pun, sebagai PM tugas tetap tugas.

    Jadilah seorang PM itu kerana amanah rakyat kepadanya dan bukannya kerana untuk disanjung dan dihormati.

    Apa yang pasti, budi seseorang itu akan dibalas jua oleh Yang Maha Esa.

  9. Anonymous5:23 pm

    Those who ignore the lessons of history are bound to repeat their mistakes,......

  10. Anonymous5:43 pm


    Mahathir di lupai? Adakah ia ganjil? Sekiranya Mahathir di sanjung di bawah pemerintahan sekarang, ia nya ganjil. Siapa yang Mudah Lupa? Siapa yang meletakkan AAB sebagai Perdana Menteri? Sekiranya jasa itu dilupakan, apa lah ada pada orang yang membina Proton.
    Itu lah Melayu. Mudah Lupa.

  11. Anonymous5:51 pm

    Finally, Saga being replaced after more than twenty years. Proton should be in Guiness World of Record for holding this kind of record with the exception of only few models in the world such as Beetle.

    Car for masses. That should have Proton spirit but huge profit have been the helm of the day. We, the Malaysian at lost, but few have gained the monopoly benefit from Proton . Cannot blame anyone but ourselves. That is why the gap of poor and rich is widening. Opps I don't know what I am talking. Sudah Mabuklah.

    Once more, someone please get Guiness World of Record to verify we have the most tol booth going into the city in the world. So evidentlah. Can see from the sky when the plane passing KL to land at KLIA. Tol Booth everywhere and outshining even Twin Tower. This is my pride being the Malaysia.


  12. Anonymous6:13 pm

    I see pictures of vultures , piranhas, scavengers and more vultures --- .
    Yes - they were quick to condemn the man --but easily forgot who brought us the first real Malaysian Automobile industry, the Penang Bridge, the KLIA, the Petronas Twin Tower, Putra Jaya and most of all something which we have already lost (no thanks to the present vultures) --national pride, esteem and dignity.

    Nobody wants to hear our PM speaks anymore .. Thank God for that cause it would only embarass us further.

  13. Anonymous6:35 pm

    macam mana kita nak undi monyet2 yang bodoh dan sombong macam ni?

  14. It's a nice car though,

    I have seen it on the dealers yesterday. Quite spacious, comfortable for driver and passenger and with a spacious boot which can fit 2 golf bags. An "uncle" joked that a person could sleep in the boot to which prompted someone actually demonstrating it.

    For 31k you get just the basic stuff (without power window) but it has power steering, CD player and etc.. That's a very nice deal. Although I haven't drive it yet so can't say much about that.

    This car could be their trump card if they manage to keep the quality control standard.

  15. Anonymous8:20 pm

    bukan sahaja melayu mudah lupa ,rakyat malaysia mudah lupa!.
    kalau cina ,india ,iban,melayu dan macam-macam lagi jadi rakyat malaysia mesti kena 'injection' serum 'mudah lupa'.....

    kalau fikir betul-betul ,darjah 6 sekolah rendah kena injectlah....i dah lupa name suntikan ini mungkin ada campuran herbal

  16. The new Saga rolled in
    With a price most people can buy
    The good teaser dressing it up
    The Saga finally got a new shape and style

    The old Saga is now history
    This new block a profit making machine
    I hear many people praise Proton
    But nobody says about the man
    Who made it happened decades ago

    He had his foresight
    But the dream got side tracked years ago
    Now with the official launch of the New Saga
    Proton will smile all the way to the bank

    About the man
    The current leaders just forget
    When you are out of power
    They don’t want you to be around

    It is sad but it is true
    This is life

  17. Anonymous9:31 pm

    Can't really blame them, even The Man himself 'mudah lupa' nowadays :D

  18. Anonymous9:34 pm

    When I saw it on the news, the first thing that came to my mind was to look out for Tun, the "father" of the Proton Saga. Sadly, if he was there, they didn's show him. Well, I hope, if he didn't attend, it was because of his health and not because he wasn't invited. How ironic that on such an important occasion like the relaunch of our unforgettable Proton Saga, the man who's vision made it all possible, was not given due credit (well, I apologise if they did and I don't know about it since its nowhere in the news). Take heart Tun, many of us DO remember all that you have done for us.

  19. Anonymous9:51 pm

    Seen the car yesterday and booked a unit. I thought the white color looks cool. And yes the boot can fit my golf bag; my main criteria in looking for a car.

    If they did not mention anything about Dr. M in the launching of this new SAGA, let's just hope it was 'not done' unintentionally. For us who know the history I think it is our duty to tell our children the truth.


  20. Anonymous11:04 pm

    This is a car? Yeccchh!!!

    Looks like a cross between a Herbie and a Zlotz. Has Samy Vellu's looks too.

    Try the following excuses: " I cannot remember". "I don't recall". "I don't have to give any reasons. Its my prerogative". "Apa Nama?"

  21. saya tak lupa.


    saya sesekali tidak akan lupa...dan tidak mahu lupa.

  22. Anonymous12:18 am

    im going to talk about the car rather who was forgotten..

    who the hell design this...arghh send them to Pininfarina and learn how to design....

    To anon 4.04pm..what does lembang bujang got to do with proton? if u dont like a TATA..

  23. Anonymous1:27 am

    Not true Bro,
    I was there at the launch and they did say it was the Dr's brainchild and even had a videoclip of his speech at the launch of the Saga,,,

    Maybe it wasn't on the news, not enough time for background....

  24. Was Saga launched in 84?
    According to wiki, it was sept 85.

  25. $31K for a basic model. Not bad? no?

  26. I don't think they forgot Dr Mahathir's rold. I believe they are too afraid to mention Dr Mahathir in positive light in the presence of Pak Lah.

    Distortion of history by omission out of fear. :)

  27. Anonymous3:01 pm

    the only thing about this car is that the price is realistic..not like getting screwed with the wira price..but a car is just a car. It is now for proton to show us this the car can the alarm works, power windows etc etc are not substandard given the "low" price, or will buyers be given a runaround answers like "biasalah..beli proton in problem biasa) when technical problems arises.

    And yes..wira buyers in the past have been really screwed. Prices of steel, raw materials have gone up. and yet this car is cheaper.

    I think i will wait awhile...if the initial excitement dies..maybe saga price will drop.

  28. Anonymous7:26 pm

    I am not mudah lupa, I always remember him as simply Perwaja.

  29. Anonymous9:03 pm


    Just for records -
    PERUSAHAAN OTOMOBIL SDN BHD was incorporated on 7th May, 1983.

    Our first Malaysian Made car – i.e. First car roll-out from PROTON plant in Shah Alam on 9th July, 1985 by Tun Mahathir.

    Among the first team/group of people who was involved in the National Car Project way back in early 1982 were

    1. Tuan Haji Razak Harun -
    Now - Director of Bufori Cars
    2. Encik Mohammad Zainal- Now - Businesman
    3. Encik Nisbar - now CEO AMM Pekan

    4. Puan Zuraidah Aqilah Bte Aris
    Now Toyota Shah Alam HQ.

    5. Puan Norezah ( No information )

    6. Encik Razif Ahmad -
    Now - Director of Procurement

    7. Dato Wan Nik Ismail -
    First Executive Director

    8. Dato Kisai Rahmat -
    Now -Yasmine Group -Director .

    9. Tan Sri Jamil Jan - Allahyarham
    Former Chairman HICOM.

    10.Dato Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh
    Now Chairman Nadicorp.

    11. Kok Nam Soon - Accountant.

    12. Tan Sri Adzmi Abdul Wahab
    Now Advisor Yasmin Group

    Other names I do not remember.

    Our first PROTON SAGA in year 1985 was sold at RM17,800 entry level and around RM18,500.00 for slightly `luxury` model.

    After 23 years - it is now selling around RM30,500 for entry level model. Well done.

    You do not need a Salesman to sell this need an order taker or a vending machine.

    Thank You PROTON - for going back to basic.
    Manufacturing a Malaysian Car for Malaysian at affordable price ~ not ridiculous price and stupid strategy of making a PROTON CHANSELLOR and selling at RM138k to Government Department. Waste of Talent.

    Way to go Dato Syed. Keep the spirits burning and keep the price low.


  30. Anonymous10:58 pm

    It's ok to have short memories. But to celebrate the birth of this new SAGA will all the pomp and the publicity as we see now is not warranted.As if they are launching the new X6.

  31. Anonymous11:52 pm

    Chili Man 9.03pm,
    FYI, Kok Nam Soon was made the CEO of EON Bank and died of cancer many years ago..........

  32. My Senior ROCKY,

    Saya serta isteri mai dari kampung teruja sangat dengan achievement Tun M dari dulu sampai la ni. Kalau ada silap pun sikit sangat jika nak dibanding sumbangan hebat dan besar beliau.

    Memang kami tak akan lupa punya bukan lagu sesetengah musang berbulu ayam.

  33. Bro,

    Saya tidak menghadiri majlis perasmian berkenaan dan tidak pasti sekiranya dakwaan berkenaan betul atau tidak. Namun, sekiranya betul perkara ini berlaku, ianya pasti sesuatu yang patut berlaku. Atau 'sengaja" dilakukan?

    Jasa Tun sebagai pencetus kepada idea untuk mewujudkan industri kereta di Malaysia tidak boleh dipadamkan begitu sahaja daripada sejarah negara kita. Hanya kerana idea beliau ini, sudah berapa banyak idnustri berkaitan dengan permotoran wujud di Malaysia? Hanya kerana idea Tun jugalah, ada orang boleh jadi Pengerusi Proton, MD Proton dan PM sekarang boleh berbangga melancarkan kereta SAGA terbaru itu.

    Jadi, janganlah kita jadi lupa dengan jasa Tun walaupun mungkin kita mempunyai cara berpolitik yang berbeza.

  34. Anonymous10:48 am

    " Anonymous said...
    Chili Man 9.03pm,
    FYI, Kok Nam Soon was made the CEO of EON Bank and died of cancer many years ago "

    11:52 PM

    Thank you for the info.


  35. Anonymous11:37 am

    In these days, wise common consumers are no longer bother about the cosmetic look of a car..that's the main point Proton had missed all way long.

    People nowdays are more concern about the efficiency & in this case the fuel saving technology..So far an antique James Bond upgraded tech CamPro is still a no match for i-DSI or DVVT or even hybrid technology in terms of performance & fossil fuel consumption efficiency..they should work out more on it if they really wanna capture back the market.

    IMHO, Proton should produce a first national hybrid car at a very competetive price and then only they should let the market do the talking... not only bragging on something unrealisticly assured other than just verbal hope.Hybrid tech for you who do not know, is nothing new as its already long time used for diesel locomotives, just translate it to a smaller scale & it will do fine..if R&D speaks a hefty sum of cash, get a good oversea tech partner for a JV.

    I prefer to buy a matchbox milo tin that works for 30km/litre rather than a sexy babelicious synthetic body conture queen of the road that act like a 'pisau cukur'..draining my cashflow.

    Reminder... octane price on the hyper-rise after the G.E!!!
    Nightmare for common Malaysian!
    Jangan lupa yg ini..

    Proton need a true NEO (CEO?) as a saviour! Kick out all those 'political freemason' if they really want to survive..but just make me wonder if time is still a luxury that Proton still have before its 'doomsday'..

  36. Anonymous1:23 pm

    PROTON is heading somewhere now after being at lost for sometimes since Tun Mahathir passed the baton to DSAAB.

    Tun Mahathir is a true LEADER, he led PROTON in the initial stages and the rest is history. No one can deny that for sure.

    The new SAGA is a breather to the existing line up of Proton and I must congratulate the TEAM in Proton which made it possible and the most important thing is they SUCCEEDED in making it happens. Not a rhetoric of making a US2.5k car which could be good for nothing except if driven in the parks.

    I once said that those at the helm in Proton should focus on selling Proton cars NOT on selling PROTON the company and today they heed my challenge.

    Syabas to the new management and its team.

  37. Anonymous4:40 pm

    Biasalah tu, tak kanlah kalau a Badawi di situ, name TDM pun nak disebut. Begitulah tugas pegawai Tingkat 4, nak screen dulu semua draft ucapan, biar takada nama Tun. Inilah akibatnya jika TDM masih terus menyerang Badawi.

  38. Anonymous11:39 am

    Salam Bro Rocky,

    Nama TDM ada disebut. Ada video clippings down the memory lane of Proton semasa pelancaran.

    Dato Wan Nik - Bekas Pengarah pun nampak kelibat beliau semasa pelancaran - begitu juga dengan Dato Kol Munip & Tan Sri Adzmi Wahab.

    Ini Era Dato Azlan & Dato Syed Zainal. Mereka ini ikhlas serta jujur dalam melaksanakan tugas. No hidden agenda.

    Puas dah mereka kena `belasah` kiri-kanan & depan belakang. namun masih utuh.

    Saga baru memenuhi cita-rasa rakyat Malaysia. Ianya mampu milik. Bayar banyak tu dapat barang pun macam tu le. Nak lebih-lebih tambah duit le.

    Pak Lah tidak Lupa akan jasa Tun. Cuma Tun punya `Aura` terlalu kuat untuk ditandingi. Macam Aura Siti Norhaliza & Mawi.

    TDM mungkin tersenyum ~ melihat akan pokok saga yang kini nampak sihat serta membesar setelah dipukul ribut, dimakan anai serta cubaan mencabut akarnya kecundang.

    Selamat Maju Jaya Warga Proton.

    Zamrud Hijau.

  39. Anonymous6:07 pm

    ""I wasn't there but at a dinner thrown for journos by Zam last night, old friends told me of how, during the launch, everybody lupa (forgot) to mention "" ...

    Funny ... if you are not there ... just don't report and you should not rely on second hand source an editor once .. you should know better !

  40. Anonymous1:21 am

    dr m was mentioned and featured in the launch video of the saga. he was even seen in a footage driving across the penang bridge in 1985.
    to say that he was forgotten is wrong.
    - hitman -

  41. Anonymous7:21 am

    Anonymous said...
    dr m was mentioned and featured in the launch video of the saga. he was even seen in a footage driving across the penang bridge in 1985.
    to say that he was forgotten is wrong.
    - hitman -

    1:21 AM

    Very true. For the magnitute amount of( TDM ) his ideas, support and babysitting this SAGA thing - he deserve 23 seconds video footage. Big deal.

    ABB tumpang semangkok - pokok dah berbuah ~ tinggal petik & makan atau petik & `jual`. Lembu punya susu ~ Samy dapat nama.

    Whatever it is jangan jual Maruah Bangsa - yang berhempas pulas menjadikan ia satu kebangaan bangsa Malaysia - PROTON.

    Gerry Genuak

  42. Anonymous1:56 am

    Who can deny the fact Tun has brought us where we are today. If not for Tun's gallant effort, we wouldn't be seing KL or Malaysia as we see it today. I will not forget his bravado esp to that Aussie John Howard..."we'll give them a bloody nose" when the Australian PM hinted on pre-emptive strike on Malaysia during the height of war against terrorism in 2002. The crooked bridge would have been up confronting S'pore if Tun stayed on a little while. Did u guys know S'pore threatened our national security, that led to the unexpected cancelation of the crooked bridge. Little wonder when Tun quipped...we have no guts. No doubt Tun has instilled that sense of confidence which we lacked before he took office. Shameful, some of us are just being ungrateful.

    Take heart Tun a lot more Malaysians n others from many parts of the world recognised your contribution. A Great Statesman.

    Terima Kasih Tun Dr Mahathir. May Allah bless you always. Amin.