Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ah, meet Proton's new Big Boss!

Updated: A 3-para goodbye, Syed Zainal quits Proton

Original piece:
The Latest Mr Ibrahim
Mr Ibrahim. Not as illustrious as Anwar Ibrahim or Khalid Ibrahim but that is just a minor misfortune for Mr Ibrahim, the man who sits on Proton's throne. What is important is that with Syed Zainal out of the way (his last day on Thursday) and Dany Bahar mysteriously suspended, Lukman Ibrahim is effectively the guy who will be calling the shots at Proton AND Lotus. Dato' Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil (do they have to spell out all his titles every time - see the press release below - ?) won't have the time as he's got DRB-Hicom to run. Lukman has Dato's Sri Haji Mohd Khamil's vote but everybody tells me he will need more than that to make things work at the national car ...

In the mean time, big shit is going to hit the fan! 
Some £200m worth of shit (see my February posting on the Six Million Ringgit Man). Questions, questions, questions:- Who appointed Dany Bahar? Who managed him all this time? Why was no finance man from Proton placed in Lotus? Why was there no procurement man from Proton placed in Lotus? Why was there no engineering audit on the project? Didn't Syed Zainal vet Dany boy? If he did not, why? What happened to the Proton audit committee? Nomination committee? Internal audit? 

At least Dany Bahar and the new Proton owners agree on one thing, though:- Dany Bahar said Proton should not sell Lotus and, in this latest press release, Proton says it has no intention of selling Lotus.

Confirms Dany Bahar’s suspension

Subang Jaya, 28 May 2012 - Following a number of media queries, PROTON Holdings Berhad (PROTON) today confirmed that, following an operational review, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus plc, Dany Bahar has been temporarily suspended from his role to facilitate an investigation into a complaint about his conduct made by Lotus’ penultimate parent company, DRB-HICOM Berhad.

In Mr Bahar’s absence, Dato’ Lukman Ibrahim, Mr Mohd Khalid Yusof and Mr Aslam Farikullah (representatives of Lotus’ parent companies) have been authorised by Group Lotus plc’s board to handle and conduct the day-to-day management and affairs of the Lotus Group. They will be assisted by Mr Rusman Zaihan. They have been authorised to take up these duties during the suspension period.

PROTON today also reiterated that its holding company DRB-HICOM Berhad (DRB-HICOM) is not selling Lotus, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PROTON, despite the recent media reports on speculation and rumours coming from unreliable sources on the purported intent to sell.

According to Executive Chairman of PROTON Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil, “We acknowledge that Lotus can provide value to PROTON. Lotus is an iconic brand with global presence and positioning, coupled with unsurpassed engineering expertise and a talented workforce.”

Earlier this month, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil visited Lotus facilities at Hethel in Norfolk, UK. In conjunction with the visit, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil also had constructive meetings with South Norfolk MP Mr Richard Bacon and British Business Secretary, Mr Vince Cable. Commenting on the meetings, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil said, “They were both very supportive of our views and developments with regard to the future plans for Lotus. And subsequent to the meetings, the British Government has agreed to consider reactivating the £10 million Regional Growth Fund pledge to support Lotus’s vehicle development plans in Norfolk.”

According to Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil, “Both PROTON and DRB-HICOM will continue to review the existing business plans and financial position of Lotus in taking Lotus forward in the immediate- to medium-term. DRB-HICOM has sent in a team comprising local and international consultants to Lotus from March 2012 to conduct an operations and legal audit on Lotus group of companies.”

The need for this review is especially pertinent in light of the existing financial obligation of Lotus in the form of a £270 million syndicated loan taken at the end of 2010, for which PROTON has given its corporate guarantee.


  1. Anonymous6:50 am

    without all the titles he falls back as a street man...

  2. PakHaji7:26 am

    Kalau sebut Haji Khamil pun cukup, takde laa tergeliat lidah.

  3. Anonymous9:22 am

    ah, iam fed up,they just cant do bussiness, all the way rugi, +-/% =RUGI

  4. Anonymous9:23 am

    Khamil ... Khamil .... hehehe ko ni perasan tak habis.

    Teringat ko minum wain dulu. Tasting macam omputih .... ngadanya.

    Belajar law di ITM, tapi slang macam bapak dia Mat Salleh.

    Jadi lawyer, sombong semacam.

    Masa tak kenal orang, semua orang dia ampu.

    Dah memang mamak Penang, tak tukar perangai.

    Kulit cerah pasal kapal bawang yag tok dan ayah dia naik ada aircon kot???

  5. Anonymous10:44 am

    Alamak, another jaguh kampung trying to take over a Norfolk business....what international experience does this new guy have ? What automotive experience does this new guy have ? It's likely that he is nothing more than a lapdog for Syed Mokhtar, and all the funny things that happen under the previous guy will still happen, but this time it goes into the "right" pocket......

    We are not called Bolehland for nothing.

  6. Anonymous11:25 am

    i've said it before and i'll say it again - proton is no longer a national company. it has been paid for by syed mokhtar. so let him do what he wants ! so lay off, arm chair experts and nosy reporter and bloggers.

    1. Anonymous4:20 pm

      It is a private company but it does give me goosebumps when someone as influential as Dr.m comes out and says it needs Mega cash injection. Where else is the money going to come from if not the public fund?

  7. Anonymous11:32 am

    Kassim Ahmad:

    Proton no longer a national company ? Then why is Mamakthir still on the board ? Why does Proton still enjoy all the tariff protection ? Until the day we have full NAFTA cooperation, Proton is still a national baby which can only survive on government largesse.


  8. The axe should fall on your beloved UMNO President i.e PM (i.e Najib), MOF ( who is also Najib) and Khazanah ( Chairman also Najib)
    Lotus Turnaround Plan Gets Govt Endorsement

    "I'd like to categorically say that you have the endorsement of the Malaysian government and the Khazanah Holdings board as well to go ahead with this turnaround plan," he said at a reception held in conjunction with the visit.

    Total investments required for the five-year turnaround plan Group Lotus is embarking on was 480 million pounds.

    Najib said he detected a high level of professionalism, enthusiasm and morale among those involved.

    The prime minister further said he had a sense that the business plan was do-able and achievable.

  9. Yes but Proton has had so much of our money pumped into it with little return - plus the fact we pay an extra 300% tax for non Porton cars.........
    Koran car industry started same time as us and yet are now world class and exported the world over.
    Protectionism just made Proton fat and lazy...

    1. Anonymous7:38 am

      Agree 100%


  10. Anonymous12:58 pm

    Kassim AHmad

    If that being the case, stop calling Proton a national car then ....

  11. Anonymous2:10 pm

    And are you sure Syed Mokhtar has paid for the shares ? Could it have been the usual sweetheart deal like deferred payment for the country's richest Melayu ?

  12. Anonymous2:17 pm


    That's what happens when a Project was not viable in the Very Beginning!!!

    The Mahaguru Mahathir refused to listen to all the advise given (of course he thinks he is a genius!!) when he started Proton.

    Well....Musical Chairs will Keep Playing until only one person left and that will be Mahaguru Mahathir!!! ( that is if he is still around!!)

    Joe Black

  13. Don't know if you are truly ignorant but you are dead wrong with your view that public should "lay off" Syed and DRB - current owners of Proton brand.

    While DRB is public listed, it is the benefactor of government policy that continues to skew, dictate and control trade in our domestic automotive industry.

    My question to you Kassim Ahmad, why should M'sians continue to pay top dollar for an inferior product ? And mind you, majority of Proton customers base consist is made up of those on the lowest strata of society - tell me who exactly is getting a raw deal ? Who is screwing who ? And don't get me started with the select bunch of AP holders - truly parasites - who persist to lap up abnormal profit, just because of a piece of paper !

    How else can I say this but DRB being another instance of 'Melayu makan Melayu' - not unlike that of Felda Global Ventures taking settlers for a ride and all this business conducted with the blessing and sanction by an immoral UMNO.

    I could go on but I will hold my horses for now.

    My best to Rocky, regards to Kassim Ahmad and all out there.

  14. Anonymous6:34 pm

    .......Dato' Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil (do they have to spell out all his titles every time - see the press release below - ?)


    Takkan tak tahu, sebagai bekas syarikat berkaitan kerajaan mereka hanya mengikut contoh yang ditunjukkan oleh a certain Dato' Seri Utama Dr. blah blah blah.
    Kalau Dato' kurang tengok RTM, pergi la ke 'I Love Me' Blog at



  15. Anonymous7:30 pm

    On paper it's not a national car company but based on responsibility yes.

    On the other hand, if no longer deemed national car, Govt should uplift the tax on imported cars so that average malaysian will have RM500 more disposable income per month and cut this car protection crap that make most of us suffer (vis a vis crap public transportation system).

    Proton can't survive without volume, don't you guys get it? Unless the proton engineers have super duper technology know how to produce cars like Lamborgini or Ferari.

    Anyway, you can't teach people things they don't want to accept.

    Bla bla bla..

  16. Anonymous1:15 am

    Yaa, wats happening to Naza anyway. Don't you know abt their mega con job taking place? It will be out in the papers next week. Sleep tite deliliah.
    Yours lovingly
    D j Remy

  17. Anonymous1:29 am

    'steering the company forward'. Bullshit. This guy has been responsible for the resignation of many able top managers in DRB. He wants everything for himself. And worst still the number 1 man listens to him!

  18. Anonymous1:32 am

    Hey Joe Black. What nonsense are you talking about? You must have shit between your ears. Or maybe nothing at all.

  19. If Proton no longer National Car,abolished all the protection that government make for them. That protection really give huge impact to all of us. Buy national car with low quality..Why can we buy imported car??price is so expensive and ridiculous due to high import tax in order protect national carmaker...If you want to privatize Proton or change the mgmt,its up to them but make sure don't transfer the burden and -ve impact to all Malaysian.

  20. Anonymous6:58 am

    Proton has got its business plan backwards because of Interest Free Sovreign Funding. Once you get free funding and throw meriticracy nad competition out of the window the most lucrative way to do business is go for projects. So you build a spanking state of the art manufacturing plant in Tanjung Malim allow it to waste. The maintanence cost itself is enough to keep a small country going. Then what you do you bring in foreigners to assemble their cars there and you can tell the world and Khazana that the plant is being utilized.Even if only 10% utilization you can convince a compliant Civil Servant that it is 100% utilization.

  21. Anonymous8:12 am

    house style le tu hehe

  22. drMpower11:41 am

    people banging on about korean cars started at similar years as proton and argued where their brands are now and where is proton

    i tell u this

    u have no rights to put up such argument in the first place. one biggest reason is the koreans are not as pathetic as u are. they buy whatever the korean brands sell.

    yes they last time sold crape cars, goods. and of course the korean people were angry because the japanese were superior in all aspect. but the koreans still buy koreans whatever it is.

    but you people? banging around like what what. and putting up comparison between korea brands n proton while all these years you are never going to be 5% as patriotic as they were.

    and one good thing u know last time there was not even 1% of outside brand were allowed in the korea land (people vehicle) but now in malaysia u can always buy whatever u want whatever brand. if dont like proton then stop say bad things just buy whatever u want and shut up. this may sound dictatorism but this what made korea brands who they are nowadays. and where china brands will be in near future.

    protectionism exist.

    unless u can come up with better argument that it doesnt, then it is wise for you to tone down and do whatever.

    as for drb proton, since syed mokhtar bought it off the government, then we should agree that now it is a private entity. the status of national car is not accorded by the kind of business entity. it is accorded by the nation through related ministry etc etc.

  23. Anonymous8:55 pm

    MACC clears Shahrizat over NFC loan

    KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has cleared Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil of her alleged involvement in the awarding of the RM250 million loan to the National Feedlot Corporation.
    The MACC operations evaluation panel has recommended that the investigations on the matter be closed, the commission’s investigations director Datuk Mustafar Ali said.

    The former Women, Family and Community Development Minister, who stepped down from her post when her term as senator ended on April 8, was alleged to have dealings with NFC.

    The NFC is headed by her husband Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail and their three children. The corporation rears cattle for the National Feedlot Centre in Gemas, Negri Sembilan.

    Read more: MACC clears Shahrizat over NFC loan - Latest - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/latest/macc-clears-shahrizat-over-nfc-loan-1.89645#ixzz1wS0KEebM

  24. Since Proton already become private entity, the status of national car no longer valid for Proton... Proton should be same par as Naza....They shouldn't enjoy any privilege anymore....

    If Proton still interested to become one of the player in the automotive industry,please build a car with quality parts and proper R&D. Please don't built an underpower car again as what you have done to Proton Exora CPS.

  25. Anonymous12:59 pm

    National Shame. Marhatir's Shit.


  26. Anonymous4:33 pm


    First, those heaping abuse at the ideas and opinions given here has to understand the difference between Full Fledged Manufacturing and Just Mere Assembling.

    Proton is supposed to be a car Manufacturer, which encompasses Design and Manufacture and not assembling under license which Naza Does. Early days, Proton depended on Mitsubishi for the design and later used other companies' designs

    It has invested Tax Payer's Money in setting up the manufacturing plant and operated using tax payer's money.....

    Giving it to syed mokhtar to continue isn't going to make much difference except that he will try to emulate Perodua. How successful will depend on his management's capability as well as tacit government support/backing.

    Joe Black

  27. stranger4:44 pm

    MeMohd said...

    "Since Proton already become private entity, the status of national car no longer valid for Proton... Proton should be same par as Naza....They shouldn't enjoy any privilege anymore..."

    I dont know why the Arab or Indian got the APS.

    Naza got a lot of APs why? Why enrich only the Nazamudin family. They are not even Malays.

    Syed Bukhari, SPM level arab now with Mahathir as spokesman.

    Have you heard of Syed Bukhari speaking on company policy like Buffet? No, maybe because this guy is some body puppet.

    Anyway those with PHD now are working under university Albukhary. Shows you do not need education. Just connections..

  28. Anonymous6:17 pm


    cut the car price. increase the petrol price. genius!


  29. Anonymous12:11 am

    Lukman Ibrahim...? It's the beginning of the end...
    It's a matter of time.
    Mark my words.


  30. Anonymous10:05 am

    Rocky !
    Whether new boss, old boss or coming new boss they are just the fcuking same!Proton has been a fcuking waste made by that fcuking former PM.
    People have been suckered for too long...
    Dont expect Lotus to toe the line.....so what Proton owns them ?
    Dont expect Melayus to tell those whites to do things your way!For the moment Lotus is holding Proton by the bollocks thats it..!
    Remember BMW ? Germans telling brits to do work? They sold out for one quid....Thats going to happen to Proton...Remmember our fathers were bowing to the whites in the estate and even the royals too...We are still paying for a mad man'dream ....industrialisation my foot!

  31. Anonymous4:47 am

    How about Jaring? soon to be purchased by .....

  32. Anonymous4:18 pm

    Lukman Ibrahim has left Proton & DRB Group effective yesterday.

  33. Anonymous5:49 pm

    Now Lukman resigns. That's some hot seat. Bring Idris Jala in. He can do the job provided given the absolute mandate.

  34. Anonymous1:36 pm

    Nobody can do anything effectively at Proton for as long as Khamil is still there. He wants immediate results without a clear long-term R&D plan, hence the re-badging of Honda cars.

  35. Anonymous6:09 am

    Now it looks like even the Govt don't want the re-badge Proton Accord since they are buying direct from Honda. Maybe that's why Mr Ibrahim is out of work...

  36. Anonymous2:44 am

    Now Mr Ibrahim is back at Proton, thanks to Dr M, stronger & more powerful than ever before. What a big slap on Khamil's face!

    PM has been forced to reconsider decision to buy new Accord at the request of Dr M. Proton now wants to supply rebadge Accord fitted with unproven Petronas engine as Perdana replacement.

    It will be funny to see the PM & ministers driving this crap car while Khamil & Mr Ibrahim are happily driving Audis!

    Malaysia Boleh!