1. I am not going to deny that in my time Proton was protected. All countries including Britain, Germany, Japan and Korea protect their car market. Britain had Imperial Preference, Japan and Korea ensured no foreign cars could be imported, even America insists on Japanese, Korean and Germans producing their cars in America, employing Americans and paying high salaries.
2. The protection for Proton cars had been there all along. Without protection we would have no car industry. Proton gained 80 per cent of the market at one time benefiting from protectionism.
3. Because of the APs (Approved Permits) for cars from countries which Proton cannot penetrate (Korea and Japan) sales of Proton went down. Proton lost money, the foreigners made a lot of money with the lower price of their cars sold in Malaysia. Their lower price is due to volume i.e. economies of scale. We could not achieve this because of their protected car market.
4. Now Proton is fighting back despite imports of foreign cars. I was making a comparison only between Proton under the previous management and the present management. The present management is definitely more capable even though foreign cars are still coming in.
5. The keeness to buy Proton is because it is doing well and that it owns a lot of property.
6. I am not responsible for the recent National Automotive Policy. I am not in the Government now. Please make your complaints to the Government.