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Najib: Proton’s golden era will be restored without Dr Mahathir

Posted: 14 Jun 2016 12:08 AM PDT

The golden era of Proton Holdings Bhd (Proton) is expected to be restored now that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's political interference in the national carmaker has come to an end, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said there had been too much political interference in Proton's strategy management when the former prime minister was holding the Proton chairman post.

"Now, I am pleased to say, there have been significant changes at the top levels of Proton. Tun Mahathir's era of political interference has come to an end.

"We saw the results of that early this year. A manufacturer which should be a source of national pride was facing a very difficult situation," he said at the launch of the fourth generation of Proton Perdana here on Tuesday.

Dr Mahathir resigned as chairman of Proton effective March 30. He had held the post since 2014.

According to Najib, the Government had to step in again to assist Proton in order to protect Malaysian jobs, families who rely on Proton, and to protect the company's business partners.

"We stepped in because the well-being of the people is always our first concern. We will never fail to support Malaysian workers and suppliers. We will always fight to ensure that no one is left behind," he explained.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said it was time for lessons to be learned, and for serious measures and reforms to be put in place for Proton to get back on track and realise its potential once again.

"I am told that in anticipation of its launch, 900 units of the Perdana were pre-booked which shows the confidence that people have in this new model, and their desire for Proton to succeed," he added.

"Proton's new management tells me that they are confident that customers will not only like the Perdana's elegant looks, they will also love the drive. 

"I am looking to getting behind the wheel myself before too long!" he said.

He added: "Let the new car and the new management of Proton be judged on their merits.

"I know that we all wish them every success in growing their sales, in leading in innovation, and ensuring the company has a bright future, both in terms of its products and the well-being of its hard-working employees."

Najib: I never abused my position for personal interest

Posted: 13 Jun 2016 11:09 PM PDT

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has contended that he never abused his position for his personal interest.

The Prime Minister said that he does not exercise control over ministers, police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission officers in carrying out their duties.

Besides that, Najib said he has not exercised any control over the powers and duties of the Attorney-General, who had on Jan 26 found that no criminal offence was committed by him in relation to SRC International and the alleged RM2.6bil donation.

Najib said he held the position of chairman of the board of advisors of 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) at all material times, and had announced that the Auditor-General would carry out an audit of 1MDB but was not responsible for the appointment of the Special Task Force.

He said this in his statement of defence over a lawsuit filed by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and two others against him for alleged misfeasance in public office.

Dr Mahathir, former Batu Kawan Umno division vice-chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and former Langkawi Wanita Umno member Anina Saadudin want Najib to pay RM42mil in aggravated damages to the Government.

In addition, Najib in his defence statement dated June 13, made available to media today, said he had not interfered with the due process of law.

"The defendant will further contend that he has not abused his position as the Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Barisan Nasional chairman and Umno president to further his alleged corrupt practices," he said.

On Dr Mahathir, Najib said the former premier had the right to withdraw support for him and was entitled to voice his criticism on his weblog.

Najib added that police are entitled to question Dr Mahathir if an offence of criminal defamation is committed by the former prime minister and that it was not due to him.

Apart from that, he said the fact that Dr Mahathir had had his position as Petronas advisor terminated did not give rise to the filing of a suit.

On Khairuddin's arrest on Sept 23 last year for an offence under the Securities Offences Special Measures Act 2012, Najib contended that it was not due to him.

On Anina, Najib said if she had any cause of action, action should be against the party or its office bearers.

In asking for the claim to be dismissed with costs, Najib said the plaintiffs had not suffered any personal losses.

He said that the claim for payment of exemplary and aggravated damages was directed to the Government, which was not a party to the claim.

High Court judge Justice Abu Bakar Jais set June 23 to hear an application by Dr Mahathir and two others to obtain leave to cross-examine Najib over content of his affidavit.

In the lawsuit filed in March, the plaintiffs also sought for the High Court to order the Prime Minister to pay RM2.6bil in exemplary damages to the Government.

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