The government continues to consider Proton and Perodua national carmakers because of their contribution to the local automotive industry and because they meet all the necessary criteria defined under the National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP 2020).

According to deputy minister of international trade and industry Liew Chin Tong, this would also apply to any manufacturer capable of meeting the same policies and requirements, as Bernama reports.

“With the criteria laid out under the NAP 2020, any company other than Proton and Perodua that can meet those criteria is also eligible to be considered as a national car project and be given similar treatment,” he said in a question and answer session at parliament yesterday.

He was responding to a supplementary question from Lee Chean Chung (PH-Petaling Jaya), who asked why Proton is still given various special treatment, since it is no longer a national car and was only 51% locally-owned.

Liew denied that Proton was given special treatment despite it being controlled by the private sector. “The government does not provide special treatment to Proton or Perodua. Under the NAP 2020, the criteria for a Malaysian vehicle project set Proton’s status as a local vehicle manufacturer,” he explained.

He said the requirements included having a local majority ownership, focusing on the development of local supply chains; carrying out local R&D activities and providing employment opportunities for Malaysians.

Liew said Proton has provided job opportunities for 8,500 people, with 99% of them from the local community. “Proton also appoints more than 180 Tier-1 local companies in its entire supply chain and the average value of local procurement is between 75% and 80%, especially for models that are fully developed locally,” he said.

He, however, said the ministry was ready to update the NAP to align with the development of the global automotive industry, which has seen rapid changes in recent years.

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