The government is going to great lengths to explain to Malaysians why we need to wean ourselves off subsidies which are costing us RM74billion annually. While I see the need for this, I’m more than peeved that there is a reverse subsidy happening and by this I mean Malaysian motorists subsiding national carmaker Proton via astronomical car import duties.
Almost 20 years into the business and Proton is still a jaguh kampung (village champion) that has not broken through to the global market. Fiercely championed by former PM Tun Dr Mahathir, nobody has dared challenged its existence and because of this, Malaysians have had to live with some of the most expensive car prices in the world.
Look at these figures: Last year, our national fuel subsidy bill was about RM5.6billion whereas Malaysian motorists pay about RM6 to RM7biliion annually in car import duties – this being the effective subsidy we give Proton to help them sell their aging products in this market.
So, if the government wants me to stop adopting a subsidy mentality, they too must reciprocate and stop subsidizing a company that has leeched on taxpayers for so long without much to show.
We give up petrol subsidies, you give up Proton.