Malaysian Government Builds Automaker and National Prestige

July 27, 2009

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In the 1980s, Malaysia was a fledgling democracy with something to prove. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad wanted the Southeast Asian nation to become a major player on the international scene. He decided what the country needed was a national automaker. So in 1983, Mohamad founded Proton in a partnership with Japanese company Mitsubishi. Herizal Hazri, Asia Foundation's Program Director in Malaysia, tells us more.