Saturday August 12, 2017
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File photo of a Proton service centre in Petaling Jaya.  — File picFile photo of a Proton service centre in Petaling Jaya. — File picKOTA KINABALU, Aug 12 — Kota Kinabalu Umno Youth has proposed that national carmaker, Proton, set up its automotive plant in Sabah, following its strategic partnership with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd.

Its Chief Mohd Bahrin Abd Karim said Sabah would be a strategic location for Proton-Geely to build an automotive factory outside of Peninsular Malaysia as it was situated at the centre of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

In June this year, Proton’s parent company, DRB-Hicom Bhd signed a definitive agreement with Geely, a Chinese automotive conglomerate, to sell a 49.9 per cent stake in Proton Holdings Bhd to the latter.

 This strategic partnership will propel the production of Proton cars at the international level including in Southeast Asia.

Mohd Bahrin said 10 years from now, Sabah would have a world-class port at Sepanggar, as well as the Pan Borneo Highway, which would connect the state with other regions in the BIMP-EAGA, especially Brunei and Kalimantan, Indonesia.

“KK Umno Youth believes that it is time for Sabah to have an automotive plant to enable the state to grab the opportunities and market potential of the automotive industry in the BIMP-EAGA region,” he said in a statement issued at the Kota Kinabalu Umno Youth, Wanita and Puteri delegates meeting here today.

The meeting was officiated by Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani who is also Umno Supreme Council Member. Elaborating further, Mohd Bahrin said he is optimistic the development of the automotive plant would directly open up employment opportunities to more youths in Sabah in the automotive sector, which ultimately would reduce unemployment.

He also called on DRB-HICOM, which previously had a branch in Sabah, to reopen its branch in preparation for the proposal. — Bernama

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