Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Port Klang FZ Conduit for MCA Slush Fund? 2004-RM1.8 Billion; 2007-RM3.6 billion; And the connection? General Election years & all Signs are there

Malaysiakini (ABOVE) had the report H E R E on Ronnie Liu making his 3rd Police Report concerning the massive injection of funds into PKFZ claiming the failure of the Police to act has cause a loss of RM3 b. Where have this money disappear to?

DAP Ronnie Liu (BELOW) 3rd Police report on PKFZ

As there were no actions taken so far on previous reports, DAP head of NGO bureau on Tuesday 14th 2007 at the Klang Police Headquarter (ABOVE) made his 3rd report on this MCA engineered and controlled ”funding & spending” fiasco – a “national project” they classify it.

First Report: Dec 2004; DAP Ronnie Liu alleged then MCA Leader Datuk Ling Liong Sik spent RM 1 billion taxpayers money to purchase 1000 acres of “swampy land” in Pulau Indah for the Port Klang Free Zone project – a whopping 44% above the then market value.

Second Report: 11 June 2007- The amount paid was RM1.8 billion instead of the RM1 billion as was believed in 2004

Third Report: 14th Aug 2007; the project has now ballooned to RM4.63 billion as reported everywhere. He wants fast action to be taken before more money is wasted to bail out this MCA driven & controlled project. According to Ronnie, RM3 billion could have been saved. But many believe it is a convenient Front set up for channeling in of funds for MCA

Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Wijaya Baru Global Bhd, bought the land from Fishermen Cooperatives for RM95 million & MCA Ling paid RM1.8 billion for it making a more than handsome profit. Yet Kuala Dimensi appointed as a turnkey contractor to develop the PKFZ had to issue bonds to finance the development costs, but is now unable to repay bond payment totalling some RM570 million. So where have the money been siphoned off to? Kuala Dimensi has since flagged another RM3.6 billion in cost overruns since starting the project in 2003,"

"The Government initially approved a cost of RM100 million to develop PKFZ, after which any additional cost had to be approved first by the Ministry of Finance.

The next GE is around the corner and what a strange coincidence, about one-and-a-half months ago, the company had asked the Government for a soft loan amounting to RM3.6 billion, being the sum spent to develop PKFZ. "It is understood that the Government has approved it, which brings the total project cost to RM4.6 billion, including for land acquisition. Port Klang Authority's RM3.4 billion debts comprise commercial bonds and asset-backed securities. PKA GM said the government had in principle agreed to extend them a soft loan of RM4.6 billion to take care of the loan as PKFZ was considered a "national project". What strategic importance is this PKFZ? Is it another MAS or PROTON in the making? Are these not legitimate excuses and a convenient way to funnel in approved funds and skimmed them off as MCA slush fund?

And this is what DAP leader described the PKFZ setup Front said “behind the massive expenditure is an intrigue of family deals, demands, interference by politicians and government officers with vested interests, attempts at tax evasion, gigantic cost over-runs, unauthorized payments, influence peddling, cloak-and-dagger operations, and above all, a total lack of transparency and accountability and care-a-damn attitude by the key personalities involved.”

Are all the above not perfect ways, means and excuses pointing to the siphoning of funds for the setting up of a “slush fund?”

NB All the above details are from a previous post H E R E

= = == = =

Now what is a Slush Fund?

According to Wiki a Slush fund is a colloquial term which has come to mean an auxiliary monetary account or a reserve fund. However, the term has special meaning within a context of corrupt (including but not limited to) political dealings by governments, large corporations or other bodies and individuals. Slush funds can have particular elements of illegality, illegitimacy, or secrecy in regard to the use of this money and the means by which the funds were acquired.

Political dealings with slush funds tend to create suspicions of quid pro quo (buying political favors), and can be viewed on the surface as corrupt and subversive of the democratic process. For example, then-senator Richard Nixon was involved in a scandal in 1952 that concerned what was called a "slush fund" of campaign contributions. He went on television with an accounting of the money, and was acquitted in popular opinion.

The term "slush fund" is also used in accounting to refer to a general ledger account in which all manner of transactions can be posted to commingled funds and "loose" monies by debits and credits cancelling each other out.
Another meaning is a fund where one quarter's profits are hidden, in case there isn't enough profit during the next quarter for management to make their bonuses.

Origin Source of term
The term "slush fund" was originally a nautical term; the slush referred to the fat or grease that was obtained by boiling salted meat, the sale of which could then be used to provide the crew with special luxuries. The money obtained from this sale was placed into the so-called 'slush-fund'.

= = = world wide historical evidences
Slush Funds - Examples; By: Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

Updated November 2005According to David McClintick ("Swordfish: A True Story of Ambition, Savagery, and Betrayal"), in the late 1980's, the FBI and DEA set up dummy corporations to deal in drugs. They funneled into these corporate fronts money from drug-related asset seizures.
The idea was to infiltrate global crime networks but a lot of the money in "Operation Swordfish" may have ended up in the wrong pockets. Government agents and sheriffs got mysteriously and filthily rich and the whole sorry affair was wound down. The GAO reported more than $3.6 billion missing. This bit of history gave rise to at least one blockbuster with Oscar-winner Halle Berry.
Alas, slush funds are much less glamorous in reality. They usually involve grubby politicians, pawky bankers, and philistine businessmen - rather than glamorous hackers and James Bondean secret agents.

The Kazakh prime minister, Imanghaliy Tasmaghambetov, freely admitted on April 4, 2002 to his country's rubber-stamp parliament the existence of a $1 billion slush fund. The money was apparently skimmed off the proceeds of the opaque sale of the Tengiz oilfield. Remitting it to Kazakhstan - he expostulated with a poker face - would have fostered inflation. So, the country's president, Nazarbaev, kept the funds abroad "for use in the event of either an economic crisis or a threat to Kazakhstan's security".
The money was used to pay off pension arrears in 1997 and to offset the pernicious effects of the 1998 devaluation of the Russian ruble. What was left was duly transferred to the $1.5 billion National Fund, the PM insisted. Alas, the original money in the Fund came entirely from another sale of oil assets to Chevron, thus casting in doubt the official version.
The National Fund was, indeed, augmented by a transfer or two from the slush fund - but at least one of these transfers occurred only 11 days after the damning revelations. Moreover, despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, the unfazed premier denied that his president possesses multi-million dollar bank accounts abroad.

He later rescinded this last bit of disinformation. The president, he said, has no bank accounts abroad but will promptly return all the money in these non-existent accounts to Kazakhstan. These vehemently denied accounts, he speculated, were set up by the president's adversaries "for the purpose of compromising his name".
On April 15, 2002 even the docile opposition had enough of this fuzzy logic. They established a People Oil's Fund to monitor, henceforth, the regime's financial shenanigans. By their calculations less than 7 percent of the income from the sale of hydrocarbon fuels (c. $4-5 billion annually) make it to the national budget.

Slush funds infect every corner of the globe, not only the more obscure and venal ones. Every secret service - from the Mossad to the CIA - operates outside the stated state budget. Slush funds are used to launder money, shower cronies with patronage, and bribe decision makers. In some countries, setting them up is a criminal offense, as per the 1990 Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure, and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime. Other jurisdictions are more forgiving.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands issued a press release November 2001 in which it welcomed the government's plans to abolish slush funds. They described the poisonous effect of this practice:

"With a few notable exceptions, the practice of directing funds through politicians to district projects has been disastrous. It has created an atmosphere in which corruption is thought to have flourished. It has reduced the responsibility of public servants, without reducing their numbers or costs. It has been used to confuse people into believing public funds are the 'property' of individual members rather than the property of the people, honestly and fairly administered by the servants of the people.
The concept of 'slush-funds' has resulted in well documented inefficiencies and failures. There were even accusations made that funds were withheld from certain members as a way of forcing them into submission. It seems that the era of the 'slush funds' has been a shameful period."

But even is the most orderly and lawful administration, funds are liable to be mislaid. "The Economist" reported recently about a $10 billion class-action suit filed by native-Americans against the US government. The funds, supposed to be managed in trust since 1880 on behalf of half a million beneficiaries, were "either lost or stolen" according to officials.

Rob Gordon, the Director of the National Wilderness Institute accused "The US Interior Department (of) looting the special funds that were established to pay for wildlife conservation and squandering the money instead on questionable administrative expenses, slush funds and employee moving expenses".
Charles Griffin, the Deputy Director of the Heritage Foundation's Government Integrity Project, charges: "The federal budget provides numerous slush funds that can be used to subsidize the lobbying and political activities of special-interest groups."
On his list of "Top Ten Federal Programs That Actively Subsidize Politics and Lobbying" are: AmeriCorps, Senior Community Service Employment Program, Legal Services Corporation, Title X Family Planning, National Endowment for the Humanities, Market Promotion Program, Senior Environmental Employment Program, Superfund Worker Training, HHS Discretionary Aging Projects, Telecomm. & Info. Infrastructure Assistance. These federal funds alone total $1.8 billion.

"Next" and "China Times" - later joined by "The Washington Post" - accused the former Taiwanese president, Lee Teng-hui, of forming a $100 million overseas slush fund intended to finance the gathering of information, influence-peddling, and propaganda operations. Taiwan footed the bills trips by Congressional aides and funded academic research and think tank conferences.
High ranking Japanese officials, among others, may have received payments through this stealthy venue. Lee is alleged to have drawn $100,000 from the secret account in February 1999. The money was used to pay for the studies of a former Japanese Vice-Defense Minister Masahiro Akiyama's at Harvard.
Ryutaro Hashimoto, the former Japanese prime minister, was implicated as a beneficiary of the fund. So were the prestigious lobbying firm, Cassidy and Associates and assorted assistant secretaries in the Bush administration.
Carl Ford, Jr., currently assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research, worked for Cassidy during the relevant period and often visited Taiwan. James Kelly, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs enjoyed the Taiwanese largesse as well. Both are in charge of crafting America's policy on Taiwan.

John Bolton, erstwhile undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, admitted, during his confirmation hearings, to having received $30,000 to cover the costs of writing 3 research papers. The Taiwanese government has yet to deny the news stories.
A Japanese foreign ministry official used slush fund money to finance the extra-marital activities of himself and many of his colleagues - often in posh hotel suites. But this was no exception. According to Asahi Shimbun, more than half of the 60 divisions of the ministry maintained similar funds. The police and the ministry are investigating. One arrest has been made. The ministry's accounting division has discovered these corrupt practices twenty years before but kept mum. Even low-level prefectural bureaucrats and teachers in Japan build up slush funds by faking business trips or padding invoices and receipts. Japanese citizens' groups conservatively estimated that $20 million in travel and entertainment expenses in the prefectures in 1994 were faked, a practice known as "kara shutcho" (i.e., empty business trip).

Officials of the Hokkaido Board of Education admitted to the existence of a 100 million yen secret fund. In a resulting probe, 200 out of 286 schools were found to maintain their own slush funds. Some of the money was used to support friendly politicians. But slush funds are not a sovereign prerogative. Multinationals, banks, corporation, religious organizations, political parties, and even NGO's salt away some of their revenues and profits in undisclosed accounts, usually in off-shore havens.
Secret election campaign slush funds are a fixture in American politics. A 5-year old bill requires disclosure of donors to such funds but the House is busy loosening its provisions. "The Economist" listed in 2002 the tsunami of scandals that engulfs Germany, both its major political parties, many of the Lander and numerous highly placed and mid-level bureaucrats. Secret, mainly party, funds seem to be involved in the majority of these lurid affairs.
Italian firms made donations to political parties through slush funds, though corporate donations - providing they are transparent - are perfectly legal in Italy. Both the right and, to a lesser extent, the left in France are said to have managed enormous political slush funds.President Chirac is accused of having abused for his personal pleasure, one such municipal fund in Paris, when he was its mayor. But the funds were mostly used to provide party activists with mock jobs. Corporations paid kickbacks to obtain public works or local building permits. Ostensibly, they were paying for sham "consultancy services".

The epidemic hasn't skipped even staid Ottawa. Its Chief Electoral Officer told Sun Media in September 2001 that he is "concerned" about millions stashed away by Liberal candidates. Sundry ministers who coveted the prime minister's job, have raised funds covertly and probably illegally.
On April 11, 2002 UPI reported that Spain's second-largest bank, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), held nearly $200 million hidden in secret offshore accounts, "which were allegedly used to manipulate politicians, pay off the 'revolutionary tax' to ETA - the Basque terrorist organization - and open the door for business deals, according to news reports." The money may have gone to luminaries such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Peru's Alberto Fujomori and Vladimiro Montesinos. The bank's board members received fat, tax-free, "pensions" from the illegal accounts opened in 1987 - a total of more than $20 million.
Latin American drug money launderers - from Puerto Rico to Colombia - may have worked through these funds and the bank's clandestine entities in the Cayman Islands and Jersey. The current Spanish Secretary of State for the Treasury has been the bank's tax advisor between 1992-7. The "Financial Times" reported in June 2000 that, in anticipation of new international measures to curb corruption, "leading European arms manufacturers" resorted to the creation of off-shore slush funds. The money is intended to bribe foreign officials to win tenders and contracts. Kim Woo-chung, Daewoo's former chairman, is at the center of a massive scandal involving dozens of his company's executive, some of whom ended up in prison. He stands accused of diverting a whopping $20 billion to an overseas slush fund.

A mind boggling $10 billion were alleged to have been used to bribe Korean government officials and politicians. But his conduct and even the scale of the fraud he perpetrated may have been typical to Korea's post-war incestuous relationship between politics and business. In his paper "The Role of Slush Funds in the Preparation of Corruption Mechanisms", reprinted by Transparency International, Gherardo Colombo defines corporate slush funds thus:

"Slush funds are obtained from a joint stock company's finances, carefully managed so that the amounts involved do not appear on the balance sheet. They do not necessarily have to consist of money, but can also take the form of stocks and shares or other economically valuable goods (works of art, jewels, yachts, etc.) It is enough that they can be used without any particular difficulty or that they can be transferred to a third party.

If a fund is in the form of money, it is not even necessary to refer to it outside the company accounts, since it can appear in them in disguised form (the 'accruals and deferrals' heads are often resorted to for the purpose of hiding slush money). In light of this, it is not always correct to regard it as a reserve fund that is not accounted for in the books. Deception, trickery or forgery of various kinds are often resorted to for the purpose of setting up a slush fund."

He mentions padded invoices, sham contracts, fictitious loans, interest accruing on holding accounts, back to back transactions with related entities (Enron) - all used to funnel money to the slush funds. Such funds are often set up to cover for illicit and illegal self-enrichment, embezzlement, or tax evasion. Less known is the role of these furtive vehicles in financing unfair competitive practices, such as dumping. Clients, suppliers, and partners receive hidden rebates and subsidies that much increase the - unreported - real cost of production.

BBVA's payments to ETA may have been a typical payment of protection fees. Both terrorists and organized crime put slush funds to bad use. They get paid from such funds - and maintain their own. Ransom payments to kidnappers often flow through these channels.But slush funds are overwhelmingly used to bribe corrupt politicians. The fight against corruption has been titled against the recipients of illicit corporate largesse. But to succeed, well-meaning international bodies, such as the OECD's FATF, must attack with equal zeal those who bribe. Every corrupt transaction is between a venal politician and an avaricious businessman. Pursuing the one while ignoring the other is self-defeating.

Note - The Psychology of Corruption

Most politicians bend the laws of the land and steal money or solicit bribes because they need the funds to support networks of patronage. Others do it in order to reward their nearest and dearest or to maintain a lavish lifestyle when their political lives are over.

But these mundane reasons fail to explain why some officeholders go on a rampage and binge on endless quantities of lucre. All rationales crumble in the face of a Mobutu Sese Seko or a Saddam Hussein or a Ferdinand Marcos who absconded with billions of US dollars from the coffers of Zaire, Iraq, and the Philippines, respectively.

These inconceivable dollops of hard cash and valuables often remain stashed and untouched, moldering in bank accounts and safes in Western banks. They serve no purpose, either political or economic. But they do fulfill a psychological need. These hoards are not the megalomaniacal equivalents of savings accounts. Rather they are of the nature of compulsive collections. Erstwhile president of Sierra Leone, Momoh, amassed hundreds of video players and other consumer goods in vast rooms in his mansion. As electricity supply was intermittent at best, his was a curious choice. He used to sit among these relics of his cupidity, fondling and counting them insatiably.

While Momoh relished things with shiny buttons, people like Sese Seko, Hussein, and Marcos drooled over money. The ever-heightening mountains of greenbacks in their vaults soothed them, filled them with confidence, regulated their sense of self-worth, and served as a love substitute. The balances in their bulging bank accounts were of no practical import or intent. They merely catered to their psychopathology.These politicos were not only crooks but also kleptomaniacs. They could no more stop thieving than Hitler could stop murdering. Venality was an integral part of their psychological makeup.

Kleptomania is about acting out. It is a compensatory act. Politics is a drab, uninspiring, unintelligent, and, often humiliating business. It is also risky and rather arbitrary. It involves enormous stress and unceasing conflict. Politicians with mental health disorders (for instance, narcissists or psychopaths) react by decompensation. They rob the state and coerce businessmen to grease their palms because it makes them feel better, it helps them to repress their mounting fears and frustrations, and to restore their psychodynamic equilibrium. These politicians and bureaucrats "let off steam" by looting. Kleptomaniacs fail to resist or control the impulse to steal, even if they have no use for the booty. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV-TR (2000), the bible of psychiatry, kleptomaniacs feel "pleasure, gratification, or relief when committing the theft." The good book proceeds to say that " ... (T)he individual may hoard the stolen objects ...". As most kleptomaniac politicians are also psychopaths, they rarely feel remorse or fear the consequences of their misdeeds. But this only makes them more culpable and dangerous.
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MORE PICS & Video Clip1.6 litre Proton Persona Launch –15-Aug-07; Proton Wira replacement; Price Ranges: RM44,999 to RM55,800 in Six Colours

ABOVE & BELOW: Malaysiakini latest report ( H E R E) has former Proton CEO Mahalee Ariff fuming over the sale of MV Augutus for RM5 when BMW paid RM420 M for one of its brand Husqvarna

Proton will have to sell thousands more cars to recover this stupid sale

ABOVE: The Proton models with the New Proton Persona

Proton Hopes New Car Lifts Sales; Wednesday August 15, 6:39 am ET

Malaysia's Proton Pins Hopes on New Car to Lift Sales, Return to Profit

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Malaysia's money-losing car maker Proton launched a new stylish sedan Wednesday that it hopes will lift its sagging sales and return the company to profit. The new Pesona model, together with Proton's new ventures in China, will "mark the emergence of Proton from its low ebb," Managing Director Syed Zainal Abidin said in a company statement. Proton has been losing money and market share in Malaysia, Southeast Asia's biggest passenger car market. Its domestic market share has plunged to around 23 percent from 60 percent in 2002 amid stiff competition from both domestic and foreign rivals. Syed Zainal was quoted by national news agency Bernama as saying that Proton hopes to export the new car to Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Britain and Australia to reap economies of scale. Proton "cannot concentrate on the domestic market alone as it is getting smaller and smaller. That's why export is going to be the approach," he was quoted as saying. Some analysts, however, are not convinced the Pesona can greatly boost Proton's fortunes. "The sales target for the new sedan is achievable but it would be at the expense of Proton's other models," said Kenny Yee, research chief at local brokerage OSK Securities."Net-net, Proton's car sales for the full year is likely to be flat," he said.

ABOVE & BELOW: The showroom models

State-owned Proton aims to sell 30,000-40,000 units of the 1.6 liter Proton Pesona within the first year of launch, Chairman Azlan Hashim told reporters. Proton said in its statement it could sell up to 48,000 units of the car during the first 12 months. Available in auto and manual versions, the car is competitively priced between 44,999 ringgit (US$12,857; €9,460) and 55,800 ringgit (US$15,943; €11,730), officials said.

The company, which is 43 percent-owned by state investment arm Khazanah Nasional, reported a loss of 591.4 million ringgit (US$169 million; €124 million) for the year ended March 31, 2007 but expects to be profitable in the new financial year. Last month, Proton said it would sell at least 30,000 cars to Chinese firm Youngman Automobile Manufacturing Co., marking its first foray into China. The car maker is also still in talks with Germany's Volkswagen AG on a possible alliance, with a final decision expected to be made by the end of the year, officials have said. The entry of a foreign partner is crucial to help consolidate and strengthen its business, Proton has said.

ABOVE & BELOW: The front & back views of the launch model

Proton has pledged to cut costs, boost exports and introduce new models to prop up sales. Besides the new Persona sedan, Proton plans to release other models including a multipurpose vehicle in 2009, officials said. Proton thrived for years in a protected environment in which high duties were imposed on imported vehicles, forcing many Malaysians to buy Proton cars. But duties have been slowly lowered in line with a regional trade pact, and more Malaysians are buying imported cars.

ABOVE: The standard sports rim and BELOW: The rear interior

= == == == = == == = BELOW: The back interior

August 15, 2007 17:56 PM

Azlan Sees Bright Future For Proton With Persona Launch

SHAH ALAM, Aug 15 (Bernama) -- Proton Holdings Bhd chairman Datuk Mohammed Azlan Hashim said the future of the national car maker looks bright as it has taken steps to embrace change to remain competitive in a rapidly changing market environment. "The future certainly looks bright for Proton," he said at the launch of the Proton Wira replacement model, the 1.6 litre Persona here. The Persona, he said, is testimony to the investments made in the technology facilities and the people, and with its launch, Malaysians from all walk of life have another reason to be proud of the nation's achievements. "Everyone at Proton, from management to factory floor employees, are working closely together and with the continuous support from the vendors community and dealers, we will together see Proton (moving) to a new height," he added.

The four door sedan, Proton's fifth model, was launched by the Yang diPertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin. Tuanku Mizan was accompanied by Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah at the event. Available in both manual and auto versions, the Persona is considered the most competitively priced 1,600cc car as its indicative price ranges from RM44,999 to RM55,800. Looking forward, Mohammed Azlan said Proton has a lot more to do and a lot more to learn while at the same time needs to improve its products and services as well as itself as a corporate entity.

ABOVE : The front panel and BELOW: The steering wheel compartment

Touching on product development, he said Proton itself has high expectations for the Persona and is hoping that the new sedan will serve as the benchmark for its other new models. The new car was designed and developed based on the targeted customers' inputs and requirements, which he said is a new management approach to develop new Proton models. And he promised more new models in the next 12 months. "From this we can and should be able to judge better Proton's resilience and ability to compete and prosper going forward from this new model onwards," he added.

ABOVE & BELOW: The well tested Campro engine

Pre-launch, Proton had received in excess of 2,200 bookings for Persona from customers.
This has given Mohammed Azlan reason to be optimistic that the model will meet the sales target of between 30,000 and 40,000 units within the next 12 months.

"Insya Allah, this new car will put Proton quickly back on the road to regain its premium position," he said. Mohammed Azlan also said that over the years Proton had invested over RM6 billion in research and development as well as technically advanced and modern facilities, which now include the Virtual Reality Centre. "This sophisticated centre is the first of its kind in an automotive manufacturing plant in Malaysia and was launched earlier today by the Yang diPertuan Agong," he said. Mohammed Azlan also disclosed that Proton has embarked on a joint effort with the Ministry of Higher Education to provide internship programmes particularly for community college students who are majoring in automotive engineering at Proton Service Centres nationwide.
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This latest addition to the PROTON family is the fifth model fully built by PROTON after the introduction of the Waja in 2000, the Gen.2 in 2004, the Savvy in 2005 and the Satria Neo in 2006. Developed with the PROTON i-CARE commitment to improve every quality aspect - from design, styling and production to sales and after-sales, the Persona is a PROTON re-defined.As per its namesake, this newborn in the PROTON stable is an impression of beauty with advanced styling, generous interior and luggage space, practical with safe attributes and value for money proposition.

Bookings exceeding 2,200 units have been received for the PROTON Persona, even before it was officially unveiled by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, with 350 cars already registered and delivered to customers nationwide upon launching. Chairman of PROTON Holdings Berhad, Dato’ Mohammed Azlan Hashim, said the fact that the bookings were made before the unveiling of the actual car is testimony of the public’s belief and confidence in PROTON. “It is an endorsement of You Can Count On Us promise that we made with the launching of the PROTON i-CARE, which is a commitment to quality made by all PROTON citizens” he added. “We are extremely proud of this new product as it was built in accordance with PROTON’s new philosophy of producing the right car for the right market at the right price,” he further explained.

Dato’ Mohammed Azlan went on to say that,” PROTON has taken stringent measures from all aspects man, machine, management and also encompassing our business associates, the vendors and dealers, to ensure that this model and all upcoming models consistently meet the quality expectations of the public. PROTON, buoyed by the encouraging initial response, is targeting sales of 4,000 units per month.

The Persona is available in five variants - the 1.6 base-line automatic and manual; 1.6 medium-line, automatic and manual; and 1.6 high-line automatic only. The model currently comes in six colours; Blueberry tea, Light gold, Tranquillity black, Metal grey and Solid red. The seventh colour, Solid white, will be made available from September onwards.

The national car manufacturer’s latest offering is the most competitively-priced model in the 1,600 cc category, with the price ranging from RM44,999 to RM55,800

Managing Director,(ABOVE) Dato’ Haji Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir expressed optimism that the Persona will be a car that excites, with its stylish yet practical exterior and interior. Its aerodynamic and advanced styling enhanced by the elegant face design with exquisite front grille as well as stylish rear end and tail design is bound to turn heads on the road. The dark grey interior for practicality, chrome finishing for exquisite appearance, and meter combination with built-in clock for functionality together with the roominess of cabin space will warm the hearts of motorists and passengers. Powered by the improved 1.6 Campro engine, the Persona holds promise of smooth drivability and ride comfort. It also boasts of fuel economy that is very competitive in the 1,600cc segment. “It will be the car that makes the difference,” added Syed Zainal, who is also optimistic that the launch of PROTON Persona together with several recent developments of tie-ups in international markets will mark the emergence of PROTON from its low ebb. Just last month, PROTON announced its landmark deal with Youngman Automobile Group of China which has been billed as a development that will jumpstart PROTON’s turnaround. This was followed by the introduction of Waja and Neo in Indonesia, another big market for Proton. The addition of these two models is a quick follow-up on the successes PROTON have had with Gen.2 and Savvy in the Indonesian market. PROTON also posted the greatest improvement in customer satisfaction from the recent survey conducted by JD Power, which reiterates and underscores PROTON’s commitment to quality.

= = == = == = =
Now for prices:
Proton Persona 1.6AT H-Line MetallicRM55,800
Proton Persona 1.6AT M-Line Metallic – RM52,800
Proton Persona 1.6MT M-Line Metallic – RM49,800
Proton Persona 1.6AT B-Line Metallic – RM48,449
Proton Persona 1.6AT B-Line Solid – RM47,999
Proton Persona 1.6MT B-Line Metallic – RM45,449
Proton Persona 1.6MT B-Line SolidRM44,999

All prices are on the road with insurance for Peninsular Malaysia. The prices have changed slightly since the teaser prices were announced last month – the Base-Line models are now slightly cheaper. While it won’t really reflect much in your monthly instalment amount, breaching the RM45,000 barrier by RM1 ringgit serves as a psychological encouragement to buy the car. Proton has negotiated with all banks for them to offer an interest rate of 3.88% for the Proton Persona.
(M) - Metallic Paint, (S) - Solid Paint
Model range:
BL - 4 power windows, CD player and basic features.
ML - all BL features with additional alloy rims, foldable rear seats, MP3 player and electric door mirror.
HL - all ML features with additional dual airbags, ABS, EBD and standard Captor alarm

BL - Base Line, ML - Middel Line, HL - High Line

= == = =go H E R E for the Video link On
Watch the Video Clip 1min 36 sec - Proton Persona Launch - 15 Aug 07


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