Saturday, June 15, 2019

How to build a car when ........

From MM Online:

How Malaysia has learned nothing from Japan

By Erna Mahyuni

JUNE 12 — Look to the East, our former and current prime minister said. We look but Malaysians have yet to listen.

It still upsets me that Malaysia is still on a pathway to building yet another car when Proton cannot truly be called a success.

We can go to the US or the UK and see people driving Hondas, Hyundais and Kias. But to spot a Proton in a first world country is nigh impossible besides that one time Jeremy Clarkson roasted a Malaysian car.

It is troubling how much our prime minister overestimates the capacity and spending power of our domestic market. We cannot sustain yet another national car, whatever he says.

Our decades of building (more like assembling) cars has not created a skilled, in-demand automative sector workforce.

We are not seen as innovators. To try and compare the Malaysian market and populace with the homogeneous ones in Japan and Korea is unrealistic.

Both countries have superior education systems, more mature economies and different cultural norms.

If the only thing we take from Japan is their building their own cars, it is really quite pointless. We have not, for instance, adopted the Japanese sense of honour and accountability.

In Malaysia, senior executives or statesmen do not resign when a grievous error is made. All you will get is a half-hearted apology and a poorly written press statement and maybe a poor underling or two getting fired.

When you hear “Made in Japan” you think quality or uniqueness. You hear “Made in Malaysia” and you wonder if it isn’t really “Made in China” but outsourced from Malaysia.

We cannot truly be great until we remove the things that prevent us from getting there — our preoccupation with tribalism, pork barrel politics, the national tidak apa (it doesn’t matter) culture and the general slipshod nature that is associated with the Malaysian way of doing things.

The tidak apa attitude can clearly be seen in the current Malaysian Airlines — oh how far it has fallen. Boarding is a mess with no proper boarding queues, there are no proper procedures to deal with cancelled flights and the MAS service counter is a nightmare from the 80s, poorly staffed and run.

When I missed a connecting flight transiting from Japan because of a plane fault, ANA staff was waiting for me when I landed, with both a new ticket and a free coach pass to get to the next airport where my new flight had been booked.

Contrast that to when the KLIA Express broke down a few weeks ago — instead of issuing me a direct refund, staff told me to get to KLIA on my own then “fill in a feedback form” there.

I had to witness a Vietnamese tourist close to tears at the KLIA Express counter as she had very little money left after paying for a ticket, and couldn’t even get a refund.

Don’t talk to me about cars when Malaysians have yet to understand the virtues of punctuality and efficient customer service.

It isn’t just Japan we can learn from — China is industrious, with the most sophisticated manufacturing supply chain in the world, Korea has made marketing its culture an art and Thailand’s economy has proven resilient even in times of political turmoil.

I love my country but sometimes it’s difficult to be proud of it; when we have politicians with limited imagination, tunnel vision and a knack for infighting and a populace forever keening over racial issues.

We can be better, we can do better. It’s time we start on that and not keep listening to the people who will make sure we go nowhere but backwards.


  1. Wouldn’t it be faster and cheaper to buy back the 49.9% Geely share and make Proton a national car (by Toonsie’s definition) again?

  2. The brain is numbed, all sense of logic disappears.

    Zakar Naik must do the right thing. He must choose to leave on his own accord. If he allows India-Malaysia relationship to suffer due to his own selfish interest then he is no Muslim.

  3. Wakakakakakakakaka

    How do you expect Malaysians to emulate Japanese when Malaysians esp in politiking do not understand concepts nor the mentality of Respect to others, Honor, Meritocracy, Humility, Morals, Civility, Patriotism, Excellence, Quality, Health and Hygiene etc etc

    Name me, one Malaysian politician willing to commit Hara Kiri due to Shame or failure to do the right thing or when caught lying and cheating?

    How many percentage of Malaysians will not steal, take, rob, malinger, cheat, ponteng kerja, lie, be punctual, forever blame others faults etc etc. 50%, 70%, 90%, 99%?

    It's not just manufacturing cars but practically everything Malaysians want to do will fail when compared to other developed countries.

    In simple terms there are just too many politicians of the Mat Jenins/dreamers types when the populace are all educated with 3rd world mentality and fear of shadows everywhere to compete and excel in life.

    Honestly, Malaysians are generally mostly Mat Jenins/dreamers without substance. Most of the intelligent and good ones have all left Malaysia to seek their self worth and potential in other countries leaving behind all the laggards to continue dreaming.

    Bring in religion, where Malaysians believe and conduct their work and living hoping for the afterlife which is more important than the current life and that clearly shows, we are nowhere near to adopt Japanese work ethics, morals and excellence.

  4. Maybe we should learn from Vietnam instead...

    I tell you faster to buy back the 49.9% Geely share of Proton

    Vietnam's first homegrown car to be delivered in days
    Published on 15 June 2019

    HANOI, June 15 ― Vietnam's homegrown carmaker VinFast will deliver its first cars on June 17, the company said yesterday as it showcased a factory in one of Asia's fastest growing economies.

    VinFast said it will supply a domestic market that is rapidly expanding thanks to a mushrooming middle class with a growing appetite for cars ― though it will face stiff competition from well-established players like Toyota and Ford.

    The carmaker is a subsidiary of Vietnam's largest private conglomerate, Vingroup, which is owned by the country's richest man, a press-shy billionaire who started his career selling dried noodles in Ukraine.

    It is seeking to tap into national pride with vehicles that include sedan and SUV models, along with e-scooters and even electric buses.

    “In less than 72 hours, the first Vietnamese branded cars will officially be driven on the streets of Vietnam,” said Vingroup director general Nguyen Viet Quanghe.

    Quang ― speaking at the sprawling factory in Haiphong where rows of red, white and grey cars were being assembled ― said the company has received orders for 10,000 cars and “tens of thousands” of e-scooters.

    Vietnam's Prime Minister said he hoped the vehicles would help Vietnam become a household name ― alongside auto-making heavyweights Japan and Germany.

    “Vietnamese are able to do what the world can,” Nguyen Xuan Phuc said.

    Vietnam's fast-growing economy has largely been buoyed by cheaply manufactured goods like sneakers, T-shirts and computer processors.

    GDP growth hit 7.1 per cent last year, and the World Bank says annual growth is expected to reach 6.6 per cent later this year.

    The country has said it hopes to move into value-added and high-tech manufacturing like more developed neighbours like South Korea and Japan.

    Vietnam currently assembles foreign-branded cars for a growing domestic market: auto sales are up 22 per cent year-on-year over the past five months, according to Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers' Association.

    The cradle-to-grave Vingroup empire includes housing, resorts, farms, schools, hospitals, shopping malls and smartphones.

    CEO Vuong is worth an estimated US$7.7 billion (RM32.1 billion)