Jokowi: "It Was Very Fast But I Had No Fear Because Bapak Tun M Was Behind The Wheel"

The Indonesian President was referring to a test drive in a Proton driven by Dr Mahathir.

Cover image via Straits Times/EPA-EFE

Earlier today, President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, during a press conference with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir, recalled a test-drive he had taken in a Proton car with Tun Dr Mahathir in 2015

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir, who is currently in Indonesia for his two-day official visit, was Proton chairman back in February 2015 when Jokowi was in Malaysia.

Recalling the event from 2015 when he was invited by Dr Mahathir to test-drive a Proton car, Jokowi related how he wasn't "afraid" while sitting inside a Proton car that was being driven by Tun M at 180km per hour on the Sepang race circuit.

"But I was not afraid, I was not worried because the driver was Bapak Tun Mahathir," Jokowi said, adding that, "If it was not him, I think I'd be afraid."

Tun Dr Mahathir, who chose Indonesia as the first ASEAN state for his official visit since his return to power, also recalled the event

"I was no longer the Prime Minister then.

"I drove the car at a speed of 180km per hour on the Sepang race circuit. The President did not complain at all," Tun Dr Mahathir recalled, adding that although, he himself was afraid to drive the Indonesia President, to which Jokowi responded with spontaneous, hearty laughter, according to a report in The Star Online.

Image via Reuters

The two leaders have agreeed to revive a joint car development project between Proton and Indonesia to produce an ASEAN car

The idea, first mooted on in 2015, did not take off due to unforeseen circumstances.

Proton and PT Adiperkasa Citra Lestari had even signed a MoU which stated the two companies will conduct a feasibility study and explore areas of cooperation.

Today, Tun Dr Mahathir said that while he and Jokowi "had discussed to jointly produce a car made by Indonesia and Malaysia for Southeast Asian nations, it had not been followed up. Now we are looking at reviving the project."

The Prime Minister, however, did not elaborate on the details as to whether the same parties would be involved in the project, or even an expected timeline.

Meanwhile, Tun Dr Mahathir was accorded an official welcome at the Bogor Presidential Palace as Indonesia rolled out the red carpet

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