PEKEMA Accuses Proton's New Management Of Discrimination Against Bumiputera Distributors

They argued that bumiputera vendors may be forced to close down within the next six months.

Cover image via Kinibiz/SparkCreative (Edited)

President of the Malaysian Association of Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders (PEKEMA), Zainuddin Abdul Rahman accused the new Proton management, under China's Geely, of discriminating against bumiputera distributors

His claim was in response to a new Proton directive for its distributors to upgrade from a 1S (sales only) centre to 3S (sales, service and spare parts) centre within a year. 

Zainuddin also stressed that this directive pressures bumiputera distributors as 85% of them only have 1S centres.

According to Sinchew Daily, Zanuddin was also concerned with Proton "ditching the bumi agenda" and being taken over by Geely completely

Geely's CEO Li Chunrong.

Image via Malaysiakini

Zainuddin expressed his worry that Bumiputera-run 1S centres may not be capable of upgrading to 3S status within the required timeframe

In an interview with Mingguan Malaysia, Zainuddin stated that the directive from Proton came with "no compromise or negotiations".

"The person who is in charge of the planning and development of Proton sales representative is being led by a non-bumiputera who surely would not have the spirit to help bumiputera," he added. 

3S Proton centre in Pasir Gudang.

Image via Paul Tan

According to Sinchew Daily, a representative for Proton's bumiputera distributors complained that the management has been turning a blind eye to "unhealthy competition"

In the report, the representative argued that the distributors who give customers "ridiculously high discounts" were mostly non-bumiputera, which "destroys" bumiputera distributors. The representative also called for better oversight from Proton's management. 

Furthermore, Zainuddin also claimed that Proton will only allow the 3S centres to sell the upcoming, complete-built-up (CBU) Boyue model

"This is a form of subtle discrimination against bumiputera 1S distributors who will not be given the right to sell the CBU Boyue," he added. 

Boyue will be the first new Proton model under Geely's management.

Image via Paul Tan

Zainuddin is worried that non-bumiputera distributors will monopolise Proton's market after the many closures of bumiputera distributors since November 2017

Zainuddin said some PEKEMA members complained that they have been making losses as high as 40% to 50% per month in comparison to previous years. As a result, many bumiputera-run centres have either experienced a change in ownership or closed down entirely. 

According to Zainuddin, there are only two bumiputera distributors in Klang Valley that have attained the 3S status. 

Zainuddin called on the government to intervene in order to maintain Proton's "bumi agenda"

He stated that many bumiputera distributors are unable to achieve the required 3S status as Proton itself has not been performing well, which led to a decline in the company's market share. 

He also criticised Proton's management for being out of sync with PM Najib Razak's wish and effort to maintain Proton's future, adding that if the government does not intervene, many bumiputera distributors will be forced to close down.

Do you think Zainuddin made a fair statement? Let us know in the comments below.

Zainuddin claimed that Proton will only allow 3S distributors to sell the new Boyue model. Here's what Proton's first SUV looks like:

In other news, this Proton dealer accepts Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment:

You may be interested in: