Former Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad lamented the sale of Malaysia’s national car market Proton to a Chinese automaker in a blogpost on 25 May (Thursday).

On 24 May (Wednesday), DRB-Hicom Bhd sold a 49.9% stake in loss-making Proton Holdings Bhd to China-based Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Ltd.

And as part of the deal, Geely would also buy the entire stake in Lotus for RM555.2m (S$179.92m), exiting the sports car industry, Malaysia media reported.

In his post, Dr Mahathir, who founded Proton Holdings in 1983, said “I am sad. I can cry. But the deed is done. Proton can no longer be national. No national car now.”

He also said he is certain that with the sale, Proton will be sold all over the world.

“With money and superior technology it will compete with Rolls Royce and Bentley. I am sure Proton will do well. It will be a commercial success. It will be sold all over the world. The Proton name will be everywhere.

“It will be like Singapore. Malaysians are proud of this great city-state. If it had not been sold it would be, perhaps, as well developed as Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis. Then we cannot be proud of Singapore,” Dr Mahathir wrote.

But the former PM also added that he cannot be proud of Proton’s success because it would no longer belong to him or to Malaysia.

He said if the country is taken over by others, it would become well developed. “Come to think of it, if our country is sold to others, to the very rich people of other countries, I am sure our country will become well developed too. It can even be a fully developed country – exceeding the expectations of Vision 2020,” he said.

Dr Mahathir, who started Proton with the goal of enhancing the Malaysia industry, referred to Proton as his “brainchild”, adding “the child of my brain has been sold.”

“It is probably the beginning of the great sell-out. The process is inexorable. No other way can we earn the billions to pay our debts. The only way is to sell our assets. And eventually we will lose our country, a great country no doubt, but owned by others,” he wrote.

The ex politician said he will die soon.

“I am already beyond average age. And as I slip into my final years, or month or days, I will watch as our beloved country is sold to foreigners to settle the trillion Ringgits that we owe. We will have to sell more and more of our country,” he added.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia’s asset was its land and that chunks of it had been sold in the past.

“We lost the land we sold. That is what we are doing now. And that will be what we will have to do – or forfeit our country; like we forfeit Proton,” he said.

Dr Mahathir ended his post saying: “I am a sissy. I cry even if Malaysians are dry-eyed. My child is lost. And soon my country.”

Here’s his post in full:

PROTON
(TERJEMAHAN BAHASA MELAYU DI BAWAH)

PROTON
25 May 2017

1. Proton has been sold. It has been sold to foreigners.

2. They say Proton is my brainchild. Now the child of my brain has been sold.

3. Yes. I am sad. I can cry. But the deed is done. Proton can no longer be national. No national car now. We Malaysians are glad to be rid of this pesky car. I am sure Proton will do well. It will be a commercial success. It will be sold all over the world. The Proton name will be everywhere.

4. It will be like Singapore. Malaysians are proud of this great city-state. If it had not been sold it would be, perhaps, as well developed as Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis. Then we cannot be proud of Singapore.

5. Now we can be proud of Proton. With money and superior technology it will compete with Rolls Royce and Bentley.

6. But I cannot be proud of its success. I cannot be proud of the success of something that does not belong to me or my country. Maybe other Malaysians will, but not me. Come to think of it, if our country is sold to others, to the very rich people of other countries, I am sure our country will become well developed too. It can even be a fully developed country – exceeding the expectations of Vision 2020.

7. It will be a great country with super highways, high-speed rail (HSR), gleaming skyscrapers, shining new towns, beautifully landscaped and lighted. But I can’t be proud! Can I be proud to be living on the fringes of this great country so well developed by the buyers.

8. I will die soon. I am already beyond average age. And as I slip into my final years, or month or days, I will watch as our beloved country is sold to foreigners to settle the trillion Ringgits that we owe. We will have to sell more and more of our country.

9. What are our assets? Our land of course!! That was what we did in the past. We sold chunks of our country. We lost the land we sold. That is what we are doing now. And that will be what we will have to do – or forfeit our country; like we forfeit Proton.

10. Proton the child of my brain has been sold. It is probably the beginning of the great sell-out. The process is inexorable. No other way can we earn the billions to pay our debts. The only way is to sell our assets. And eventually we will lose our country, a great country no doubt, but owned by others.

11. I am a sissy. I cry even if Malaysians are dry-eyed. My child is lost. And soon my country.

12. Please excuse me.