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Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the decision would not only help save Proton, but also secure the jobs of about 60,000 workers involved either directly or indirectly in the automotive industry. (pix by IQMAL HAQIM ROSMAN)

SEREMBAN: Proton Holdings Bhd would have recorded a loss of RM1 billion this year if the restructuring with China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd. (Geely) was not implemented.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the decision would not only help save Proton, but also secure the jobs of about 60,000 workers involved either directly or indirectly in the automotive industry.

"In any businesses, making a profit is important, to ensure that the business can grow and succeed. The restructuring with Geely was a business decision, not based on emotions," he said.

Najib added that Proton registered a loss of RM500 million last year and had requested an additional of RM1.1 billion for research and development funding this year.

"The people's money were used to save Proton; we can't be funding the company forever.

"But at the same time, we can't let it collapse as thousand of people are relying on the company," he said.

"It's best to have only 51 percent shares of the company and see it making profit, than to have 100 per cent ownership only to see it continue making losses," he said at a breaking of fast event held at Masjid Kariah Paroi here, tonight.

Also present were his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

Meanwhile, Najib also launched the state's eight phase Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB)Village Streetlight Project (VSP).

A total of RM3.4 million has been allocated to install 4,337 units of street lights at all roads throughout the state which will benefit 433 villages.

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