Subang Jaya, 18 May 2020 – As Malaysia moves closer towards the lifting of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), it cannot be denied the flattening of the nation’s infection curve has been achieved by the joint effort of the public and the tireless work put in by frontliners in all areas. From doctors and nurses screening possible virus carriers and dispensing care to those who need it to members of the police and armed forces who have manned thousands of 24-hour roadblocks nationwide, each has played a vital role in the largest control and containment exercise the country has ever seen.
Corporate Malaysia has also stepped up to the plate and many have offered their support in various ways, from the making of PPEs to loaning of vehicles to making financial contributions. PROTON has been no exception and befitting its role as a national automotive manufacturer, it has come up with various ways to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Its initial effort concentrated on helping to ease the logistical needs of medical frontliners. During the MCO Phase 1, 50 units of the Proton X70 were pressed in to service as ferry vehicles for doctors, nurses and Ministry of Health (MoH) officials as they followed up contact tracing of thousands of individuals who were possibly infected. These vehicles are to remain in the service of the MoH for as long as necessary and PROTON will also be providing servicing and maintenance services should they be required.
The next step for PROTON was to utilise its design and manufacturing services to manufacture PPEs. Working together with the MoH and adapting a design from University Teknology Mara (UITM), designers from Proton Design quickly 3D printed prototype frames and when they were approved, handed the design over to the frame manufacturers who would mould the frames from 1500kg of polypropylene contributed by HICOM-Teck See Manufacturing Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
60,000 face shields were manufactured in less than two weeks with deliveries beginning on 16 April to hospitals in Kelantan and other East Coast states. These were then delivered by Pos Logistics Berhad, who also contributed the packing boxes for the face shields. A second batch of 60,000 was also produced for other frontliners including those manning road blocks and was distributed by PROTON’s parent company DRB-HICOM.
DRB-HICOM has also been very active in supporting the battle against COVID-19 in Malaysia. Amongst its contributions, the Malaysian conglomerate handed over RM2 million to help obtain the resources required to beat such a virulent pandemic. Its other subsidiaries were also involved in relief efforts, proving the company’s desire to play a major role in the national level effort.
PROTON’s other owner, Geely, were equally generous in providing medical supplies to Malaysia. The international conglomerate donated disposable 3-ply surgical masks, protective medical clothing, medical goggles and PL 700 ADV ventilators to the MoH on 30 April. These items were then distributed to 55 hospitals located throughout the country that were earlier earmarked by the ministry. The donation, estimated to be worth RM5.5 million, was part of a fund totalling RMB200 million, set aside by the Li Shufu Charity Foundation that was started by Geely Group founder Li Shufu.
Today, as Malaysia perhaps approaches a gradual full reopening of its economy, PROTON remains ready to step back in to the breach to support the government should the rate of infection rise again. The Company remains committed to do whatever it can to ensure Malaysians remain safe, reinforcing its standing as an integral part of the national fabric and proving that it not only makes cars by Malaysians for Malaysians but it will also always focus on Malaysia first.
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