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    DRB-Hicom Bhd yesterday dismissed talk of a new face at the helm of Proton Holdings Bhd, saying that they were mere speculation.DRB-HICOM group MD Datuk Seri Mohd Khamil Jamil said he was surprised with all the names suggested through the media.He also denied news reports that Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff, the outspoken former Proton CEO, would return to lead the national carmaker as chairman. He said the new Proton CEO must not necessary be an engineer but must be capable, focused and have a plan on how to transform Proton from what it is now. Read the full news from Bernama below.

    DRB HICOM YET TO ENDORSE ANYBODY AS PROTON CEO, SAYS MD

    KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — DRB Hicom Bhd Group Managing Director Datuk Seri Mohd Khamil Jamil has quashed speculation that a new chief executive officer (CEO) has been endorsed to head Proton Holdings Bhd.

    “I’ve got in my mind the formation of the new management (for Proton) but for the time being I can’t revealed because I’ve got no access,” he said.

    Hence, Mohd Khamil said he was surprised when a certain name was highlighted through the media as the person to be appointed as CEO and had been endorsed by DRB Hicom.

    “I’m not endorsing anybody as CEO yet,” he told reporters at the signing of an international collaborative agreement between Liverpool John Moores University and International College of Automotive here today.

    Last month, DRB Hicom announced a proposed acquisition of 42.74 per cent equity interest in Proton from Khazanah Nasional Bhd for RM1.3 billion cash and a mandatory general offer for the remaining Proton shares for RM5.50 a piece.

    Mohd Khamil said he had yet to see Proton management officially to discuss the future of the national car manufacturer.

    He said DRB Hicom would need to complete the acquisition process before going into the details in terms of its future direction.

    Asked whether the shareholders would respond positively to the deal, Mohd Khamil said they have been accommodative.

    “They’ve expressed their support to our decision to take over Proton and I hope they would also endorse and agree with our decision at the upcoming extraordinary general meeting,” he said.

    On whether DRB-Hicom would dispose Proton’s loss-making unit, Lotus Group, he said, the company needs to have access and has to look at Lotus because it was one of Proton’s important element.

    “We’ve to make calculations and make an evaluated decision,” he said, adding that he could not dispose Lotus Group without knowing the details of what Lotus was all about and how it could fit into DRB-Hicom’s future plans.

    On DRB-Hicom’s plans for Proton’s under-capacity Tanjung Malim plant, Mohd Khamil said there must be a rasionalisation instead of maximisation.

    “It’s easy to maximise the capacity like how we did at our automotive plant in Pekan, Pahang.

    “But as a car manufacturer, we must not only look into maximising capacity, but also look at production and manufacturing cars to fit proton’s DNA,” he added.

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