A Frank Note To Bashers

This note is not centred towards anyone in particular. It too is not written by a car company but by someone who is concerned about how Design is being viewed in our local automotive scene.

I was informed that Proton Design was mentioned in a popular automotive blog and also referred to in a leading online periodical recently. Naturally due to the fact I’m somewhat linked to the national car project’s design team I read the comments with great interest. And trust me, there are many! I guess the national car company will always be a point of interest to many people regardless of race or creed or social standing in life.

From my readings I feel disheartened that there are some individuals who write a lot of negativity about Proton’s design prowess but know nothing of automotive design. ZERO. I believe they are known as ‘bashers’. Bashing as in leaving comments in forums and chat rooms that belittle subjects of their interest. But I doubt if these individuals know what they are talking about, much less have any real interest in the designs which roll off Proton’s assembly lines. But then again it could be they are a misinformed lot. Whatever the case may be, it would certainly be more mature of them to check their thoughts before writing them.

Let me put things in perspective. There are about 28.3 million people in Malaysia today. Of the 28.3 million about 5,000 or so work directly with Proton. Of the 5,000 people less than 1,000 work in R&D and from that lot less than 6% are in the styling team. These are the men and women who toil day in and day out to bring you car styling which compete with only 11 other car manufacturers on planet Earth. They are all 100% Malaysian and proud to be so. And did you know that since the Waja, all of Proton’s car styling are done in-house by our locals? I don’t know about you but I’m damn proud to be working amongst them.

What I’m trying to illustrate is that there are only a handful of us in this country that can critique automotive styling. And I can assure you ‘bashers’ do not come close to being eligible to even speak about car styling. Their opinions have no value to us. Don’t get me wrong, constructive criticism is always welcome and we take heed of genuine market needs. It’s those mindless & childish criticisms which belong to the trash.

Allow me to end this post by saying that I know for a fact our local Malaysian designers can compete against world renowned designers, and WIN. In time, more of this will become obvious but for now let me assure you there’s nothing to stand between us and the rest of the world. It’s all in the mind. If you feel you are inferior then you will become inferior because whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it will achieve. I’m not being delusional. I can make these statements because I’ve interacted and worked with the who’s who of the car styling fraternity and I know where Proton Design stands.

I think there are two types of people in this world – people who can start things and people who can finish things. And while I place great value on the finishers, it’s the starters who are rare because they can envision what isn’t there. ED FRANK


34 thoughts on “A Frank Note To Bashers

  1. Emo, Azlano? lol jkjk!!

    I hope it’s not bcuz DSZ wanting the next Persona to be designed by Italians =)

    Constructive criticism is overrated. These bashers don’t even know the meaning at all. I mean seriously, who in their right mind calls “Proton’s mission is to rob as many as possible from rakyat and then declare bankrupt on 1st Jan 2020” a COSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM? Only fellow bashers would, and opposition fanboys.

    It’s ridiculous, and it’s pathetic. All they keep talking about are Vios is RM40k in Thailand, power window, tin milo etc. See? After Proton crashing 32 Exora prototypes, still call it tin milo.

    Some say Proton maintenance more expensive than BMW and VW. HELLLLLLLOOOOOOO?!?!?!?! My family drives 2 Protons (1991 Saga and 2002 Waja), I’ve never heard from my dad complaining about maintenance reaching four-digit (that complaint however, often comes from my uncle who has E36 BMW 318 and Paul Tan with his E39 and now, his E30. Why would it be popularly known as Banyak Makan Wang or Banyak Masuk Workshop?).

    I told him that he’s going off-topic as the post was about 2 new VW models arriving in Malaysia, and that since a commenter sounds like he’s wanting advice about VW vs BMW maintenance, he suddenly wanna bash Proton. What was his reaction? Ask me to STFU cuz I can’t afford VW.

    1. emo? aren’t designers supposed to be more sensitive than non-designers? otherwise how are we to ‘feel’ the emotions emanating from our experiences?

      bashers will always winge and whine because they are an insolent lot, living in a disillusioned world where their wants do not tally with reality. they always think life abroad is so much better but most of them have never even been there! honestly, if life in Malaysia is so bad then why stay? stop complaining, pack your bags and catch the next flight out. GOOD RIDDANCE.

  2. bro, first of all ignore those who’s writing stupid comment about proton design..most of them talk like “burung kakak tua”, cakap pandai tapi satu benda pasal design pun xtau..automotive design it’s all about form & function..and not all the beautiful design works well..i know u & your team work very hard to push proton design to the highest level..not everyone know that u & your team now are working together with well known italian design company to set a new trend of proton design, correct me if i’m wrong..maybe persona replacement or perdana replacement will open the bashers eyes after this..

    good luck.. 🙂

    1. i feel no matter what we do the bashers will never be satisfied. even if Proton wins the World Car of the Year Award they will probably say we cheated and bribed the judges. somehow they remind me of Jeremy Clarkson; always bitter about everyone/everything else but their kind (in his case, his fervor over everything British).

  3. azlano,
    it is something basics that people forget. designers will firstly adapted to fundamental of design, balance and harmony, its sounds classical
    if we look at germans, british, or some italians their designs i would say has a sustainable beauty, because of this.
    back to ours, looking at protons , protons have this quality. the car is neat, emphesised lines only at the strongest visual effect ,muscular shoulder, cleanly minimalism exterior and interior reflect the idea of functionalism. overall its looks solid visually with heaviness and stable effect.

    very sad many dont understand this. people like the cartoons.
    they dont analyse,

  4. to me Jeremy Clarkson is a clown..he is one of the 3 stooges of Top Gear…even Lotus or Porsche he called it “rubbish”..i wonder why he hate Proton so much… maybe because Proton own Lotus, hahaha.. 😀

  5. I always wondered,how in the world u can stand those cruel bashing.but today, reading ur entry, i guess u r a human after all. You do have threshold.

    I personally like the persona/gen2 the best among the models in proton stable. Neo being the 2nd. Neo could hv been in my toplist if d c-pillar hv more character. But that would mean adding more blindspot to the car. I bet those bashers never understand that you and your team have come up wit a design that is stylish and at the sametimes not comprising much on specification n engineering work(such as safety regulation,structural intergrity).

    I heard,u r sending 2 of ur stylist to italy to observe how d italians do their job.

    1. i guarantee you i’m 100% human…
      bashers are like icing on pastry; all surface no substance. therefore empty inside (now see who’s the ‘tin milo’? HAHA).

  6. azlano,
    proton designer is always to my admiration,
    for italian, its marcello gandini.

    azlano, am i right that marcello gandini designs for VW?

  7. Salam Azlan,

    I am real proud of the transformation of Proton, and very much interested with the progression recent times.

    I acknowledge you for being the pillar of local design automotive. We wish you all the best in making the next great Proton.

  8. Haha, very true. Air Asia offers cheap flight, so what are those bashers waiting for? They want Proton to sponsor them to migrate is it? But they always say Proton wastes “taxpayers’ money”, so isn’t sponsoring them another “waste of taxpayers’ money”? Muahahahaha

    I’ve read one comment even saying “in other countries, the Lambo Reventon is very cheap” LOLWUT?!?! O wao, so why isn’t every single Londoner driving it since it’s “very cheap”?

    They’re out of touch with reality. More and more British are struggling to afford a £100k house, apatah lagi £800k supercar?

    Regarding Jeremy Clarkson, actually he’s had his fair shares of criticizing his own country’s make, especially the Vauxhall Vectra. Recently, he test drove the Lotus Evora, and he really loved it bcuz it’s a supercar that is very, very comfortable much like the Audi R8. As campromania says, he’s more of an entertainer rather than a serious motor journalist. His comments should always be taken with a pinch of salt. I think one has gotta go to UK to be able to fully understand why he’s such. His presentation style and opinion is suited for the British viewers.

    I kind of like his frankness though. I’ve read a few times in some of his books on how motor journalists are so easy to be bought. Treat them with business class flight to somewhere nice like Mediterranean countries, five or six or even seven star hotel, ludicrulously expensive dinners, and they’re sold. They’ll always say all kinds of nice stuffs even when the truth’s not because they’ll want to be pampered like that again on the next model launch.

    He used to do that, until he started working at BBC. By then, people start to recognise his face, and dissatisfied people will come and scold him wherever he goes for telling wrong info about cars. That’s why he stopped becoming an extension of car manufacturer’s PR officer.

    Here in Msia, things are still as what he describe, except for Top Gear Msia. The writers are desperate JC wanna-be, and they always pick Proton as their punching bag. The thing is, they suck at doing that, I’ve stopped buying their mag for a long time.

    Most other mags aside from Hypertune are written by Toyota’s “extended” PR officers. Like JC, they don’t like to get bombarded with calls, mails and emails from the legion of Toyota fanboys in Msia…

  9. Campromania : Yep, hahaha.

    I just remembered one very solid reason why JC’s not really an xenophobic British: he recently was forced to apologise for calling Prime Minister Gordon Brown a “one-eyed Scottish idiot”, and later, he lamented why he can’t be allowed to call a half-blind man “one-eyed”, a man from Scotland “Scottish”, and a moron “stupid” lol. That’s a bit like calling Najib…… better not call him anything I guess hehehe.

    1. Ha, be careful… the Government’s Special Branch might be monitoring this blog and the mere mention of our PM’s name will raise a red alert. :))

  10. azlano, apa khabar? 🙂
    lama dh xjenguk sini sejak blog ni kena ada paswod br bleh enter 😛

    well, i like the design cues of gen2, & surprisingly gen2’s sibling, persona.
    i’m not a designer, i’m an engineer.
    may be i’m not qualified to evaluate the arts of designing, but i still want to speak.
    how many butt-extended car available that looks handsome?
    suzi sx4? nissan latio?
    kudos to ur team, azlano! 🙂

    what it has to do with “engineering”?
    see, in engineering we have the term that most people say “parts bin” or “reuse”.
    it is good to have persona that use gen2 tail light although it is a butt-extended.

    imo, proton’s design team is good at designing.
    i wish the team could absorb those “added beauty” like angel eye head lamp (or curvacious leds), ccfl tailight as in Fünfer (5series la).
    if it is not a burden, could u design a lamp with “depth-perception”, so that the lamp looks like it is a solid piece? not like waja, more like perdana v6.

    but as a car-user, i would love to have a car that is ergonomically design for driver & passanger. i love a car with simplified yet functional dashboard, switches etc.
    i dun want my car to be complicated to operate as if it is an airplane 🙂

    keep up the good work, azlano!

    1. hi farghmee. nice to hear from you again and thanks for your comments. watch out for some new & exciting offerings from Proton Design soon! 😉

  11. Hi, i’m new hear. i didnt have any design background to comments but i believe that “funtion over form” is better than “form over function” right. For me, the latest creation by ur team, exora of course, is really amazing, attention to details is very good in exora design, but i hope that in the future, try to avoid use grey (mono) interior, it makes the interior looks cheap eventhough it is not. A darker colour (such as in toyota wish, vw cars, or germans generally) or dual tones colours like in current waja would be better, or the simplest example is exora prime concept, (the interior colour is really amazing, make it expensive than even honda odesey interior. good job on that), makes the interior look expensive than they are.

    and another thing, i hope that, in the future, maybe proton can sacrify a little bit of money spending on leather steering wheel, gear knob, a little bit leather on the arm rest(i dont know what it called) near the door, near the power window button where we normally rest our hand/elbow near the door even for the base line. if not leather, just put p.u.

    this is very important because we need to focus on the contact/touch point between our body and the interior, it will give the first impression of the car. for example, in any showroom cars or test drive cars, people will seat at the driver side and hold the steering first and then gear knob, if the steering and the gear knob feeling good, they already have good impressiononthe car, and they closed the door/slamm the door to hear the closing sound(make a good closing sound make people thing the car is solid), and they will put their hand on the door and try to imagine they are driving the car. so, if the touch/contact point pampering them, they will lure to buy the car even before driving it. trust me on that. u can see how germans, france,japans, koreans cars nowadays really focus on the touch point. u can see even honda stream doesnt have steering ctrl switch, but they have leather wrapped steering and people just ignore the absense of steering wheel control even hinda city have one.

    i hope u n ur team take notes on my word eventhough i’m not qualified to give comments, i love protons and u n ur team are my pride n joy. i always give proton free promotions by explaining n encourage people to see the good things about proton. hope u all success in the future

    1. mat -> thanks for your comments and long explanations. as i’ve said many times in the past it is never easy to design for the masses. one man’s opinion is another man’s poison right? but we are listening to our customers and your ideas will certainly be deliberated. cheers!

      1. tq for listening :-), i agree withu u that it is not easy to design for tha masses. it is just my observation on the difference of old korean cars and the current one, the old japaneese cars and the old one, n continental cars.

        best of luck for u n proton teams, i hope one day u all be at the top of the world.

  12. Bro,

    My honest opinion, your design is for mass market, good for PROTON to gain volume.

    Just fear that It will become bland like TOYOTA late nineties.

    My preference, is a nice silhouette (civic), and sexy detailing (Perdana V6 C pillar).

    See… for me Civic attracts you close with its outline, but dissapoint when you get close.

    The V6 C pillar will always certainly reminds me of one beautiful gods creature curves….. smooth, flowing, not abrupt etc. Its bloody damn hard to merge all that curve from different angles and planes in CAD Surfacing.

    1. Every car manufacturer has to choose which mode of business it will model itself; mass manufacturer or niche. Each has its pros & cons but safe to say Proton, as a GLC, has chosen with the best interest of Malaysians in mind.

      Your fear of ‘blandness’ is ours as well and measures have already been put in place to ensure that doesn’t happen.

      Remember, in design simplicity is best.

  13. Azlano,

    It’s been 2 month i owned white Saga SE, I just still cant stop looking at the car. It just sweet. The handling is just superb.

    Proud Saga SE owner.

    1. Kamarul, that’s great to know. It is one of those rare Proton’s which make it from concept (Saga RED) to production (Saga SE).

  14. Let the buyers judge your ‘artistic’ skills. The new oriental carmakers must be proud of their ‘day-in & day-out’ hardwork being a copycat & I bet some of you will bash them hard. Well, on par to compete with other 11 carmakers? Then why the heck we need Italdesign? There you go! You need to embrace more social channels to get credits for EMAS (and new Persona replacement) than Italdesign. Proton former stylish did a good job but where is he now?Sales figure won’t cheat us.

  15. hi there, I think it’s a bit late but I do agree with you about those basher. as for me, a common folk who may not have the authorities nor the “ilmu” to comment but I felt like doing so and even so I can’t design I do can appreciate good design.

    me have been a fan of proton for some time, the look of the gen2 and persona are a favorite of mine, and so does the saga and satria.

    as of late the proton seems to be a lot better in its offering, but it seems the design suffer a bit. the preve and suprima design to me felts incomplete. it’s not ugly, it’s look good but it’s on the borderline to look great!. proton design had always been better than the japs, but with a bit more work and $$$ it could be good looking like the kimchi and conti.

    as for the interior, most will shit about poor quality, but heck I still own a 13 yr old wira and the interior are still good. I think what they are referring to are built feel. kinna like Samsung phone, it’s look and feel horrible on the hand but it isn’t a poor quality item. it’s the same with proton, the quality is there but the feel/perception isn’t. the preve cabin is bit to good, I have no complaints about it but some bit does not feel good to see nor touch resulting in huge basher follower on the net.

    I understand that everything is built under a specific budget and that’s limit the design, fixtures and fitting of the car, but not everyone think that. so I hope you could fight for a bigger allocation. as better design,fixtures and fitting increase the perceived value so much higher than the cost to make it. sells it more expensive if you need too.

    case in point, the kimchi make overprice horrible car that’s horrible to drive, but they do look goody and it’s selling like hot cakes. infact I think the rise in the kimchi are only due to design.


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