The Malaysian government has decided to end its protection of Malaysia's Proton Motors. In addition to the import duties and taxes levied against foreign carmakers, Proton was also the recipient of tax breaks and "other government incentives."

The decision could be seen as a blow to Proton, but Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is confident that the carmaker can and is turning itself around. Even though it has lost half of its market share while it was being protected by the government, Badawi said recently "No question of a bailing out. Proton is doing well today... they have a good program, they have secured exports to India, China, Indonesia and the Middle East."

For it's part, Proton's efforts to link up with a foreign car company didn't end well last year. For the moment, it has proposed that the government take an official stake in the company.

[Source: InsideLine]