Former Malaysian PM Mahathir takes Jokowi for a spin

Former Malaysian PM Mahathir takes Jokowi for a spin

SUBANG JAYA - Being driven by a senior citizen at rather high speeds is not something many people would be comfortable with, but Indonesian President Joko Widodo demonstrated perfect calm when the "treat" was served.

Jokowi was one of the rare few who had the privilege of being taken on a three-lap spin at Proton's testing track by company chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as part of the president's programme at Proton's Centre of Excellence here.

Dr Mahathir, who put a Proton Iriz at a brisk pace throughout, expressed admiration for Jokowi.

"Normally, people do not like to be driven on a slope by a 90-year-old, but he was not frightened - he was happy and smiling," Dr Mahathir told reporters.

Jokowi also witnessed a memorandum of understanding signing between Proton and Indonesia's PT Adiperkasa Citra Lestari to study the possibility of developing an Indonesian car.

According to Dr Mahathir, Jokowi was impressed with Proton.

"He seemed pleased with what he saw and experienced, and I think he is a man dedicated to his work.

"He wants to make Indonesia better and he thinks that in some areas, Malaysia might serve as a good model," Dr Mahathir added.

Later in Kuala Lumpur, Jokowi disregarded protocol when he got out of his car before it entered the Indonesian embassy in order to greet well-wishers.

Trader Rohana Sulaiman, 55, said she was shocked that the president came to speak to her, and even obliged for a photo together.

"I don't think I will have the chance to do this if I were in Indonesia," she said, adding that many had waited for more than three hours to catch a glimpse of Jokowi.

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