JOHOR BARU: It was a drive down memory lane when Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar took the wheel of a first-generation Proton Saga and drove Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed to the Senai International Airport here today.
The vehicle was presented to the Ruler's father about 34 years ago.
Sultan Ibrahim personally drove Dr Mahathir about 25km from Istana Bukit Serene to the Senai International Airport after their 90-minute meeting.
The sky-blue coloured car, bearing the number plate Proton 1, was presented by Dr Mahathir to the late Sultan Iskandar, when he was the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, on July 9 1985.
At the airport, the Prime Minister told reporters that that 34-year-old car with a manual transmission was still in good running condition and was an endorsement of Proton. The car had clocked 32,000km to date, Dr Mahathir said, adding that he was able to offer the car as a gift because of its affordable price of RM17,000 then.
Dr Mahathir had earlier arrived for a meeting with Sultan Ibrahim at the palace at 4pm.
According to a source from the Prime Minister's Office, the meeting was held following a request by Sultan Ibrahim a few weeks ago.
This was the first time that Dr Mahathir and Sultan Ibrahim met in Johor after Pakatan Harapan won in GE14.
Dr Mahathir, who is chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, said the last time he met Sultan Ibrahim was almost 20 years ago when he stepped down as the fourth prime minister in 2003.