The Saga of loyalty and devotionPOSTED BY Amirul Hazmi ON 18 April 2016
“THE car can still move?” That is one of the expression that Steven Oorjitham get from his friends on his beloved Proton Saga.
Whether we realise it or not, the Proton Saga, Malaysia’s first national car, has aged pretty well and can be classified as a classic since its introduction in 1985.
One proud owner, Steven Oorjitham, has a 1.5S Magma sedan with a five-speed manual gearbox. Registered in 1988, the car is still serving him and his family until today.
It is surely not a rare situation seeing a near three-decade car still running, but despite that, Steven’s Saga is even in factory condition.
While most Proton Sagas on the road today seem to have undergone some paint work, interior refurbishment or at least the wheels changed to a sportier set, the one which belongs to Steven barely have aftermarket parts on it.
“The car is not my first car, but it is the first that I bought, and it remains my only car until today,” Steven told Cars, Bikes & Trucks.
“After graduation, it took me quite sometime before I got into the education line. Prior to that, I worked in a production plant as a product coordinator and later at another company in the business development division,” said Steven.
His first job in the education sector was at Yamaha Music Malaysia heading the education division. Steven now conducts private tuition at his home full-time, particularly with SPM students.
On why the Proton Saga became his car of choice, Steven said, “Of course we have cars like the Nissan Sunny and Toyota Corolla at that time, but I chose the Proton Saga mainly because it is our national car.”
He said that on the first day he drove the car off from the showroom, it was a double proud moment for him. Buying a first car and the first national car at the time when less than a quarter of the cars on the road were national cars.
The car has also been driven by his grandmother and mother, turning out to be a very reliable family car. Like any other car of its time, the Proton Saga is mechanically simple, making it durable and easy to maintain.
“It never had major repair. Over the years, the car only broke down twice; both were only due to the failure of its radiator fan, which was replaceable by plug-and-play parts. And thank God, the car only broke down nearby my house or to the workshop. Never did it disappoint me during long distance trips,” he added.
According to Steven, the most unforgettable moments with the car was during a holiday trip to Cherating, Pahang.
“It was in 2005 with my mother, wife and two daughters; the East-Coast Highway had just opened to the public. We even stopped by the roadside to photograph birds and nice scenery along the way,” he said.
The trip is memorable to him as it was the last vacation with his mother as she passed away a year later.
Now clocking 432,045km on its mileage, the car has been loyal to Steven from his dating days, up until his marriage times. Steven’s eldest daughter, Sarah, even wants the Saga to be used for her wedding as the car carries sentimental values to their family.
During the 13-week contest which takes place from March 8 to June 8, 2016, 11 winners will be selected with a grand prize of the 2016 Proton Saga. Participants are required to submit an entry form with a written story of their car.
Proton owners who are interested to submit their story should also fulfill a few requirements – the car must have valid road tax and insurance renewed annually since ownership. It must also be roadworthy, well-maintained and have the original looks.
Meanwhile, the other 10 winners will be rewarded with refurbishment of the car worth RM5,000 together with RM1,000 cash.
For more information on the contest, visit www.proton-edar.com.my
By: Amirul Hazmi