Perdana Mercedes fiasco

Lim Kit Siang has aptly called this entire Perdana/Mercedes issue a fiasco. I couldn’t agree more.

First, it was Terengganu buy”. Then, Fed Govt said “Terengganu cannot buy”. After which, Terengganu said “Perdana expensive to maintain”. Then Fed Govt said “Cabinet will discuss”. Then Terengganu said “See how expensive?”. Then ACA came and said “We check-check see”. Then Fed Govt said “Terengganu can use, but for foreign dignitaries only”.

Not fiasco? Then I seriously don’t know what it is.

A discussion with my dad this morning about this Perdana Merc issue, along with Abdullah’s decision to allow T’ganu to use the Mercs only for visiting foreign dignitaries brought this conclusion: “Crazy or what?”

How many foreign dignitaries are there that go a-visiting to Terengganu? 14 Mercs to accommodate foreign dignitaries? And not any Tom, Dick Harry dignitaries either, they must be of VVIP status too! How many of those kind of people visit T’ganu each year? And all at the same time?

Same question from Kit Siang’s blog:

Wouldn’t this ridiculous and laughable solution result in greater losses to the public coffers?

Who are the VVIPs or “foreign dignitaries for major functions” who would qualify to be chaperoned around the state in the 14 Mercedes E200 Kompressors?

And to make matters worst, it appears that Proton is saying this:

PETALING JAYA: The average maintenance cost for each Perdana car sent by the Terengganu Government was only RM542 per year, said Proton Holdings Bhd managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir.

He said in a statement yesterday that this was based on records of 35 cars sent by the state government to its authorised service outlets.

Full report from the StarOnline.

So, what is real, and what isn’t? What would be the best way to deal with this?

I’m assuming that the cars have already been bought, because that’s also one of the “reasons” why Pak Lah decided that Terengganu can keep them. But what about the old Perdanas? Where are they? Have they been sold off? Or given away? Or still “under maintenance”?

Tok Mommy asks more questions:

Is the State Government getting another fleet for the excos now that their new gleaming new Mercs will be taken away? Have the Perdana V6 been sold off/traded in for the Mercs? Does that mean the Federal Government is buying them (the Merc lah)?

Personally, I don’t think the cars should have been bought in the first place. If there is a directive that all government officials should use the national car for official purposes, then it should stick until and unless a new directive is issued. If the 14 Mercs were paid for by the state excos themselves, that would be fine, because it would mean that the 14 Mercs belong to them personally. But this is not the case.

If they have such a problem with the Proton Perdanas, they should make complaints to Proton, have the problems fixed. Pressure Proton to produce more reliable cars. Buying foreign cars because the national car isn’t working is not what the government should be doing.

Not only is this fiasco bad for Proton’s image, it also could start a domino effect, where other states would also use the same argument to justify their buying other make cars for their state exco instead of the Perdana.

I’ve read somewhere (sorry, forgot where), that the Selangor government is contemplating of wanting to buy Toyota Camrys. Now, some people have said that, “See? At least Selangor is buying cheaper cars!”

I don’t buy it.

A directive is still a directive. If the national cars aren’t up to standard, so much so that even government officials find it difficult to support, then what hope is there for Proton? It’s almost like the CEO of Toyota wanting to use a Honda for his official duties. It just isn’t right.

As for what to do with the purchased Mercs, I simply don’t know. Do we keep all 14 Mercs in a high-security garage until VVIPs come a-visiting to Terengganu? And don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the cars aren’t on the roads, they don’t need maintaining. To ensure that the cars don’t break down when the VVIPs are using them, the cars need to be serviced every so often to make sure the battery doesn’t run flat, the parts don’t rust, and the performance is still up to par. Take it from me. Working part-time for a year and a half in a car workshop has not amounted to nothing.


5 Comments on “Perdana Mercedes fiasco”

  1. I don’t know what has become of Malaysia now. She is in a truly pathetic state in the hand of the present government and she has become the laughing stock within the international circle.

  2. Chea says:

    So, what is YB Lim Kit Siang solutions?

  3. malaysiancat28 says:

    Read YB’s blog to see what the others are saying and their suggestions — very interesting indeed.

    Have driven Proton Perdana before — very good handling on the road for long distance driving (provided it is properly maintained). But like many of its models. Perdana still have many defective problems that Proton would gladly cover up.

    Taken a brand new Proton Wira (my first car) and found out almost immediately from the mechanic near my house that the camden is faulty. For a brand new car, could you imagine it???!!!!
    Proton has to up their game, especially after this.

  4. ibat says:

    If your country produce a national car, especially with a lot of help from the government and the rakyat, it is a matter of national interest for the government agencies to use the national car as official cars. It there is something wrong with the car, just bloody fix it! The fact it has cost Trengganu a bomb to maintain the Perdana’s is not stricty the car’s mechanical issues – the amount itself should have told you that there is a lot wrong with the process. It your kid comes home today and tells you he bought a kilo of sugar for RM10.00 you would immediately investigate what’s wrong. You wouldn’t instead suddenly switch to Australian honey as your coffee sweetener would you? One word only to describe the fiasco – STUPID! And that’s a gross understatement

  5. Vijay Kumar says:

    Missing the point on the Terrenganu Merc purchases

    Fellow Citizens,

    Much has been said regarding the purchase of 14 spanking new Mercedes E200’s for the use of Terengganu Exco.
    MB Ahmad cited cheaper maintenance, DPM and PM declaring that they themselves use Protons,
    the press interviewing workshop mechanics, Proton Holdings defending their cars, ACA getting into the picture and many offered punditry and cost comparisons
    to entertain the rakyat with this dog and pony show,.

    Almost everyone is missing the point,the PM, ACA, The Terengganu exco and Proton Holdings.

    The Treasury has sent out a circular which was blatantly ignored, this is the main issue.
    Why are those who ignored this directive not taken to task ? The policy is clear, so the PM should initiate disciplinary action.
    The next question would be how can the Treasury who is the one holding the purse strings not check whether policy was being followed.
    If a system is open to abuse it should be revamped.
    Why is the Treasury silent on this issue ? Makes me wonder what other directives are being ignored draining precious
    financial resources.

    Ahmad Said’s rationale that Mercedes are cheaper to maintain is irrelevant, he had no authority to make that decision.
    Its akin to running a red light, getting caught then telling the traffic cop.
    that the reason you did it was because you observed that the road was clear so why waste time following the rule.

    Pak Lah’s statement that selling the cars now will incur a loss and they should be used only for shuttling foreign dignitaries is incorrect.
    for 2 reasons.

    Firstly ,how on earth can keeping 14 Mercs for this purpose be justified ?
    do we have that many visiting dignitaries coming to Terengganu ?
    Are we to believe that it is fiscally prudent to maintain 28 cars when half of them need to be maintained but
    are hardly utilized ?
    A mistake has been made and instead of rectifying it further nonsensical suggestions to save face are being suggested.

    Secondly, The Mercs were purchased free of duties and taxes, if sold at prevailing market prices or even at auction
    prices , the government stands to profit.
    I don’t even need to do detailed calculations to know this.

    The Prime Minister has missed a golden opportunity to show his decisiveness and wisdom on this issue ,
    involving the Cabinet to discuss it and then coming up with an untenable solution has just cast aspersions on
    The Prime Minister and the entire cabinet.
    This does not augur well in building the confidence of an already cynical rakyat let alone foreign investors.

    To restore confidence I suggest the Prime Minister issue a warning to those who flouted Treasury Policy
    and auction off all 14 Mercs.

    Best Regards
    Vijay Kumar Murugavell

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