Perdana Mercedes fiascoPosted: July 26, 2008
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.