Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling
on Saturday, 26th July 2008:
Terengganu Mercedes only for VVIPs? – transforming a
controversy into a pure fiasco
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has
transformed the Terengganu Proton Perdana V6 Executive/Mercedes E200
Kompressor controversy into a pure fiasco.
What is the solution? The 14 RM245,000 Mercedes E200 Kompressors
purchased by the Terengganu government for RM3.43 million are to be used
only by VVIPs – "foreign dignitaries" for "major functions" - while the
State Excos must continue to use the fleet of 16 RM130,000 Proton
Perdana V6 Executives bought in 2004.
Reason? This is from Abdullah's own words, explaining the Cabinet
decision: "Since the cars have been bought and to sell them would only
result in a loss, all of them must be used for state guests or
"This is the decision, nothing more, nothing less."
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
Would there be 14 or 28 or 42 such "VVIPs" visiting Terengganu per year?
Can the people of Terengganu and Malaysia be informed of such VVIPs who
had visited Terengganu each year since 2004, or will the 14 Mercedes
E200 Kompressors go into the Guinness Book of Records as the most
garaged and unused Mercedes Kompressors in the world?
Mingguan Malaysia of 20th July 2008 had reported that the 14 Mercedes
E200 Kompressors for the 10 Excos, the State Speaker, State Secretary,
State Legal Adviser and State Financial Officer had already been
delivered, as they had been seen as being used several Excos and the
State Secretary at official functions.
Are all the State Excos, Speaker, State Secretary, State Legal Adviser
and State Financial Officer l to return the 14 Mercedes Kompressors to
the state garage and to take back their old Proton Perdana V6
The front-page headline report of Utusan Malaysia of 23rd July quoted
the Mentri Besar's office as alleging that the maintenance costs for
Proton Perdana V6 Executives had totalled as much as RM132,357.36 to
RM175,229.97 each for the fleet bought in 2004.
The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) has started to probe into the high
costs of maintenance of the 16 Proton Perdana V6 Executives, and rightly
so, and I will ask for a report on the outcome of these ACA
investigations when Parliament reconvenes on August 18 next month.
What is noteworthy is that the ACA investigations into the Terengganu
Exco Proton/Mercedes imbroglio has prompted a retort from the Terengganu
Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said why the authorities had not investigated
into the other high-profile projects in Terengganu like the prestigious
Monsoon Cup sailing event and the Islamic Civilisation Park.
Ahmad is indeed very right in his retort.
The Prime Minister should answer this pertinent rebuttal from the
Terengganu Mentri Besar in Parliament next month.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor