Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling
on Wednesday, 30th July 2008:
Abdullah asked to give cost-benefit report of directive to
use Proton Perdana as official car by national and state governments on
first day of budget meeting of Parliament on August 18
I have asked the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
to give a cost-benefit report of the directive to use Proton Perdana as
the official car for both the national and state governments on the
first day of budget meeting of Parliament on August 18.
Abdullah is also asked to detail the problems encountered by all
governments, national and state, in complying with the directive and
whether Proton Perdana is a suitable vehicle compared to other makes.
Less than 24 hours after the Prime Minister issued the Cabinet edict
last Friday that the Terengganu executive councillors cannot use the
Mercedes E200 Kompressors and must use back the Proton Perdana V6
Executives, reserving the new Mercedes to be used only by VVIPs,
Abdullah was given a public "slap-in-the-face" by one of the Terengganu
Excos who publicly defied the directive in the Prime Minister's
This was reported by the media, although it was not spelt out so
This happened at the Malaysia Floral Fest 2008 opening at Dataran
Bandaraya in Johor Baru the very next day, which was attended by the
Yang di Pertuan Agong and the Prime Minister.
It was reported that this was the first time that the Malaysian floral
fest had an international flavour with the participation of two foreign
teams – the Suzhou Tourism Bureau of China and the Macau Government
The first float to appear in the parade was from Terengganu, themed
"Nature is Terengganu's Greatest Heritage", which won the grand Premier
Trophy for its marine theme with clown fish, anemones, razor fish and
Representing Terengganu at the floral fest was the state exco for
tourism, culture, arts and heritage Datuk Za'abar Mohd Adib, whose
gleaming new Mercedes-Benz TAM 28 stole the show and was reported in
photograph on the front page of the Sunday Star when it should be in its
Kuala Terengganu garage.
My immediate thought when reading the floral fest report was that there
was no need for Terengganu to feature any float to grap the Premier
Trophy, as all that was needed to wow the crowd would be to exhibit the
Mercedes E200 Kompressor with its "haram" use.
The Prime Minister could not be unaware that his leadership and
authority as Prime Minister was openly challenged at the Malaysia Floral
Fest last Saturday as his directive that the Terengganu Excos cannot use
the new Mercedes was publicly defied at the Johor Baru capital.
What did he do?
Even now, the directive that the Terengganu Excos cannot use the
new Mercedes is observed only in the breach!
Proton Holdings managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed
Tahir had protested that the Perdana V6 had been maligned, claiming that
the nationwide average maintenance cost of a Perdana V6 was RM2,373
annually compared with RM3,600 for a Mercedes.
Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said had said that the state spent
RM1.071 million since 2004 on the maintenance of its Perdanas.
Zainal Abidin said Proton's records showed that Terengganu had been
billed only RM78,048.68 by its authorized service centres. The balance
of RM993,620.14 or 93% was spent on 16 Perdana V6 cars serviced by
Before this, Ahmad Said had rubbished as "nonsense" Zainal Abidin's
earlier claim that the service cost averaged RM542 for Terengganu's 35
The problem of atrociously high maintenance cost of Proton Perdanas is
not unique to Terengganu state government but is of epidemic proportion
for all states.
For instance, Zainal Abidin's claim that a Perdana gearbox cost about
RM3,000 is contradicted in Selangor, where the Perdana of Selangor State
Exco for Local Government, Ronnie Liu was charged RM23,000 to replace
the gear box just three weeks ago.
It is reported today that five people, including two workshop managers,
have been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Agency in connection with the
probe into the high maintenance cost of Proton Perdana V6 Executive cars
As this is a national problem, is the ACA conducting a nation-wide
investigation into the high maintenance costs for all national and state
Let the Prime Minister give a comprehensive report on the Proton Perdana
imbroglio in the first day of the budget parliamentary meeting on August
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor