Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cost-Cutting Mercedes

The Government tells us to tighten our belts. Prices are up and inflation is at record levels. The Cabinet even made a show of "sacrifice" by cutting 10% of their entertainment allowance. However, it's certainly clear that this philosophy isn't fully subscribed by the Barisan Nasional government.

The Member of Parliament for MUAR, noted in his speech in Parliament supporting the Government's motion to reduce subsidy and increase fuel prices that will share the burden with the rakyat - "ringan sama dijinjing, berat sama dipikul". Lets reflect this against the little drama in Terengganu over Perdanas and Mercedes for state executive councillors.

The state government has defended the purchase of 14 Mercedes E200 Kompressor cars at RM3.43mil for the use of its state executive councillors and senior officials.

The Menteri Besar of Terengganu, Datuk Ahmad Said had the cheek to suggest that the measure to purchase Mercedes cars was a "cost-cutting measure". Does he take Malaysians for idiots?

What is perhaps more enlightening is our UMNO's leaders honesty with regards to the quality of Proton vehicles.
“We are not saying that the national car is not good but in reality we are coughing up more money for maintaining the Proton Perdanas, particularly the gear boxes,” he said.
In essence, what this new MB is saying is that anybody who purchases a Proton Perdana is an idiot as well, because, money will actually be better spent buying a Mercedes which cost double a Perdana. (Great advertisement for Proton, I'm sure)

Despite the Deputy Prime Minister, otherwise also known as Mr "Tighten Your Belt" among other things, insistence that only Proton Perdanas are acceptable, it misses the point of why 4-year old executive cars must all be replaced wholesale.

Is this part of a "new Menteri Besar, new cars" philosophy, regardless of how much the people are suffering?

Without wanting to sound like we are blowing our own trumpets, the move by the Barisan Nasional state government in Terengganu stands in stark contrast to the new government in Penang, where vehicles ordered by the previous administration worth more than RM600,000 were cancelled. And that's barely a-fifh of what Terengganu is spending.

Is this a direct implication of a Malaysian government being flushed with windfall cash, in this case from record petrol revenues?

Besar periuk, besar keraknya.

Or to the right honourable member from Muar, I think the more appropriate description of the Barisan Nasional government's policy should be "ringan kerajaan jinjing, berat rakyat yang pikul".
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