And that cannot be more obvious that what is happening with the Terengganu state government, the state with the second highest poverty rate in Peninsula Malaysia, when the state executive councillors purchased their brand new spanking Mercedes Benz to "cut cost", as blogged here earlier.
And in a remarkable show that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has lost total control over its administration, his directive that these new vehicles shall be used only for VIPs in Terengganu was immediately and totally disregarded with utter contempt by the Terengganu state cabinet. The brand new cars already found their way on the road with their proud new owners.
While the official reason for the switch from Proton Perdanas to Mercedes-Benz was due to "cost cutting measures", it is interesting to note that last minute calculations were made to justify the RM3.4 million expenditure which showed inflated repair figures for their old Perdanas. It took the former Menteri Besar to threaten a legal suit for the current administration to admit that the repair bill was only half of what was proclaimed! Hence was the decision to purchase new Mercedes-Benz made on errorneous figures or was there even a study before the decision was made?
And the state government has the cheek to blame the media for sensationalising the issue!
But the cherry on the pie must be the following announcement, in their attempt to control the damage they have imposed on the reputation of the national car manufacturer, that taxi drivers in Terengganu will receive incentives for switching over to the national car(!)
Criticised for not supporting the national car, the state government has announced special packages for taxi drivers to buy new Proton cars to replace ageing Nissans and Toyotas. The package in the form of monetary aid is for legitimate taxi drivers and those refurbishing their Proton taxis... Under the package, each taxi driver would be given RM10,000 to buy a new Proton Saga or Wira to be used as taxis.My goodness! If that is not the clearest indication that such inferior products are only suitable for taxis in the state and obviously not good enough for the state government leaders, then I don't know what is. Much good that will do to the reputation of their beloved Proton.
These newly installed state government leaders are clearly intoxicated with the policy of "one for the people, two for us" that has symbolised Barisan Nasional administration over the decades.