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".


Shawn Tan said...

"ringan kerajaan jinjing, berat rakyat yang pikul"

hahaha!! that's a good one!

Anonymous said...

I think if you can get one of your aides to do a total cost of ownership analysis for the first five years (Yahoo Autos allow you to do so) between owning a Proton or the Mercedes of the said model, you could use such data to ridicule the UMNO MPs and UMNO state govt in Terengganu.

Anonymous said...

i read from china press this morning said that they used 50,000 for repairing old perdana a year, i don think it cost so much, issit?

Anonymous said...

Zakaria Darus is one good example of ringan sama di jinjing and berat sama di pikul...these people think we are idiots??

Anonymous said...

What a mockery. It's akin to the Terengganu state govt making the proverbial "up yours" to najib for the blatant display of arrogance & misplaced priority. These BN politicians behave just like small kids - very excited to get new toys - and a very expensive one too AT the expense of tax payers.
Yeah, go ahead, flaunt your newly acquired cars at the homeless/poverty stricken people of Terengganu. May the Terengganu people never forgive your arrogant & stupid attitude.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right! First it tells the whole world that our great Proton Industry especially the "perdana" class is not a reliable car. Secondly,the BN thought that we rakyat are a bunch of idiot fools who do not know the cost of maintenance between that of Perdana and Mercedes, and I happen to have the 2 models. AND I can tell you that even a sensor chip for gear box of Mercedes will cost you more than RM 2K neverminnd about the gear box. I would like to suggest that BPR should investigate any discrepancies especially marking up the cost of maintenance of those state government perdana cars in Trengganu while beneffiting some administrators. Even they have to buy new the Perdana cars for every 2 years still it will not exceed the RM 3.43 million of the cost of purchasing Mercedes model. Please for God's sake, why are we having politicians are so "bodoh" and more over discredit our national cars in the eyes of the world now.

Anonymous said...

I thought this MB guy would be caring enough for the poor by doing something drastic for them and kaboom! same old! same old!

Anonymous said...

No wonder people loved being politicians! They treat the Rakyaat's money as their own bank account!
Some more malas duduk kat parliamen! I think the beggars in Chow Kit road do a better job of begging money and earning their keeps!SHAME ON YOU!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Tony, malaysians indeed are idiots. Look at the support being thrown to BN, even with all the shits being thrown to the rakyat,yet they still have the support, don't you think that malayisians are idiots? Yet a lot of the ppl keeps on complaining on how bad Malaysia is, and do u know that these are the people who's not willing to do their part. they haven't even register to vote and all the know is to complain! so over here, i agree with the Mentri Besar of Terengganu that malaysians are idiots

prussiablue said...

The Terengganu exco must have pee brain. At the time like this, still have the audacity the purchase a fleet of new Mercs. I am sure now the order will be cancelled.

Lesson to all, BN never learn.

Anonymous said...

NST quoted the MB's statement that "the maintenance cost of just 2 of the cars since 2004 had come up to RM175,229 and RM132,357".

Which fool will pay maintenance bills more than the cost of the car in 4 years. Just the kind of case the "newly empowered" ACA should be looking into.

On another note, who are the beneficiaries of these newly written-off vehicles? Scrapped or sold for a "token amount"?

amoker said...

This is UMNO economy, money and non-cents in their own world. Corruption does not increase the cost of business. Petrol and inflation up compared to Venezuela is good. Cheaper to buy own plane than to fly air asia..

KoSong Cafe said...

I grew up in the midst of vehicle repair workshops, repairing vehicles from cars, vans, lorries, buses and even tractors. In fact, we used to be in the vehicle repairs business.

What the Terengganu State Secretary has given as the rationale for the purchase of Mercedes must be the most ludicrous if one is trained in minimising costs in our expenditure:

He said the German cars were bought for the safety of the state officials who had to travel extensively and to reduce the cost of maintenance.
“After much evaluation, the state felt the Mercedes-Benz cars are more reliable for long term use. It was also time to replace the Proton Perdanas,” he added.

Just looking at the statement, I can criticise the word ‘safety’ because I cannot think of anything that Mercedes has which Proton has not, if one is travelling within the normal speed limits. Please do not claim that Proton Perdana is unsafe once we reach 110kph!

How often do state officials ‘travel extensively’ if not on private trips with their families?

I was wondering about the reason ‘To reduce the cost of maintenance’ when I read about the astronomical repair bills of over Rm170,000 and Rm140,000 for two Perdanas since 2004, given as an example. This roughly works out at Rm35,000-40,000 each year for each vehicle! What type of repairs and maintenance could have cost so much? The amounts are more like accident claims submitted to insurance companies, which I am certain they were not. We must seek for further information and be prepared to laugh out loud when provided.

If I were to be given the task of claiming such repair bills I would have a tough time coming out with them. Bearing in mind these cars were bought brand new with the usual years of warranty. For oil changes (engine and gear), tyre changes and so on, a look at the mileage can tell us whether the frequency was normal. The mileage can tell us whether private use was rampant. Honestly, I just cannot submit such claims without looking stupid or obviously inflating them.

Anonymous said...

You don't really need that much just for cars.
Enough with the attitude of wanting to feel and look good above all necessities.
It's funny to say that buying the merc the maintaining cost can be reduced. To even buy the merc will be a few times more compared to proton cars' price, let alone the maintenance.

Anonymous said...

Have you been to Terengganu? If you go up there, one of the thing you will realize is that admist the modest living standards there are quite a few expensive cars and nice houses around.

Terengganu no.1. economic generator is the govt i.e., crony spending. That is why you see the nice cars and houses. How would it look to for those handing out the largest to be driving in crap while those receiving it is doing better?

Anonymous said...

Very weird. How come other agencies not complaining about high maintenance of Proton Perdana's car? Are the rest agencies simply don't care as it is rakyat's money or they also using Mercedes? Why only T'gannu MB claiming as such? Is there any wrong doing eg corruption is maintaining the cars? The ACA should swing in and look into this...

Anonymous said...

No surprises here, we know how our civil servants spend our money. But to those of you who buy the MB lame story - shame on you!!! You don't need a degree in high finance, just simple math will do. With gullible citizens in this country, it's no wonder we are ruled by greedy idiots who talk to us like we're fools. Glad I didn't vote for them!

Anonymous said...

This is the typical BN leader. What do you expect when their leader shows the fine example of pulling a fast one on the Rakyat all the time. Everyday there is a different scam or scandal!

DR SURESH said...

Those who had voted for BN should bear the blame and dont complain now.The Indians mainly the younger generation has successfully educated most of their elders to vote for the opposition in the 12the GE,and we all saw how the Indian votes swung to the opposition in a number of key electorates.And the same goes to the Chinese voters too to a large extent hence the near annihilation of both MIC and MCA.

So now it is the turn of our malay brethrens to do the same.Esp those whose parents are still living in the kampungs with no internet excess,and only get to read the MSM which only instils fear in them by always playing the race cards and `ketuanan melayu'issues without actually telling them how much this ketuanan melayu thing has deprived a large number of poor malays of many benefits.They have not been told how the UMNOputras and their family members as well as their cronies have become fatter and arrogant day by day by eating up the poor people's money all in the name of ketuanan melayu.They have not been told how the standard of our universities have dropped so low,how the judiciary has become corrupt,how our civil service has become so inefficient,a corrupt police force,churning out mediocre local graduates,lost of FDI confidence,white elephant projects and the list can go on and on.

Out of my 2 malay friends back home one of them together with his family did vote for the opposition,doesn't matter if it was PAS,the other one chose to vote for BN.Now when I analyse this I feel there are 2 different groups amongst the malays who support the BN.One group is the one which has some political affiliation,thereby could enjoy the various govt projects and other benefits exclusively for the bumiputras.Another group in my notion is those who still have so much of distrust in the other `kaums',never mind if UMNO is taking them for a ride.They simply feel that they probably will be worse off wth an opposition govt.This low self confidence could be attributed to the `ketuanan melayu'concept and the poor implementation of the severely flawed and outdated NEP.

And the those malays who had voted for the opposition are the educated and enterprising ones,who are sick and tired of being looked down as incapable to succeed on their own.But unfortunately this number is very small to bring about a major change in tne Malaysian political landscape hence a better Malaysia for all Malaysians.

Racial integration should start from the grass root level.Schools are the best place to mould this.But how can we expect such racial integration when there are national schools in Malaysia resorting to segregation of bumi amd non-bumi students in different classrooms?How can we achieve this when there are a few unscrupulous religious bigots poisoning the mind of innocent young kids?

I might have deviated from the topic above,but I had to do it in order to high light that we the rakyat are to blamed for all the sufferings we go through now for bringing back BN again and again to power.And this is how the BN goons repay the rakyat by going for mercedes for their officilas when the majority of the rakyat are going through horrid times just to put some basic food on the table.So now the ball is in your court my malay brethrens,either you do it now or never.Remember the BN govt has no intentions to improve the bad to worst standard of the majority malay graduates now,as they do not want them to rise against them and question them,thats why they are very happy to see the thousands and thousands of non-bumi brain drain mainly contributing to western countries and down south.

May god bless our nation which is unique, with such rich cultural diversity,blessed with abundance of natural resources and free from natural calamities.Its the responsiblity of each and every peace loving and right thinking Malaysian to bring about a change for the sake of the nation.Lets focus all our energies in nation building and not on matters like temple demolition,body snatchings,bible snatchings and so forth,as these are acts which can only be detrimental to nation building.

elizabeth said...

Both my husband and I drive a perdana.. one is like, almost 10 years old. Generally, proton cars are not cheap to maintain, becuz the parts are over-priced. Notwithstanding, RM50,000 to repair a gear box problem sounds like alot to me.. reminds me of the scandal involving some pelikan office supplies at a college somewhere.... hehe...

Statistics are very handy, and can be often quoted to serve one's purpose.. Granted, the gear box issue is often encountered by proton owners, but to have a case costing 50k.... very rare I would say. Moreover, mechanic will tell you, want proton original or OEM... so maybe they shld start to save by using oem parts rather than original??

Conclusion, no need to discuss, we all know where they come from.... Very sick, becuz PM ask us to change our lifestyle to cope with rising inflation. Another own goal by BN!!!

Anonymous said...

Ways of changing lifestyle/ tightening belts as avocated by PM:--
(1) Let your children walk/run to and from school instead of sending them by car or school bus.
(2) As the former French queen advised, "If you don't have bread, eat cake lah"
(3) Pay more taxes so that the 2nd astronaut can go to space, displaying Malaysia's flag for all to see
(4) Vote BN in the next elections/ by-elections so that we can tighten our belts even more! No more need to lose weight by jogging around

Anonymous said...

If possible, do post the picture of those cars and their passengers who are enjoying in it.

Anonymous said...

This fiasco stems from the Proton and its administration as a whole, our so-called national car maker and also the NAP which is very protective to Proton. Due to these sources the imported car prices are inflated artificially to cater the domestic car market and reduces our buying choices overall. The Trggnu exco merely points out the symptom of our sickly car industry. We should thank them to highlight this issue.
After more than 2 decades Proton still can't stand on its own feet. Is this the national pride that we have held for such long period? Better sell it to VW to regain some pride.

Anonymous said...

The message behind tell us that all government contracts got issues (that why Pak Lah since he become PM not dare to publish all government contract contains and who getting the contract), BN don’t care about how much they pay for the item but who they paying.

Thanks to Terengganu MP, proven to us every contract government issues is minimum 25% over price from the list price (not discounted price).

Anonymous said...


Can the PM directly tell the state how to spend and use their assets? Does this NOT violate some sort of state law and fiduciary responsibilty? Its one thing to make a policy that a state follow willingly but to impose that policy on state to me seems a violation of state rights?

Anonymous said...

Do any one know who service the cars? I heard is Spanco.

If Spanco, the same company supply the car to police force.

Meaning they also over charge the car rental.

Any one know who in the board of director in Spanco.