Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The blind patriotism of BN. What's new?

IPOH, April 22 - The Perak state government will purchase a new fleet of Proton Perdanas for executive councillors to replace the Toyota Camrys bought by the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) administration. [The Malaysian Insider]

This is blind patriotism personified. The newly formed Barisan Nasional (BN) state government of Perak decided on replacing the fleet of 16 Toyota Camrys as official cars, saying it was patriotic to use a local car maker's marque. The latter was purchased for RM2.7mil under the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) administration to replace the ageing and cost ineffective Proton Perdana V6s. Other PR-ruled states also bought new cars for their state executive councillors last year and Proton marque was once again not the preferred choice.

It was understood that the Proton Perdana V6s require high maintenance costs due to its poor quality, amounting to RM30,000 a year according Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

This view is not only restricted to the Pakatan Rakyat as Terengganu was the first state to decide on replacing its fleet of Proton Perdanas. The BN state government spent RM3.43mil for 14 Mercedes E200 Kompressor cars for its state executive councillors and senior officials. However, former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ordered the cars to only be used for visiting foreign dignitaries after much public dissatisfaction over the choice of car brand.

The BN, which controversially ousted the PR to become Perak's new state government in March, said it will auction the Toyota Camrys in what seems as a move to erase the legacy of the previous administration.

"We will get them new and cheap. We have always believed in using the Proton cars because they are our national pride.We are aware that there were previous complaints on the high cost of maintenance for the vehicles. This is one of our concerns too. However, we will speak with Proton on how to better maintain the vehicles without forking out too much," Chief Minister Datuk Dr Zambry Kadir said today. [The Malaysian Insider, 22/4/09]

But wait a minute. Zambry acknowledges the high cost of maintenance for the Proton Perdanas and yet he still decides to have a go at the purchase? Simply speaking to Proton to 'better maintain' the cars at lower costs does not solve the problem. If the Proton Perdana V6 model had been around since 1999 and there is only so much of improvement to its quality, how does Zambry plan to 'better maintain' such vehicles?

If the Perak state government had intended for its state executive councillors to use their private vehicles after auctioning the Toyota Camrys, I would had given Zambry and his men two thumbs up. But putting the newly-purchased Toyota Camrys on the bidding table would mean they are to be sold at a lower price and thus, incurring losses for the state- given the Toyota Camrys have already been paid for. Does Zambry and his administration believe it is a wise thing to do given the current economic plight, never mind the high maintenance cost that is to come with the new replacement vehicles?

The Perak government also did not give any assurances that the purchase of the new Protons would be an open tender. This is one aspect of the deal that could raise an eyebrow or two.

But what is most foolish is Perak government's rationality behind their decision to dump the 6-month old Toyota Camrys for Proton Perdanas. I mean, does Perak government really need these new cars?

The all-time BN favourite Proton Perdana design was based on Japan's Mitsubishi Galant. So much for our 'national pride'.

The Chief Minister of Perak said it was a patriot's thing to do for the state government to use Proton cars. Well, I say: What has Proton achieve or done to suddenly taken on the mantle to symbolise national pride and honour? How does a marque that still demands excise duty rebates and protection policies in order to survive even after more than 25 years of existence become the 'national pride' of Malaysia? With Proton suffering from significant amount of consumer derision and lack of international competitiveness, Zambry's yardstick for a marque to be a matter of 'national pride' can only go lower.

When both Perak and Kedah replaced their official cars with Toyota Camrys, former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi called Pakatan Rakyat state leaders 'unpatriotic' [source]. But what is more patriotic then? Is spending taxpayer's money unnecessarily for new cars any more 'patriotic'?

I reckon that it would be wiser and more 'patriotic' (since it is the new buzzword) to keep the Toyota Camrys, regardless of who bought it, than to open the chequebooks again to buy inventories the state government does not need at this point of time.


  1. Hamba said...

    These "burung gagak nak jadi angsa" type will never change. They will always be more malays than malays, more patriotic than any malaysian and most pious than other muslim. It's all mere act and antics. They are a breed of super hypocrite, always finding ways to appear above others in both action and rhetoric. But as hypocrite always does, the action and rhetoric is quickly replace with their true self...arrogance, greed, unethical and unprincipled behavior. They are the ultimate conmen of malaysia...A crow but with the heart of a vulture...A dangerous mutating disease within our midst and they are infecting the top level of our society...A truly worrying development...

  2. vasantarao appalasamy said...

    its going to another history on May 7 during Perak assembly sittings...

  3. Darrengun said...

    I suggest that used back Toyota Camry that bought by the Pakatan Rakyat!!!Is really waste money only!!!Maybe used some of the money to maintenance the Toyota Camry.Wat used to buy a new car?Price between Proton car and Toyota Camry sure will be Toyota is expensive.bt less maintenance!!!

  4. one malaysia said...

    Salam sejahtera.

    kita rakyat malaysia mesti bersatu padu. Buat apa PAS pun kata nak bertanding. PKR pun nak bertanding.
    Anwar perlu teliti kalau wakil mereka macam budak Fairuz itu lari dari tanggungjawab, siapa yang tanggungjawab? Kan rugi duit dan masa rakyat?
    Fairus dengan angkuh sekarang kata dia tidak bersalah dan akan balik kat politik selepas balik dari melanjutkan pelajaran. Dan PKR setuju dan tepuk tangan!

    Lepas itu, bila orang suruh SPR teliti cadangan kenakan penalti terhadap wakil rakyat yang berhenti tanpa sebab munasabah, geng Pakatan, seperti Lim Kit Siang dan Faris Musa (timblan AMK) kata Dato' Mukhriz (timbalan menteri MITI) dan Tan Keng Liang (ketua pemuda gerakan kedah) yang keluarkan cadangan penalti terhadap orang yang tidak bertanggungjawab sebagai kenyataan daripada orang "tidak berakal". Lihat kat:-