Terengganu Proton/Mercedes imbroglio – public “slap-in-the-face” of Abdullah

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 presence.

This was reported by the media, although it was not spelt out so starkly.

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 an international flavour with the participation of two foreign teams – the Suzhou Tourism Bureau of China and the Macau Government Tourist Office.

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 seahorse model.

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 are 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 unauthorized centres.

Before this, Ahmad Said had rubbished as “nonsense” Zainal Abidin’s earlier claim that the service cost averaged RM542 for Terengganu’s 35 Proton Perdanas.

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 in Terengganu.

As this is a national problem, is the ACA conducting a nation-wide investigation into the high maintenance costs for all national and state governments?

Let the Prime Minister give a comprehensive report on the Proton Perdana imbroglio in the first day of the budget parliamentary meeting on August 18.

  1. #1 by Jameswong on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 2:01 pm

    YB, it will not be the last as long as the government is not transparent in its spending, until our government is “open” for audit, i guess we need to live in this situation and make to pay for all these unnecessary $$.

    I really hope our PR can do exactly opposite what BN did to us to differentiate the 2 world.

  2. #2 by sj on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 2:01 pm

    As usual high maintenance cost = money = UMNO mahu duit.
    Same with the contract case. In anyway they can suck money they will do it. Malaysian goverment ever since Mahathir’s time is famous for squandering money and tutup 2 mata.

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 2:08 pm

    I believe there are Group “A” and Group “B” within Terengganu UMNO. Group “A” is aligned to Pak Lah and Group “B” to Ahmad Said.

    Datuk Za’abar Mohd Adib probably belongs to Group “B”. He used the Merc at the floral fest to intentionally displease Group “A” people.

  4. #4 by yog7948 on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 2:15 pm

    How to slap when this retards don’t have “Face”? My Muslim friends always use this words in mere mention of Park Lah or anyone from BN -” Aku haramkan makan minum depa selagi jadi kerajaan” as long they are paid from peoples Tax money, Their food is Haram…

    To all BN so called muslims. Please.. repent.. Unless you want some smoking grave.. Don’t play with “Haram” things..

    Off Topic:
    More sedition from Sir RPK… Never fails to convulse me.


    Please read and get amused too..

  5. #6 by Emily Pratt on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 2:34 pm

    Sdr Lim Kit Siang,

    When the current Opposition Leader MP Permatang Pauh asked for a resolution on “vote-of-no-confidence” during the previous sitting it was rejected because of wrong choice of words.

    This sitting (starting 19 Aug 2008), please ask for another resolution and make sure the wordings are correct; no need no silly discussion or debate, just ask them to vote . All this silly antics by our Bapa Kebodohan Malaysia are enough to warrant a “vote of no confidence”.


  6. #7 by kun9999 on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 2:34 pm

    Since the beginning of taxation by the govt, the muslim community which benefit from the govt tax has been taking haram money as some of the tax $ comes from gambling (genting), sports toto, alcohol etc.

    We live in the a full of hypocrite, is time we flush them out of the govt.

  7. #8 by yog7948 on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 2:37 pm

    UMNO and BN.. Malaysia’s calamities. After 16 september.. date will be recorded as DB and AB.. During BN and After BN. BeeEnds 50 year term finished.. this year is the transaction year.. Next 50 years will be Rakyats..

    1957-1986 Medieval era
    1987 Transaction; an epoch of constitutional retrogression
    1989-2003 Moronic era
    2004-2007 Denial era
    2008 Transaction; Democratic revolution
    2009 onwards Peoples Era..

  8. #9 by I Malaysian on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 2:53 pm

    UMNO and their leaders are in an abrupt stage. Najib has to get rid of Anwar and Anwar is after him for all the wrongdoings. Two potential contesters have started their war of decade which most probably would see both wounded or destroyed.
    Pak Lak could be ultimate winner without even fighting with them and the cost of losing reputation is justifiable against retaining a powerful PM position. So why should Pak Lah bother, he knows what Dr.Mahathir is going through.


  9. #10 by madmix on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 3:04 pm

    There is nothing very much wrong with the Perdanas as otherwise how can private owners, owners of airport limos etc tahan keeping those lemons. They may be less efficient and less reliable than Toyotas or Hondas but certainly not total lemons like 1960s Trabants. The fault is with the culture of milking anything to do with government goods and services. A RM200 service becomes 2000; a RM 300 spare part becomes 6000; when one service every 10,000km is mandated, its done every 2000km. I wouldn’t be surprised if drivers siphon fuel for their own use.
    As to “slap in the face”: AAB has kena slapped so many times that his face is now numb. Sultan has slapped him; the MB has slapped him.

  10. #11 by walao on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 3:27 pm

    Enough is enough. Our government has been very slack or “careless” with our people’s money. We people were tod by our PM that we must be wise with our money when the oil price increased. Yet, on the other hand the government just showed us our money were ” cheated ” by the unauthourised workshop. How can this happen to our government who has the best brain top personnels managing our country asset? Are these admin people worst than our private company? Or government employed the dumbest workers to run our country. Believe me….I don think this car issue is the end of it. We must check all spending by the government now. This include the stationary supplied to government, the furnitures, the food, landscape, uniform…. the list will go on and on. Don tell me the pencils and pens they are using is 5 times more expensive than what we are paying now.

  11. #12 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 3:32 pm

    It was reported that some officials brought their Proton Perdana V6 Executives to the garage to have usable, valuable vehicle-parts (e.g. tyres) replaced with new ones. The ACA, however, was unable to trace the usable parts which had been removed at the garage. Presumably the removed parts had been sold or used for a private vehicle.

  12. #13 by taiking on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 3:35 pm

    RM3,000 worth of repair done to the roof of a chinese school resulted in RM30,000 actual payment made.
    That is the modus.
    It takes an idiot to see through that.
    That is not necessary.
    Plain wayang.
    Anyone can tell what actually is happening.
    Those clowns should just behave as if its a big discovery.
    That it involves a highly sophisticated modus.
    That it has never happened before.
    They are stupid.
    But we the people are not.

  13. #14 by liu on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 3:50 pm

    Dear YB,

    Proton MD did tell the true picture of maintenance cost. Which is almost similarly happen in every where of Malaysia.

    RM3,000.00 is the actual cost – I totally agreed.

    We need to add the handling charges of RM20,000.00, That is normal in All industries.

    The total bill come out RM23,000.00 is correct.

    This is not rubbish. How can you say this is rubbish. Ha HA.

    Malaysian way of doing business, can that last long. Nowadays, we don’t see business ethic anymore. So sad.

  14. #15 by BaronV on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 4:05 pm

    indeed the gearbox may cost 3or4k but u must also remember that you probably have to change it 7 or 8 times in a span or 5 years! thats about what RM32k? dont forget that protons are often only good for the first 3 months after which they go on a downhill trend which is exponential. After 4 or 5 years protons are absolute rubbish (well most of them anyway, if your luck is good you can actuly get a pretty decent one)

    Thats not including the ever broken (and needing to be replaced) power windows, reverse sensor, radio, windscreen washer pump, etc. All these so called small small things add up realy quickly when you have to keep sending that proton to the repair center.

    How dyu think the malaysian culture of buying a new car every 5 years came about?

    Oh yea…Perdana is a V6 which is a gas guzzler. The merc is more fuel efficient even though its a heavier car. The Terrenganu gov went for the 2000cc version which is abit underpowered for the weight of the car. They could have gone for a 2.8 or 3 liter car if they wanted to right?

    So in 20 years which is more economical? a 20 year old merc wif few overall (although more expensive individual) repair sessions or 4 perdana V6 (5yrs each!) with many more repair sessions that are ‘seemingly’ less expensive. This dunt look into the feul aspect either!

  15. #16 by blablowbla on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 4:15 pm

    i hv 1 very closed fren working as a purchasing officer at Putrajaya,in-charged of all the office equipments n apparatus for his department,i noticed very often,huge deliveries of PCs coming in,i said:macam nikayalah!tapi apa pasal u pakai kereta proton saga?u noe wat he said?
    “ini semua telah ditempah olih big-2 boss i,seluruh malaysia dia kowtim,i langsung yak ada peluang!keci2 punya adalah!”

  16. #17 by milduser on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 4:32 pm

    Want to know the break down of the gearbox replacement cost? Here is it (my guess):
    1 gearbox assembly 3,000.00
    2 Delivery charges 1,000.00
    2 workmanship 2,000.00
    3 oil change 500.00
    4 miscellaneous 1,000.00
    5 interest for late payment 1,000.00
    6 workshop over weekend charge 500.00
    7 profits (excess) 4,000.00
    8 Kickback 10,000.00
    Total Bill 23,000.00
    Easy come, easy go. Good for business. This is BOLEHLAND. Grandfathers money! Who cares? Do you think DAP cares? PR? PAS? ACA? AG? etc? etc?

  17. #18 by oknyua on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 4:57 pm

    I wrote about this before the 8th tsunami. But as YB Lim said, its everywhere.

    I used to supply vocational schools with equipments used in construction. For example, if they wrote: 20 hammers, 15 spades, 60 trowels etc… my staff would pack and deliver them. We get our cheques (never give terms to this type of people). Most of the time, the boss making the order would call.

    “Towkay, apa you tadak buang harga? Apa, next time don’t forget to remove the price tag… what are you?”
    Another group, like this: Order kayu, 2x4x12, x14, x16. 1 tonne. Okay, pack and deliver. Three days, call again, “Eh Towkay, oder lebih lah. Boleh balik kah?”

    “Apa tak boleh kira kah? Take back, charge transport and half price.”

    “Okay, apa-apa saja lah, asal ada wang.”
    Anyone needs explanation or a running commentary? Imranj78, do you get it? Shamsul Annuar, you around? This are Barisan Nasional contractors, one Ketua Pemuda Umno… You want the story about a Haji in white proton who extended Klinik Desa? lextcs, your famous Hudud, you want to hear about the Pakai Jubah putih and refused to pay for wood worth RM6,000 for the construction of his summer house? Kassim Amat, not around anymore, but do you want to hear how they repaired sekolah kebangsaan?

  18. #19 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 5:20 pm

    “The balance of RM993,620.14 or 93% was spent on 16 Perdana V6 cars serviced by unauthorized centres.” Cheap cheap already – lucky it was not 1 or 2 million – this is how blessed Umnoputras do business under NEP.

    This is the culture of Umnoputras.

    Next day, we are guaranteed to see that the service/repair bills of the fleet of Mercedes E200 Kompressor will also be as high as those of the Proton Perdana V6 Executives.

    Wake up people, it’s not the car brand that matters, it’s the corruption culture (which is well protected under OSA, ISA, etc). Anything that moves and anything that is open to malpractices WILL be manipulated for self-enrichment! Have we forgotten the ridiculously and blatantly astronomical prices of screw drivers, instant mee, and submarines paid by some of our beloved civil servants and politicians?

  19. #20 by FelixDT on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 6:11 pm

    I don’t think the PM should be blamed for this matter. If we were to put the blame on somebody, then blame the Terengganu MBs.. they are the classic example of MBs who became big-headed since they are appointed by the royalty. Such so that they don’t think that they are answerable to the PM. These are the type of MBs that Malaysians need less of.

  20. #21 by darkknight on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 6:49 pm

    Our country is going to the dogs with blatantly ignoramous and stupid people at the helm.

    Look at Penang. Under Lim Guan Eng, the state is going from bad to better. DAP has the know-how. Plus Uncle Lim at the stewardship. Period.

    Look at Terengganu. One ruckus after another. Damn. Look at the federal government under Undur Lah. With every given day, we are going backwards. Damn.

    The rakyat is angry. And we only lost in the GE because of the phantom voters from Undur Lah’s regime. Otherwise, DAP could be holding the fort already.

  21. #22 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 7:40 pm

    Read “My God is different from your God” @ http://w3.malaysia-today.net/content/view/10564/84/ and we will realise this issue is peanut, in terms of money siphoned off from the rakyat.

  22. #23 by limkamput on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 9:34 pm

    This country is not in entropy for no good reason.

  23. #24 by limkamput on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 - 9:40 pm

    Bye bye Malaysia, welcome Zimbasia.

  24. #25 by grace on Thursday, 31 July 2008 - 10:56 am

    Honestly Pak lah shoul resign. A lame duck can no longer be effective.
    With some Johor Umno clamouring for a change in PM, Pak Lah would be very scared to loose Trengganu’s support. Thus he definitely would not want to offend Ahmad Said.
    Just look at Ahmad Said. He was smiling gleefully when making press statements.
    Bet you, all the excos will swith to the Mercs in no time!!!!

  25. #26 by milduser on Thursday, 31 July 2008 - 12:15 pm

    Hi FelixDT
    B4 u start hammering, please for pet sake, get your perspective (what it is) right!
    The current MB is rolyalty appointed, less than 6 months (i think). He is exposing the misdeeds of the former MB appointed by Pak, apa nama, siapa? The former MB will be suing the current MB for tarnishing his polish image!
    so get you facts right, or least what is reportedly right.

  26. #27 by barble on Thursday, 31 July 2008 - 5:23 pm

    we can all sit in front of our computers and write about the incompetence of our politicians, the polices lack of interest in making malaysia more safe and the shameful judiciary system that we have in this country. But we the citizens of Malaysia has never made a stand on our right to be the ‘voice’ and do our

    job to ensure the right person runs our country and makes us feel safe to live here like our parents and parents before them….

    we can’t even walk in our own neighborhood to visit our neighbors across the streets, because of the fear that we would be harmed by a thief or rapist. our own children are not safe in their own housing play grounds…. why is this happening????

    its all because we the citizens are not voicing enough of our frustration in public.. i don’t mean in the internet where its only writing, but actually going head to head with our elected politicians(politicians that we vote, our votes that put them where they are now) and pressure them to be more responsible in their actions as the elected leaders in this country.

    do more public protests.. do you actually think that jails in malaysia can fit 26million malaysians??? obviously not right… and by doing this will not only impose fear in the politicians but they will definitely do they jobs well…

    we malaysians are no ‘UNITED’ in wanting what ‘WE’ want and how we want our country to be… we malaysians just gossip, talk behind backs, curse and swear but at the end of the day do not show our frustrations to ensure that there are heard. why we do this? because a typical malaysian will answer you, that they just hide it and keep mum when it comes going against the government, is because they have mouths to feed…
    let me tell you all here, if we don’t do what we have to do to make sure our country is a safe place to live for us, our children and the next generations…
    we all will not have jobs to feed them anyway… so why bicker behind the scenes??? ask yourselves why not do much more than that??? are we not capable to do so??? are we the voice of this country???? is this a democratic country??? ask yourselves these questions… i am hoping it will open all of your eyes..

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