The latest fiasco about the Proton Perdana versus Mercedes Benz was really the much awaited dessert after the heavy meal of Anwar’s sodomy conspiracy. Already people are getting sick and tired of the sodomy case and without Anwar’s DNA, the part-2 of the supposedly Indiana Jones thriller will not make it to the box-office. Without a proper script-writer (and budget) to create suspense and new plots, the story is so “low-class” that it’s not qualified to be screened at Cineplexes. But if it’s true that the semen found inside Saiful’s poor little hole was from his uncle and not from Anwar, then cinema-goers might find reason to spend the little money left for some entertainment.
Back to the little story about Proton Holdings Berhad’s (KLSE: PROTON, stock-code 5304) top range Perdana V6 Executives. It’s awesome just how much the cost of ownership is to maintain a V6 and taking the cue from the estimated RM132,357.36 maintenance cost for a single car from 2004 as reported, it would whack a cool RM33,089.34 a year just to ensure the national car can roll on the road. Holy cow! That’s really a good money generator for Proton and could easily put Mercedes Benz and BMW to shame. No wonder the Terengganu’s Chief Minister (Menteri Besar) was quick to conclude it would be more economical to change the fleet to 14 RM245,000 (I thought such model costs at least RM340,00 each?) Mercedes E200 Kompressors (for RM3.43 million) as it’s no brainer that in the long run the Germany car was the solution to prevent such huge “leakages”.
Of course people started to curse the Chief Minister for being lavish during such period but can you really blame him for such a shocking maintenance cost? The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) was surprisingly fast in their action to probe into the high costs of maintenance with the Chief Minister cheekily told the ACA to be equally efficient into other high-profile projects such as the prestigious Monsoon Cup sailing event and the Islamic Civilisation Park. Obviously irregularities can be seen all over the place in this Proton Perdana V6 Executives’ maintenance cost case. Rumors that government officers brought along their own vehicles together with the “state vehicle” (Perdana V6) for repairs or services and lumped together the total cost to be charged and thus enjoy free-ride are blowing.
Nevertheless you do not need a rocket scientist to jack-up the repairs or services charges at other workshops since Proton said its records showed that there had been no warranty claims made on that particular vehicle (cost more than RM100,000 in repairs and maintenance) since October 2004. However Proton Holdings Bhd managing director Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir claimed the average maintenance cost for each Perdana car sent by the Terengganu Government was only RM542 per year (huh?). So some geniuses must have pocketed the differences. Terengganu Chief Minister might be having fun poking at Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi’s head with the purchase but the irritated PM could not do anything judging from his decision to allow the state to keep its Mercedes-Benzes to be used for foreign dignitaries.
The question is do you have that many foreign dignitaries or VVIPs visiting Terengganu? If not wouldn’t it be more practical to sell or auction it off? I’m sure many interested parties would snap the Mercedes Benzes even at 20 percent discount. At least by selling it off the state could cut lost and it’s better to lose RM686,000 than to spend RM3.43 million keeping the cars in the cold storage. But then how could the PM say anything else when he himself spent huge amount of money on yacht and luxury jet? Maybe the government should consider Toyota Camy or Honda Accord for reliability.
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