GEORGE TOWN: Jul 26, 2008 By NG SU-ANN
Penang might buy Toyota Camry cars in future for official use, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said Penang might buy the cars, which he said were cheaper than Proton Perdana V6, after seeking Federal Government approval.
"Since Terengganu is allowed to keep 14 Mercedes-Benzes costing RM3.43mil, Penang should be allowed to buy Toyota cars in future," he told newsmen Saturday at the clan jetties' open house in Weld Quay.
Lim described the decision to allow Terengganu to keep its Mercedes-Benzes to be used for foreign dignitaries as inappropriate and a waste of money especially when many people were suffering during the economic slowdown.
"This doesn't make sense. What's the regularity of foreign dignitaries visiting Terengganu? How often do even the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister or Sultans visit the state?
"If the cars are not going to be used often, what's the point of keeping them? This is an example of how public funds are misused by Barisan Nasional leaders. A leopard can't change its spots," he added.
Lim said he was surprised that no action would be taken against Terengganu for defying the federal directive that stated that Proton Perdana was the official car for executive council members and ex-officio members.
In March, the new Penang government had cancelled an order for five new Perdana V6 cars worth RM623,000 ordered by the previous administration for its exco members.
Lim said: "Instead of buying new cars, we had cancelled the orders. Instead of buying new Perdanas, Terengganu had bought Mercedes Benzes.
"Who doesn't want to sit in new cars? However, I believe that as long as a car, even if it's an old boneshaker, can still move, that's good enough," he said, adding that his official car was 14 years old.