Going bananas over cars - Malaysiakini | Malaysian Sentinel : Malaysia's Politics from a Malaysian Citizen Blogger

Friday, July 25, 2008

Going bananas over cars - Malaysiakini

Shakespeare would be amazed at the level of drama the Malaysian government is capable of performing. You can imagine the snickers coming out of some foreign embassy.

“So Bob, what’s the latest thing happening in Malaysia?” The voice over the phone crackled. The line was bad but it was a long-distance call using underwater cables for their satellite was not in range for a secure call.

“Is the line secure?”

“Can’t guarantee it, talk gibberish if you have to,” the reply came, referring to the Code they used when talking over unsecured telecommunication lines.


“Affirmative. Speak easy.”

“OK. They are now squabbling over the type of cars for use by government officers.”

“Come again. I didn’t get that last bit of gibberish.”

“It’s not gibberish. It’s the actual text.”


“No, I’m not kidding,” he could hear the long pause. His superior was deep in thought, accessing the situation and outlining their next course of action.

“Goodness. We have the Russians talking about refueling their bombers in Cuba, a bombing incident in China; days before the Olympic games, a hurricane baring down in the Caribbean and a standoff in the Middle East and in Malaysia they are squabbling over cars?"

“You heard me. There is even a police report over the high maintenance cost and I heard the Anti Corruption Agency is getting involve, plus it was even talked about in Cabinet. Now, its spilled over and has become an issue of national pride and buying Malaysian made products.”

There was a chuckle from the other end of the line and Bob knew what came next.

“Well, just keep us posted. Nothing to worry about there. As long as they squabble among themselves, there is no threat to anyone.”

“Wilco,” Bob answered and the line went dead but not before he heard laughter crackling over the unsecured telephone line in his office overlooking the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

(The above story is fictional and a blast of my imagination. I DO NOT have connections with any foreign powers.)

Get my drift?

I am amaze how this matter has clearly been blown out of proportion. Police reports, ACA and even the workshop director getting their day in the news. What does this hope to accomplish but only to prove how in-efficient the Abdullah Badawi’s has been all this while. If the maintenance costs were that high in the first place, why did no-one notice? They had four (4) years to raise the issue of high maintenance costs and would have sufficient time to take measures to lower the cost of maintenance.

Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR) telah mengambil keterangan daripada empat pemandu exco kerajaan negeri Terengganu berhubung kos penyenggaraan Proton Perdana V6 Executive yang terlalu tinggi.

Enam pegawai BPR berkenaan telah datang ke Wisma Darul Iman, pusat pentadbiran kerajaan Terengganu, sejak petang semalam dan pagi tadi bagi mengambil dokumen-dokumen berkaitan untuk diteliti.

Source: Malaysiakini

But having said that, Proton should be taken to task for producing cars that are sub-standard. The Treasury directive that all government officials use the national car is merely a soft-form of bail-out to keep Proton afloat. We must give credit to the Terengganu MB for making a bold choice to switch away from Proton. I believe there is truth to what the MB is saying.

The initial purchase price for the Mercedes cars would be higher than for the Proton Perdana but in the long run, the Mercedes would be cheaper to maintain because Mercedes do not break down as often as the Proton Perdana and surely you do not have to replace the Mercedes gear-box on a regular basis as what was reported about the Proton Perdana.

Anyway, why is this whole matter concerning cars news when it only highlights the cracks in the current BN government? Does such a silly thing need the attention of the Prime Minister when the Treasury office can merely enforce their own general order?

This is the state of the Malaysian government where even such decisions need to be referred to the highest office and right now, that highest office is standing weak. Flip-flop decisions, vague public statements, inability to control subordinates, disconnection from the general populace and near-sightedness are all hallmarks of a weak leader.

Shakespeare would have commented, in this drama the real issue is not the cars. The issue is what would the leaders do? The twist of the tale is to see who has the greatest resolve to push their agenda through and I think the Terengganu MB is getting his way.

I heard, Selangor would follow suit but they are thinking of choosing Toyota rather than Mercedes. So, Abdullah Badawi what are you going to say now?


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