Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: Penang should not change official cars during lean times

Yoursay  |  Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY | ‘Consider what sort of message it is sending out to the people...’

Penang buys 15 new Toyota Camry at RM180,000 each as official cars

Malaysian United: To be fair, I think the Penang chief minister deserves a car in the Toyota Camry price range. But for the other state exco members, it should be somewhere between RM120,000 to RM130,000.

The state government shouldn't be seen to be spending lavishly during these lean times. Consider what sort of message it is sending out to the people who are struggling to keep up with the bills and to put food on the table.

Vijay 47: People would argue that the purpose of a car, especially where a government body is concerned, is to get you from point A to point B in reasonable comfort and safety. As long as the car serves this purpose, the model chosen should not be luxurious.

In buying the relatively humble Toyota Camry, the Penang government has been prudent when we consider that the top-end of the car range, which includes premier brands such as Mercedes and BMW, would have each easily cost more than double the price.

Without going overboard, the model selected should reflect the office of the person using it. Otherwise, we could insist that only the Perodua Kancil should be the preferred model since that too would take you from point A to point B.

It must also be noted that only the Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow would not be using the same model as the rest of his senior officials.

Incidentally, the price tag of RM184,000 for the Toyota Camry is on-the-road price, without any tax exemption. So, my opinion is that there is nothing wasteful about buying Camrys.

All cats may be grey in the dark but some do need to be visible by day.

Harapan Baru Msia: It is too early for the Penang state government to change cars after only six years of using the existing Toyota Camrys.

I feel the cars can be used for at least a few more years and the present purchase to be unnecessary and a waste of the rakyat’s money.

Beman: I am intrigued by the statement of the Penang state financial officer Sarul Bahiyah Abu that “the current official cars will be replaced because the expected maintenance cost is lower and has better safety aspects.”

Many ordinary citizens who find cars a necessity cannot afford the luxury of replacing their cars “for better safety aspects" after just five years of driving a new car.

Many Malaysians who actually spend longer time on the road than the Penang chief minister and his state executive councillors are using cars that are definitely older than five years.

Anonymous_1e23ccf0: For the issue of replacing the existing cars, please note that whether it is new or old, there is depreciation in the value of the car.

If we assume an eight percent depreciation rate and this applies for both new and old cars, then the deciding factor is the maintenance cost going forward.

Most car companies give five years’ free maintenance, and once the period is over, the Penang state government has to pay for the maintenance.

The older the car, it costs more for maintenance and replacement of parts. Hence, it makes sense to replace the cars and avoid expensive maintenance costs.

Unless if the argument is about buying cheaper car models in the range of RM130,000. Then, there is a saving for the state government in the depreciation of the cars.

Anonymous 1e23ccf0: The argument by the Penang government that their reason to change official cars is because it is cheaper to buy new cars than to maintain older cars doesn’t hold water.

The maintenance cost for each car is different, and depends on the mileage travelled each year plus the driving conditions and how well the car is taken care of.

Certain minor repairs and replacements can also be postponed, thus reducing the annual maintenance cost.

Another aspect to look at is to ensure the government is not overcharged when they send the cars for servicing and repairs.

From Penang: The maintenance fee for my seven-year-old car is less than RM1,000 per year. How did the Penang state government spend RM11,000 annually for each car?

Can’t they source for good and reasonably-priced external maintenance and service centres instead of sending the cars to the expensive Toyota service centres?

There has been a big change in the attitude of the DAP-led Penang government lately when compared to when they came to power in 2008. They seem to be far more wasteful in recent times.

The Analyser: We’re immensely grateful that the Penang government are not copying the previous BN government’s lavish spending on high-end luxury cars.

However, simply being better than BN is just not good enough in this age and time.

Long Man: Just because Pakatan Harapan is in control at the federal level, they are starting to behave like the previous administration.

This is not the time for the Penang government to be buying new official cars, especially when the rakyat on the ground are suffering. This shows how much they are detached from the person on the street.

The estimated RM2.7 million expenditure to buy the cars could have been put to much greater use as the earlier change was only done six years ago.

Previously, the logic of purchasing Japanese cars is that the latter’s maintenance cost is much cheaper. However, this has changed and now, the Japanese-make car companies’ service centres are also charging high prices for service.

Instead of thinking about making themselves more comfortable, the Penang leaders should be focusing on eliminating the problems of the rakyat.

Annonnymous 080: Why are the Penang government not buying the Proton executive car which has been widely used by officials, including cabinet ministers?

Surely, the jobs of at least 10 Malaysians in the auto industry would have been secured.

LDM: This is pure extravagance at the highest level. Ordinary people are still driving their eight, 10, 15-year-old cars, and the Penang state government does this?

This is pure wastage and arrogance at a time when they tell the rakyat to be prudent and tighten the belt as the economy is currently bad.

Their argument that Toyota has the cheapest maintenance cost does not make sense. The money can be spent on the poor.

If they keep on wasting public money, they will be punished in the next election.


The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.

These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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