I got the heads-up over this issue at Rocky's Bru, where he had, tongue-in-cheek, called it Progress In Terengganu.
For those of you who aren't too familiar with our political administrative machinery, let me give you the low-down on this entire story.
Terengganu used to belong to PAS, prior to the recent elections. Frankly, it should be the richest state in Malaysia, as it has a tremendous wealth of oil reserves, off its shores.
But in good ole Bolehland, the federal government belonging to the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, takes all the royalty and metes it out on its own discretion. And to punish the people of Terengganu for voting in PAS, they were denied of the royalty for years.
Now that Terengganu is back in the hands of Barisan Nasional, the administration is making some fancy purchases. This led Rocky to question if this oil royalty was the money with which they were buying their new rides - some very nice Mercedes E200 Kompressors.
They have since denied it, an effort which has led to a series of other bumbling faux pas. The Mentri Besar's words on why Terengganu bought Mercedes cars:
“Please understand that the Proton Perdanas go through continuous long-distance journeys. It’s costing us a lot of money due to high cost of maintenance.
“We are not saying that the national car is not good but in reality we are coughing up more money for maintaining the Proton Perdanas, particularly the gear boxes,” he said.
Ahmad cited the example of the Proton Perdana of state Commerce, Industry and Environment committee chairman Toh Chin Yaw, which has twice undergone expensive repairs costing RM50,000 within 36 months.
“In the long run, Mercedes cars are cheaper to maintain and could also save us fuel costs.
“This is the state’s long-term plan – we are farsighted. The cars could also fetch a high market price, when sold as second-hand cars.
If indeed they were replacing the cars for efficiency, they have indirectly asserted that Proton cars are lousy. Not that it's something we don't know. :)
But regardless of what the man says, I'm banking on oil royalty.