THE state government plans to spend RM1.7mil to buy 15 new Toyota Camry 2.5 automatic cars to replace its existing official fleet of Proton Perdana vehicles that are between 12 and 21 years old.
The individuals who will receive the new cars are the 11 state executive councillors, including the Chief Minister, his two deputies as well as the State Legislative Speaker, State Secretary, State Financial Officer and State Legal Adviser.
The new Toyota cars are black in colour and fitted with full specifications.
They are expected to be delivered by mid-November to the state.
State Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow, who confirmed this, said the price quoted was minus a possible tax exemption that they hope to obtain from the Royal Customs and Excise Department.
“Otherwise, we may have to fork out more as the approved market price for this model is RM174,820. With the tax exempt, we hope to pay only RM113,700 per car,” Chow told a press conference in Komtar yesterday.
He said that the choice of Toyota did not mean that the state was unpatriotic towards the national car Proton, stressing that its Perdana range was no longer in production.
Chow also noted that the Federal Government recently opted to go with the new Honda Accord models to replace its own fleet of cars for all cabinet members.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng‘s official PG1 car, a Mercedes-Benz S320 is 18 years old, while state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo’s one, a Mercedes-Benz 200E is 21 years old.
Chow said some of the existing six Mercedes Benz and nine Proton Perdana V6 executive cars would be allocated to the state’s five District Officers and other department heads, while the economically not viable models would be disposed.
In the same event, State Financial Officer Datuk Mokhtar Jait said the state spends an average of RM20,000 to RM30,000 per year on maintenance for each of the state vehicles.
“In 2011, we spent RM370,400 to maintain 21 state official cars, while last year we spent RM383,000. This year between January and August alone, we spend about RM301,238.”
In a related development, Bukit Bendara PKR division head Jason Ong Khan Lee said he had informed Chow about changing the fleet to the new variant of diesel-powered vehicles as such a move is a cost saver to the state in the long-term.
He claimed that new diesel engines produces 40% more mileage on a full tank compared to the conventional-petrol driven engines and its carbon emission is relatively lower.