Penang buys 15 new Camrys for exco members at RM2.77 million

Members of the former Penang government returning the keys of their state vehicles in a ceremony in April last year.

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government today said it has bought 15 Toyota Camry 2.5V cars at a cost of RM2.77 million for its state executive council members to replace the official cars of the same make and model bought in 2013.

State financial officer Sarul Bahiyah Abu said the 2019 Camry cars, assembled in Thailand, were bought at RM184,912.50 each after a RM4,990 discount.

She added that the purchase was approved by the state executive council on March 13.

“The cars were replaced as the maintenance cost of the newer cars is lower, and they have better safety aspects,” she said in a statement.

“The older cars were used for six years. Their warranty periods have expired, and they were often sent for repairs with service cost averaging RM11,030 per car, from their purchase in 2013 up to 2018.”

Sarul said 10 of the older Camry cars would be sold in a tender to be called soon, while five others would be used by the Penang government.

The older, locally assembled cars were bought at a cost of RM1.7 million, inclusive of tax cuts.

They replaced a fleet of six Mercedes-Benz E-Class cars and nine Proton Perdana V6 Executive cars, which were between 12 and 21 years old.

The state’s official cars are used by the state assembly speaker, deputy speaker, state secretary, state financial officer, state legal adviser, and 10 exco members.

Sahul said the next car to be replaced would be the chief minister’s 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S320L limousine, as the maintenance cost of the vehicle had increased as well.

“The maintenance cost for the CM’s official car has increased since 2013, at RM36,199 a year up to 2018,” she said.

She added that the state government is still awaiting a response from a supplier in deciding which car to purchase.

The chief minister’s Mercedes-Benz was reportedly purchased in late December 2013 at a cost of RM298,263.75 following a tax cut and discount amounting to RM360,000. The car, assembled in Pekan, Pahang, replaced the chief minister’s official Camry 2.5V.