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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Perak taxpayers may lose RM516,000 from Zambry’s Camry sale

By SK English News

BN Menteri Besar Zambry Kadir’s decision to auction off 14 units of Toyota Camry purchased by his predecessor and arch rival, Pakatan Rakyat Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin, can cost taxpayers at least RM518,000.

“The original price of the Toyota Camry was RM167,000 and the current market value is RM130,000 - this means a loss of about RM37,000 per car,” Sungkai assemblyman A Sivanesan told a news portal.

“Multiply this by 14 and the total loss comes to about RM518,000. This has nothing to do with patriotism. It is a political ploy by the BN that will waste taxpayers’ money.”

Hypocrisy that hurts taxpayers

Accused of political brinksmanship, Zambry had cited support for Malaysia’s national car industry as his reason for wanting to sell the month-old Camrys. He said the cars would be replaced with the Perdana Executive.

“It does not make sense to auction off the newly acquired Toyota Camry cars incurring a substantial loss of money for the tax-payers. This is senseless squandering of wealth and defies logic,” chided P Ramakrishnan, president of social reform and human rights group Aliran.

“During this economic crisis one would have expected him to act wisely but unfortunately he is trapped in the mindset of Umno-BN noted for their extravagance and opulence.

“Zambry’s decision would result in the unnecessary loss of hundreds of thousands of ringgit but he seems to have no qualms in wasting this huge amount of money because it is not their money. It is this mental attitude that propels them to act carelessly.”

Nevertheless, the public criticism did little to stop the unpopular Zambry from going ahead with the auction, which was held in the first week of May. Only seven bids were obtained and the sale deferred.

Since then Nizar has also surrendered his Camry, with the famous registration plate AGS 10. State assembly Speaker V Sivakumar is still holding onto to his. If both units were included, the loss from an auction would easily hit RM592,000.

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