Car leads to political rown in Penang

PENANG - Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has politicians all riled up.

Other parties as well as his own coalition members criticised the purchase of the expensive car.

Mr Lim belongs to the Democratic Action Party (DAP), which is a member of the coalition called Pakatan Rakyat, led by Mr Anwar Ibrahim's party Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan, of Umno, accused Mr Lim of being "hypocritical", reported Malaysia's The Star.

He said on Tuesday: "He accuses the federal government of being spendthrift. But look at him now. He doesn't walk the talk."

Mr Abdul Rahman said that Mr Lim had gone against "everything that he was talking about Barisan Nasional leaders".

Special Discount

The report said the Penang government had got the car at a special discount.

Liberal news portal Malaysian Insider quoted state financial officer Mokhtar Mohd Jait as saying that the palladium silver car was bought for RM298,263.75 (S$114,875), a figure much lower than the selling price of RM657,218.

PKR and Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) questioned whether the purchase was necessary, in light of the rising cost of living faced by the people.

Said PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar: "I have no problem if they bought the car at a cheaper price. But if the old vehicles can still be used, why the need to change?"

PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin said that although Mr Lim is entitled to the car as a chief minister, it has always been Pakatan's principle to spend prudently.

She said: "If there's a need for a new car, then it (the price) is reasonable. But is it necessary? He needs to clarify himself, otherwise we will be seen behaving like Barisan people."

The Barisan Nasional coalition heads the federal government.

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