LEST we forget, it's not the Proton Perdana Executive V6 or the Mercedez Benz E200 Kompressor that's the issue here. I believe both cars have dependable qualities in their own way, and depending on who's buying, should be a good buy at any point in time.
I believe that we have somehow lost the plot. Terengganu MB Datuk Ahmad Said had told the media that the issue of the State Government buying the Merc is all settled after he had a meeting with his boss, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Abdullah, when stating his stand, said the State Government, having already bought the cars to replace the Perdana Executive V6, should be used by dignitaries visiting Trengganu. This makes Terengganu as perhaps the only state having 14 brand new Merc on standby for use by visiting dignitaries.
Last Friday and Saturday, however, two of the Mercs were in Putrajaya and Johor Baru for separate engagements. While this was going on, a debate rages on the maintenance cost of the Perdana V6 compared to that of a Merc.
Ahmad Said says one thing, Abdullah says another. Between these two leaders, the Malaysian motoring public is being brought to speed on the merits and demerits of the technical aspects of both cars. I wait anxiously when the motoring media would make a bumper to bumper comparison of these two models.
It does look like the Terengganu MB has defied the PM, having allowed his Exco members to take the car for a spin, to Putrajaya and JB no less. All eyes are now on the PM - what's the next move? Will we see another face off between the Federal and the State Governments?
I also hear voices commending the MB for his statement that he's not a 'hypocrite' when buying the Merc to replace the Perdana V6. Elaborating, he said many of his political colleagues have several cars in their private garage, and the list doesn't just stop at Merc and BMWs!
Heck! I've seen a Federal Minister driving in a Range Rover Sports (which costs more than RM1 million). The Porche Cayenne? Plenty around too...same as the BMW M5 specs, which is very powerful that it requires the driver to undergo full training routines before driving away with his purchase.
By making that statement, Ahmad Said didn't endear himself to his colleagues, especially those in Umno. By layman's reckoning, Ahmad Said not only defied his boss, he also challenged Pak lah's authority by letting at least two EXCO members to use the cars meant for state dignitaries.
Perhaps for Ahmad Said, the purchase was already a fait accompli. What's there to talk and argue anymore - that's his stand. The rakyat aren't the only ones waiting to see the outcome of this duel. Ahmad Said's colleagues too would want to see who or what will prevail in this encounter - the brand new Merc or the Perdana V6.
I guess this is it! Not only have we lost the plot, we have also demonstrated our penchant and skill for shooting ourselves in the leg. It doesn't require much hard work, but we certainly have more than adequate training in recent times.