By CLARA CHOOI
IPOH: The Barisan Nasional-led state government will give former Perak mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin first preference in the sale of the Toyota Camry AGS 10 he used as his official car.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said that this was because the Barisan government was “courteous” and “did not believe in being confrontational.”
He said that since his predecessor had expressed an interest in bidding for the car, which had been the former Pakatan Rakyat government’s official mentri besar vehicle, the state would not stop the latter from making an offer during the auction.
“It is good that he wants to buy the car. At least then he wouldn’t be using it ‘secara haram’ (illegally) any more,” Dr Zambry told reporters after chairing the weekly executive committee meeting here Wednesday.
He added that while Nizar would still have to bid for the vehicle, first preference would be given to him since he was the state’s former mentri besar.
“Even if there is a higher bidder for the car, we will give him top priority out of respect to him as the former mentri besar,” he said.
On whether priority would be given to former exco members from Pakatan, Dr Zambry said:
“I don’t know, ask them if they are interested or not. Usually, we will give them priority -- it has been our policy from the start.
“But whatever it is, we must go for the highest bidder.”
Dr Zambry said the state government would revert to using Proton Perdanas as official vehicles and would soon purchase a fleet for all state excos and ex-officios.
“The Proton cars are our national pride. We can use whatever brand of cars for personal use but as official vehicles, we should use the Proton,” he said.
On previous complaints on the high cost of maintenance for the Proton Perdanas, Dr Zambry said:
“It is one of our concerns but we will speak with Proton to see how best to maintain the cars.”
It was reported Tuesday that the state government had decided to auction off the 16 Toyota Camrys that were used as official vehicles during Pakatan’s rule.
The auction will take place at the State Secretariat’s car park from 9.30am to 4pm from May 4 to 18.
The reserve price for the vehicles will be at RM148,000 each and those interested should submit their offers before noon on May 18.