GEORGE TOWN: Penang has bought a new Mercedes-Benz S560e luxury hybrid saloon for Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow to replace the existing official car which was purchased in 2013.
Chow, who was spotted alighting from the brand new car at the swearing-in ceremony of the Penang Island City Council's (MBPP) councillors at the City Hall here this morning, said, he had just received the new car yesterday.
"I don't know the details of the purchase. The State Secretary will issue a statement on this soon," he said when asked about the new ride.
Later, the State Secretary's Office confirmed the purchase of the 2019 selenite grey model at a price of RM458,122.78, with a discount of RM127,765.22.
The price of the brand new car is almost double the price of the previous official car used by Chow, a Mercedes S300L bought for RM298,263.
"The state executive council consented to the purchase of the new car on Nov 29, 2019," it said in a statement.
In Aug 2019, Penang confirmed receipt of 15 new units of the Toyota Camry 2.5 CBU for official use, replacing the previous CKD model.
Each car was priced at RM184,912.50, and the state managed to obtain a discount worth RM4,990.
A decision was made to replace the older cars to reduce maintenance costs as well as for safety reasons.
At that time, the old fleet of cars had been in use for six years and was no longer under warranty. They also needed to be sent for constant maintenance, costing about RM11,030 annually for each unit (between 2013 and 2018).
In Aug 2013, Penang replaced 15 official cars with the new Toyota Camry 2.5 Auto units.
Prior to that, Mercedes Benz and Proton Perdana units were used for an average of 15 years.
At the time, the specially ordered Camry was priced at RM113,700 each compared to the government-approved market price of RM174,820.