Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Ex PM Repents

The Ex Prime Minister of Malaysia has returned 7 vehicles to Proton. Proton is the national auto maker and under the tenure of the ex PM was given protected status which meant exorbitant tariffs on imported vehicles. It was also given a lot of startup money from public funds and favourable treatment. Let's see now. Imagine if Toyota was given all this favourable treatment and then gave away cars to Japanese law makers. Included in the cars returned was a VW Phaeton (a luxury car which is actually quite a good looker) and a Taureg. The value of the Phaeton alone is around USD 67K in the US. And this is just one of the 7 cars given to him. In a nation where the per capita GDP for 2004 was around USD 10,000.

By the way this was not a gift to the people of Malaysia or to the office of the PM. It was a gift to the person who happened to be Prime Minister at the time and apprently it was for a 'test drive'. Imagine if Boeing gave a free corporate jet to GW Bush, even if it was for a 'test'. Imagine if Ferrari gave a free car to Berlusconi for a 'test drive'. Do our local newspapers have no idea what corruption is or must we look the other way every time something like this happens?

So has he repented? Only time will tell.

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