KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob’s official vehicle is a Mercedes-Benz with the licence plate “DV 1”, a report by Malaysiakini today said amid a viral photo alleging the fact.
Citing a source from within the Kelantan state government who declined to be named, Malaysiakini reported that the vehicle was purchased last year.
Malaysiakini noted that there was previously viral claims on social media that the PAS-led state government had purchased a luxury Mercedes-Benz sedan of the S450L AMG Line model at a price exceeding RM600,000.
Malay Mail has contacted both Ahmad and the Kelantan deputy mentri besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah for confirmation.
On September 12, 2018, Mohd Amar was reported by local daily Berita Harian as confirming that the Kelantan state government has purchased a Mercedes-Benz vehicle for state secretary Datuk Nazran Muhammad.
He had also then said the state government was expected to purchase several more Mercedes-Benz vehicles for state exco members who had no cars or whose existing cars had exceeded 10 years of service.
While admitting that the Kelantan state government was not as rich as compared to other states, Mohd Amar was reported justifying the purchase of Mercedes-Benz vehicles out of necessity and better safety levels, while noting that even the late PAS spiritual adviser and former Kelantan mentri besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat had himself used a Mercedes-Benz.
He had also noted that state exco members who are asked to step down — following the last general election where new exco members are appointed — would ask to buy over the official vehicle and which would then mean that the state government has to purchase new cars.
He had also noted that Kelantan exco members tend to go on long road journeys instead of taking flights, and that better vehicles were needed for comfort.
Kelantan is one of the poorest states in the country, with Deputy Rural Development Minister R. Sivarasa reported as saying in July 2019 that seven out of the 28 poorest districts in the country are in Kelantan.
These seven districts in Kelantan are Gua Musang, Jeli, Kuala Krai, Pasir Mas, Pasir Putih, Tanah Merah and Tumpat.