IPOH, Jan 16 — The Kelantan Mentri Besar’s Office has denied using a RM400 million special allocation meant for the state to buy a fleet of Mercedes-Benz as official cars for its senior officials as alleged recently.
It clarified that the state government’s decision was made back in September 12, 2018 through Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah to replace the ageing official fleet with newer cars but in stages.
“The state government has decided to replace the official vehicle for the use of the mentri besar and the state excos in stages after reviewing older vehicles which have been used for the past 10 to 12 years,” the statement read.
However, it did not disclose the cost.
The statement included a link to a past news report by Malay daily Berita Harian citing Mohd Amar as confirming the state government’s purchase of a Mercedes-Benz for state secretary Datuk Nazran Muhammad.
He was also reported as saying then that the state government was expected to purchase several more of the same make for its executive council members who were without a car or whose vehicles had been in use for 10 years or more.
The Mentri Besar’s Office also responded to the viral “BMF” or “Buy Mercedes First” claims on social media mocking the state government’s purchase of the luxury marque for Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob.
It clarified that the registered licence plate “DV 1” had been in use since the time of Ahmad’s predecessor, the late Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, who had also used a Mercedes-Benz gifted to him by the then Sultan of Kelantan.
“And the state government has decided to retain the original registration number ‘DV 1’ for the mentri besar’s newly purchased official vehicle, which has also received approval from the Sultan of Kelantan,” it added.