Parliament is rarely a place of high satire. The insults hurled between esteemed members are usually unembellished and can become tactless in heated situations.
So, when ‘Vellfire-gate’ broke – the government’s move to replace the entire fleet of ministerial vehicles with brand new 2.5L Toyota Vellfires – it was wholly expected that the Opposition would take the government to task as they always have.
Instead, we were served up with a classy takedown by Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil, who gave this tongue-in-cheek ‘congratulations’ to his colleagues on the opposite aisle:
@fahmi.fadzilTahniah Kerajaan sebab jimat RM2.80 sebulan bila tukar kereta rasmi menteri dari Proton Perdana ke Vellfire!! 🤣🤣♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod
“It’s true, they get to save RM2.80 a month, or a reduction in costs of 0.0577%. This works out to RM33.60 a year, with 32 ministers making the savings RM1075.20 a year.
“This is huge for the entire Malaysian population, and must suffice all MOF requirements,” Fahmi wrote ironically in a later tweet, echoing the same sentiment.
The remarks came at the beginning of Fahmi’s speech during the 2022 Budget debate, and he goes on to highlight the issue of 5G-preparedness in this country.
Earlier, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) released a statement justifying the Vellfire purchases.
“In light of the remarks made on social media, MOF would like to clarify that the government’s decision to purchase the 2.5L Toyota Vellfires is to replace the 2.4 Premium Proton Perdanas used prior as they have been out of production since 2014.
“The decision was also reached as the rent cost for the 2.5L Toyota Vellfires are cheaper than the 2.4 Premium Proton Perdanas.”
An accompanying table cites the monthly rental standing at RM4,851.61 a unit for the former, and RM4,854.41 for the latter.