Much has been said by many on the government’s decision to switch the official minister’s car to the Toyota Vellfire 2.5L from the previous Proton Perdana, which came to light last week. Most of the comments point to the price of the new fleet, and alleged wastage of public funds. The finance ministry (MOF) has come out to explain.

In a statement released yesterday, MOF revealed that the monthly rental amount for the Toyota Vellfire 2.5L is actually lower than what the government paid for the Proton Perdana 2.4L Premium – RM4,851.61 for the Vellfire and RM4,854.41 for the Perdana.

Note that this is the stretched “Accordana” limo for ministers and not the regular-bodied rebadged Honda Accord for other government officials. Production ended in 2014, so a like-for-like replacement for this LWB special is not possible. The standard-wheelbase Perdana used by other officials have already been replaced by the Proton X70.

MOF also said that this replacement is overdue. “The suggestion to switch from the Perdana to other vehicles such as the Vellfire was actually considered during the previous administration, but it was delayed and only implemented this year. Before this replacement, some of the KRJ (Kenderaan Rasmi Jawatan) for cabinet ministers have topped six years, when in fact, KRJ replacement for ministers are scheduled at every four years,” the statement read.

Last week, when answering a question from Bayan Baru MP Steven Sim, finance minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz revealed that the total monthly lease for each Vellfire is RM5,759, which includes RM4,852 to rent the car and RM908 to maintain it. All government vehicles are sourced from Spanco, which has held the contract since 1994.

GALLERY: 2018 Toyota Vellfire 2.5L facelift