Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika and vice-governor A.A. Ngurah Puspayoga are steadfast in refusing offers of new official vehicles paid from the provincial budget for 2010.
The vice-chairman of the special committee for the State budget, Ketut Adnyana, confirmed that an allocation of Rp. 2 billion (US$222,000) each had been set aside by the island's legislature for new cars for Pastika and Puspayoga only to have the purchase of new luxury cars for their official use refused by the two men.
Adnyana explained how the governors and vice-governor's cars, when required to join official motorcades for visits by President Yudhoyono or members of the presidential cabinet, are often unable to keep up and end up being left behind.
The governor's official vehicle is a 1999 Toyota Royal Crown with a Toyota Kijang Innova for the vice-governor. Claiming both cars were too old, Adnyana lamented, "just imagine, official cars used by regents in Bali are of a much higher standard that those used by the governor and vice-governor."
The legislator related a story of how governor Pastika's car was unable to keep pace with an official motorcade bearing President Yudhoyono across Bali on an official visit. Left behind, Pastika's car arrived at a scheduled destination late, after the official entourage had already entered the building. Meanwhile, the presidential security team, suspicious of the older vehicle trying to approach the VIP location, refused entrance compelling Pastika to disembark and walk the final stretch.
Governor Pastika told the press that he wished the funds allocated for new vehicles be dedicated instead to programs more urgent to the needs of the general public, such as health and education. "I ask that (the new cars) be put in next year's budget," said Pastika.
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