Umno-owned newspaper Utusan Malaysia received another bashing from the Penang government for "lying" that car prices had dipped in line with the BN's government 'Janji Ditepati' (promises fulfilled) 13th general election slogan.

dap special meeting 110313 lim guan engChief Minister Lim Guan Eng (left) accused the broadsheet of "racism and slander" whose contents cannot be relied on.

"Utusan lied when it said the federal government has fulfilled its election pledges of providing cheaper cars," Lim said at a press conference.

"But the car companies have come out to refute the reports," he added, referring to Volkswagen and Peugeot which had rejected claims of price slashing for their cars.

"This is serious and the authorities should take action against Utusan. It seems we cannot trust anything they write, perhaps we can only trust the date on the newspaper," he mocked.

The DAP secretary-general was quick to add "this is nothing personal about the journalists but the newspaper company".

Details nailing the lies released

NONEOn June 10, Utusan carried a front-page report that 10 models of cars are now cheaper, as their cost had reduced from between RM449 to RM12,775 (0.7 to 11 percent), from January to May this year.

The Malay-language daily said the reduction applied to models such as Peugeot, Proton, Perodua, Volkswagen and Honda.

"The government has fulfilled its promises to reduce car prices in stages when the five companies announced the price reduction of ten cars," said the report.

It also quoted the Malaysian Automotive Institute as saying that the car prices cannot be cut suddenly as that would impact the prices of used cars, bank loans, used car industry businessmen and the banking institutions which provides car loans.

Three days later, Volkswagen Malaysia said in Facebook that: "Please be advised, the price on the image is incorrect. The Golf price has always been RM157,888 from time of launch. Not RM169,888. Thank you".

NONEMeanwhile, Peugeot Malaysia, on the question of whether there is truth in the price slash said: "Without prejudice, nothing was issued by us, we were not consulted before the article went to print and have no association with the news contained therein.

"The prices shown appear to be of the 308 Turbo pre-F/L and 308 VTi which are in fact two different variants of the Peugeot 308".

Umno's 'desperation' 

Meanwhile PKR said the episode reflected the “utter desperation” of Umno in dealing with Pakatan’s '#TurunkanHargaKereta' campaign to slash car prices.

NONE“It appears that the commitment to reduce car prices by Umno-BN was made after it recognised how popular Pakatan’s '#TurunkanHargaKereta' campaign was, yet until today they are unable to find a mechanism to do so without doing away with the government’s reliance on excise duties,” its communications director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said.

Utusan shows that the once-proud Malay broadsheet is now a symbol of bad journalism as it acts to further the interests of its political owners, Umno.”

Nik Nazmi called on the daily to apologise immediately to the carmakers concerned, and to all Malaysians.-malaysiakini.