“The record must be set straight, and these lies put to an end,” said the Minister.
“Firstly, the use of a certain level of vehicle is required for global events such as an APEC Leaders’ Summit.
“Secondly, as with past APEC hosts, these vehicles will be purchased by the private sector at cost.
“Thirdly, the price the Maserati will be sold to the private sector is less than the sale price of a Toyota Land Cruiser VX, while price of Bentleys will be more than the Toyota, but not the ridiculous K2.3 million each claimed by the desperate member of Opposition.”
Tkatchenko said the vehicles that were selected, and approved by the National Executive Council, were made after consideration of previous vehicles used by APEC hosts, including Audis and BMWs, as well as other suitable vehicles including Mercedes Benz and the wide wheelbase Range Rover.
“The Range Rover had been identified, and when these became unavailable, the next most cost-effective option presented for the volume required for the main vehicle was the Maserati,” he stated.
“The Maserati will be the vehicle utilised by Heads of Government, and the Bentley, as a higher level of vehicle, will be utilised by Heads of State.
“In previous major international meetings held in Papua New Guinea, the Government has acquired vehicles for sale to the private sector.
“This includes the two previous African, Caribbean and Pacific Leaders’ Summits, and Pacific Island Leaders’ Summits.
“The selection of Maserati and Bentley motor vehicles was approved by NEC for use by APEC Leaders and to be on-sold to the private sector.
“A number of expressions of interest have been made and this process will be advanced independently through the Central Supply and Tenders Board for final sale.
“The ridiculous claims that Maserati will be sold for more than K1 million and the Bentley for K2.3 million is absolute rubbish and Mr Kramer should stop putting out lies.
“The reality is that the Maserati vehicles will be sold for less than a Toyota Land Cruiser.”
Tkatchenko said to put this into perspective:
- A Toyota Land Cruiser VX currently sells for around K650,000 per car;
- The Maserati will sell for around K590,000;
- The Bentley will sell for around K850,000
The Minister said APEC in Papua New Guinea is a proud achievement in our country, and it is time to look beyond nonsense.
However, Madang MP Bryan Kramer maintains his stand that the private sector did not pay for them but the Government did, using public funds belonging to 8.5 million people of PNG.
“The smartest way would have been to invite car dealers to become a sponsor of APEC or transport provider, proving vehicles free in return allowing them to showcase them. This was what the Philippines and Vietnam did during 2015 and 2017 APEC Summits,” Kramer stated.
“At 2015 APEC, BMW provided 7 Serious executive sedan and at 2017 APEC, Audi car maker was a Silver sponsor providing Audi Q7 series executive sedan.
“I've always said the best way to steal the people’s money is by spending it. The bigger amount spent, the bigger the amount stolen.”