CAN THE EAST TIMOR GOV’T AFFORD 65 TOYOTA LAND CRUISERS?

Curiously, the populous and powerful nation that invaded East Timor in 1975, isn’t provided with direct lines to buy Toyota’s venerable Land Cruiser, at least according to Toyota’s official Indonesian website. East Timor, however, wants a Land Cruiser for every member of parliament. That’s 65 Land Cruisers….. in a country where the average income is about 50 U.S. cents per day, where 42% are unemployed, and 30,000 refugees live in camps around the capital city of Dili.

What do you expect? Protests. 21 people were arrested when 1,000 protesters rallied outside parliament in Dili yesterday. Substantial oil reserves are only now being developed, and it is believed that petroleum funds are being used to purchase a vehicle that costs $64,100 in the United States, £56,150 in the United Kingdom, and €124,958 in East Timor’s former colonial master, Portugal. 
Food costs and oil prices are rising rapidly in East Timor. Citizens of Asia’s youngest nation, a country of its own that’s only been fully independent since 2002, struggle with the percentage increases far more than we can understand. The Toyota Land Cruiser fits the image of a poverty-stricken island more than just about any vehicle save for (perhaps) the Land Rover Discovery. It should be made clear in this space that many Toyota markets are offered two Land Cruisers, one of which is a cross between the already similar Toyota 4Runner and Lexus GX, the other being that which is described in this post.
But that sentence would be applicable to Land Cruisers circa 1985. An ’09 Land Cruiser is probably an expense account’s greatest abuse.