Malaysia

PKR alleges PM used public funds for daughter’s engagement dinner

By Yow Hong Chieh
March 09, 2012
Latest Update: March 10, 2012 03:20 am

A copy of the invoice from the hotel which hosted the event, forwarded from PKR.A copy of the invoice from the hotel which hosted the event, forwarded from PKR.

PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli showed reporters here today a banquet event order from a local hotel as proof.

Rafizi (picture) alleged that the prime minister had spent a total of RM409,767 on the June 17, 2011 event to celebrate his daughter’s engagement to Daniyar Nazarbayev from Kazakhstan.

This comprised a bill of RM18,792 for 36 VIPs — who were served Wagyu beef and marinated scallops — RM309,975 for 862 guests and RM81,000 for handling costs.

Copies of the purported banquet event order distributed by Rafizi showed that the dinner was charged to the Prime Minister’s Office.

“The people understand the needs and tastes of the prime minister and his wife, who of course want the best banquet for their guests,” he told reporters at PKR headquarters here.

“On the one hand, you have the prime minister going around telling people to eat Menu Rakyat 1 Malaysia in these difficult times... yet his guests feasted on dishes fit for a king that are beyond the means and imagination of the common man.”

Rafizi said he did not know if Najib had repaid the cost of the dinner to the PMO but stressed that the prime minister should not have used his high office to arrange the closed-door private function in the first place.

“And even if he has reimbursed it, we want to know where he got the money. That’s a lot, almost half a million for an engagement dinner,” he pointed out.

He said this alleged abuse of taxpayers’ money by Najib showed that the people should not expect the government to be serious about corruption “as it starts all the way from the top”.

It was pointless for Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders to speak of reforms as they have neither the moral capacity nor standing to truly eradicate corruption, he said.

Rafizi added that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) intends to call for a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to check the expenses and assets of government leaders, starting with from Najib, at the next Parliament sitting.

“If we depend on MACC or the police, I don’t think we will get anywhere as this involves top leaders,” he said.