Finance minister says Cabinet weighing Najib’s request for home allegedly worth RM100m

Finance Minister Datuk Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz at the Dewan Rakyat during the winding-up speech for Budget 2022, November 18, 2021. — Bernama pic
Finance Minister Datuk Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz at the Dewan Rakyat during the winding-up speech for Budget 2022, November 18, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Finance Minister Datuk Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the Cabinet received and discussed former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s application for a plot of land and home, which some have valued at RM100 million.

Responding to another former prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Langkawi-Pejuang), Tengku Zafrul said the Cabinet was considering this and that further questions should be directed to the Prime Minister’s Department.

“An application for a piece of government land and a house being developed for the sixth prime minister has been submitted to the Cabinet.

“I would like to suggest any questions in this regard to the Prime Minister’s Department. This is because the Members of Parliament (Remuneration) 1980 falls under the jurisdiction of the prime minister,” he told the Dewan Rakyat during the winding-up speech for Budget 2022 today.

His response caused Opposition MPs to rise and demand an explanation on the purported RM100 million valuation for the plot.

Other than Dr Mahathir, Datuk Abdul Azis Jamman (Sepanggar-Warisan), Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Muar-Independent), Datuk Mahfuz Omar (Pokok Sena-PH), and RSN Rayer (Jelutong-PH) also demanded clarification on the status of Najib’s application.

Tengku Zafrul did not answer directly and only said that it was not included in his presentation of Budget 2022 as the application was made following this.

“This application is still not approved when the budget was tabled. If there is expenditure after that we will make it in the Supplementary Supply Bill,” he said.

After almost twenty minutes of commotion, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun interceded to say the matter was unrelated to Budget 2022.

“This is the time for the minister to answer the 2022 Budget debate. The minister has answered many times that this matter is not under the Budget. So, it’s not even a matter of Budget. This is not the forum,” he said, warning Rayer to sit down or be thrown out.

The Speaker also shut down others’ attempts to continue the discussion.

A news portal on November 12 reported Najib had requested a “privilege” from the government in the form of a 2.8-acre residential property worth RM100 million in one of Kuala Lumpur’s most exclusive neighbourhoods, receiving the approval of the government but drawing protests from ministers and senior officials.

It was reported that the former prime minister made the request about a year after his fall from power in the 2018 election, and again last year, just months before he was found guilty of corruption charges related to the 1MDB scandal.

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