KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — The federal government must explain why it provisionally approved former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s request for a house and land allegedly worth RM100 million, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said.
Anwar said in Parliament today that Malaysians deserved to know why the government would agree to give away such valuable property at a time when federal revenue was declining.
“How is it possible that a government and its Cabinet ministers, while facing critical economic downturns, can easily approve a large amount of money to a former prime minister?” he said while debating allocations for the Prime Minister’s Department under Budget 2022 today.
Anwar said he understood the need to show gratitude to former prime ministers, but insisted the gifts of appreciation should not be of such exorbitant value that it could affect the country’s finances.
“Based on my experience, knowing icons such as the late Tunku Abdul Rahman (Putra Al-Haj) and Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, these people don’t need remuneration.
“They serve because of their love for the country,” he added.
On November 18, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz revealed in Parliament that the Cabinet had approved Najib’s application for the property in recognition of his services.
The next day, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said that the Cabinet has approved in principle Najib’s request, but stressed that the decision was still subject to a final confirmation from the government.
Later the same day, Najib claimed he would reject the property allegedly worth RM100 million, to prevent the controversy from affecting the Melaka state election.