KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 19): The Cabinet has received and discussed an application from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for a plot of land and house allegedly valued at RM100 million, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz was reported as confirming in Parliament on Thursday (Nov 18).
Another former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had raised the matter as Tengku Zafrul was winding up his speech on Budget 2022.
Dr Mahathir had questioned why Najib’s request for the RM100 million piece of land and house was not included in Budget 2022, Malaysiakini reported.
“The Finance Minister should explain every item in the Budget but now I find that there is an item that is not mentioned in the Budget.
“I want to know what were his contributions? As far as I know, he is a convict who has been sentenced to 12 years of jail and a compound of more than RM200 million,” the news portal quoted Dr Mahathir as saying.
It said Tengku Zafrul acknowledged that Najib’s request had been discussed by the Cabinet.
“Now we have to wait for the Cabinet’s decision to be finalised,” the Minister was reported as saying.
Malaysiakini noted that Tengku Zafrul had initially attempted to deflect the question by asking Dr Mahathir to point his query towards the Prime Minister’s Department as the privileges for former Prime Ministers are under the ambit of that department.
The MalaysiaNow portal had on Nov 12 revealed that Najib had requested a “privilege” from the government in the form of a 2.8-acre residential property worth RM100 million in the exclusive neighbourhood of Bukit Petaling in Kuala Lumpur.
"It is understood 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," the portal said, adding that the request received the approval of the government but drew protests from Ministers and senior officials.
Other than Dr Mahathir (Pejuang-Langkawi), other lawmakers who sought clarification on the matter in Parliament on Thursday were Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Independent-Muar), Datuk Abdul Azis Jamman (Warisan-Sepanggar), RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong), Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PH-Pokok Sena) and Gobind Singh Deo (PH-Puchong).
After almost 20 minutes of commotion, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun interceded to say the matter was unrelated to Budget 2022, the Malay Mail portal reported.
“This is the time for the Minister to answer the Budget 2022 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,” Azhar was quoted as saying.
The Speaker also shut down the lawmakers’ attempts to continue the discussion, the report said.
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