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RM48m spent on PM, DPM’s official houses

A big chunk of money amounting to RM33 million
was spent on rent.
KUALA LUMPUR: The government spent RM48.7 million of taxpayers’ money on the official residences of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin from 2006 to 2010, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz said.

A huge chunk of the amount, totalling close to RM33 million, was spent on rent. Both Seri Perdana and Sri Satria in Putrajaya are owned by local authority Perbadanan Putrajaya.

As much as RM10.2 million was spent on electricity bills while RM3.5 million went to maintenance and RM1.96 million for water.

The figures were revealed last Wednesday in response to a question by Rantau Panjang PAS MP Siti Zailah Mohd Yusof.

At a press conference today, Siti Zailah, the PAS women’s chief, said she was shocked by the figures and chided the government for wasting public funds while voters have struggle to cope with inflation and subsidy cuts.

“We can see the wastage for the country’s top leaders. At a time when they tell us we should adapt to harder economic times, the government is using huge amount of taxpayers’ money for their houses,” she said.

DAP Youth chief Anthony Loke, who was also present, said both Najib and Muhyiddin spent an average of RM171,000 a month just on electricity when even an average upper middle class family spent about RM150 to RM300 monthly.

“Does Najib have a big family? I don’t think so. I spent about RM150 for electricity. And you can pay the water bill for 3,000 families with what the prime minister and his deputy are paying for theirs,” he said

Kota Raja PAS lawmaker Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud questioned the exorbitant rent paid for the two residences and asked if there was any long-term plan to reduce the cost.

She said the country’s top leaders in calling for fiscal austerity should “lead by example” by cutting on their own expenses.

The government is forced to cut spending by slashing its hefty subsidy bills, but soaring global food prices are making life more difficult for voters who are struggling to cope with wage stagnancy amid inflationary pressure.

But the “luxurious” amount spent to meet Najib and Muhyiddin’s expenses alone makes the government’s call for voters to adapt to harder times hypocritical, said Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers.

Yesterday, it was reported that Najib and Muhyiddin spent RM17 million and RM8 million on their travel expenses respectively since 2008.

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