BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY
NOVEMBER 24, 2013
|Seri Perdana is the official home of the prime minister.|
Datuk Seri Najib Razak today attempted to make light of the RM2.2 million electricity bill in Seri Perdana, an issue which was raised in Parliament recently by the opposition.
Najib said the amount was “unavoidable”, as he had to entertain heads of government at the residence in Putrajaya.
"How to avoid such expenses? That is not my residence but the prime minister's residence.
"If heads of government come, are we supposed to dine in the dark?
“If the Chinese prime minister comes, are we to dine by candlelight? I would say, that is romantic," he said today while officiating a function on Bumiputera economic empowerment at the Federal Territory Mosque in Kuala Lumpur today.
Najib noted that the Seri Perdana was not his personal residence but owned by all Malaysians.
"This (Seri Perdana) is owned by Malaysians. I am just a tenant there. Most of the time, I stay in my own home which is behind Ku Nan's (Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor) house. I can see what he does," he added to laughter from the floor.
Subsequently, Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim defended the RM 2.2 million electricity bill for the prime minister’s official residence for 2012, saying that it covered the entire Seri Perdana complex and not just the home.
"This included the multipurpose hall and the staff quarters,” he said.
“There isn’t a different electricity rate for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor's bedroom compared with a normal couple in the village.
“It’s the same rate,” he said, taking a jibe at Anthony Loke (DAP-Seremban), who had first revealed the figure after a written reply from Putrajaya in Parliament.
Najib today lamented how the opposition had made an issue over the official residence electricity bill.
"It's as if the thousand and one good deeds we have done (the Government) are worthless. Petty matters are being amplified about and they can't do that. It is not a fair judgment," Najib said.
Touching on the goods and services tax, Najib said it was being done for the good of the country's future.
We are not like France which wants to increase it's personal tax by 75%.
"In fact, we aim to reduce it... but if you want to buy all sorts of things, then you have to pay more.”
He said that 160 countries have implemented GST and it was impossible that all those countries had adopted the wrong approach.
"The ones who are wrong are those in the opposition pact. You can listen to them a little but they are useless." – November 24, 2013.