Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Taxpayers' paid holiday

Deep Throat in Putrajaya
Tuesday, 18 November 2008 11:13

Informed sources in Putrajaya told me that the great Pretender to the throne, Najib Tun Razak, accompanied by aspiring ‘First Lady’ Rosmah, are heading for a grand trip abroad the government's VIP Jet to the APEC meeting in Peru on 22-23 November.

After the two-day meeting they will proceed for a week-long taxpayer-paid holiday in Washington DC, from 24 to 29 November to take advantage of the Thanksgiving holidays. This, as everyone knows, is the peak holiday shopping period in the US! The couple will therefore be making a great contribution to the recession-plagued US economy.

It is also possible that Rosmah may skip Peru altogether and go straight to Washington while Najib travels to Peru. Sources close to the Rosmah say that she has researched Peru and discovered that there is little by way of shopping as there no big malls -- and hence the preference for Washington and its well-known malls and outlets.

It will be all play and no work for the Finance Minister while he is in Washington, as no meetings or exchanges have been scheduled. Most interesting is that while almost all governments are seeking opportunities to interact with the incoming Obama Administration, Bolehland chooses to ignore the new Government of the most important country. It is also interesting that neither the Finance Minister nor the sidekick Second Minister attended recent IMF and World Bank Meetings.

It seems that these dudes have no time to engage themselves in serious consultations at a time when the Malaysian economy is in deep trouble. The Treasury's website reports that the MOF Secretary General Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz represented Malaysia at this important meeting to discuss the global economic crisis. In contrast, the IMF/World Bank meetings were attended by almost all finance ministers of the world. It also seems that Putrajaya has not concerned itself with coordinating economic policy measures with other nations.

The weeklong stay in Washington for Najib, Rosmah, the aircrew and the entourage would probably cost taxpayers more than a million ringgit if we calculate the cost of hotel rooms, cars and food. Even if the trip requires a stopover, should it be for more than a week when there is a severe economic crisis unfolding in our country for which our citizens have been told to brace themselves? Should the rakyat be spending millions of ringgit for Najib’s and Rosmah's holidays while the country faces an uncertain future?

It is time that the engagements of our leaders, in particular their overseas travel, be posted on their website so that the rakyat can know how their money is being spent. We hope that Najib would do this as a new trend under his leadership to prove that the leadership is indeed "prihatin" about the rakyat.

Other khabar …… Ghazali Sheikh is rumoured to be heading for Washington on a private visit in pursuit of his shameless lobbying for the post of Malaysian Ambassador. Question is, will the lame duck Bush Administration agree to accept him or will the Obama Government want a tainted envoy?

Stay tuned !!

Deep Throat in Putrajaya

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