The controversy over Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's recent family vacation is not about the PM taking a break, but that the government jet was spotted in the locations where the family holidayed, DAP Youth chief Wong Kah Woh said.
He was responding to aide to PM's wife Rizal Mansor, who said the PM deserves to spend quality time with his family.
"Rizal Mansor has conveniently missed out a very important point in this issue, that is whether there is any misuse of power by Prime Minister Najib in flying around the world with his family on a government jet for non-official purposes," Wong said in a statement.
Malaysiakini earlier reported the government jet with the call sign 9M-NAA was spotted flying across Australia the same time the family were holidaying Down Under, based on photographs uploaded on social media by Najib's son Norashman.
In response, Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said Najib was entitled to use the jet for private purposes.
However, Wong said Nur Jazlan produce documents to show that this was explicitly allowed.
After Malaysiakini's report based on data from flight tracking website flightaware.com, information on the government jet was removed from the website, said to be on request of the jet owner. The flight data is also unavailable on popular flight tracking website Flightradar24.
Question of accountability
Questioning the need to hide the information, Wong said the public would not question the jet's flight history if they are assured of leaders' integrity.
"However, this is not the case currently as the nation faced with the twin mega scandals of the multi-billion-ringgit 'donation' and 1MDB, on top of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy.
"All Malaysians must demand a full accounting of the details of the usage of the government jet, the purpose of the trips as well as the cost and expenses incurred.
DAP Youth committee member Jenny Choy also lodged a police report against Najib for alleged abuse of the government jet at the Ipoh district police headquarters today.
"Najib has to date failed to explain the issue, instead flight tracking websites FlightAware and FlightRadar24 have been barred from displaying the jet's movements. This raises questions on whether the jet will be abused in the future," she said in a statement.
She said police must probe the matter as it is a case of abuse of power.
Earlier, Rizal said it unfair to criticise the PM for spending time with his family because Najib is often busy and is unable to meet his children regularly.
Malaysia's policy on private use of government jet by top leders is unclear, but family members of leaders in the United States and United Kingdom reimburse their respective governments when they accompany either the president or prime minister on trips using government jets.- Mkini