Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's family holiday in Australia shows a detachment from the realities of life that ordinary Malaysians face, an Amanah MP says.
The people struggled with rising cost of living and monsoon floods while Najib and his family were having a "lavish holiday", Kuala Terengganu MP Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad said last night.
"The people realise 2017 will bring more challenges and hardship, but the government is staying in the clouds, without facing reality," he said in a statement.
Raja Bahrin said he has heard complaints from civil servants in Terengganu who haven't been paid their overtime for three months, making it difficult for them to prepare for the start of the school year.
A village chief he met at a flood evacuation centre also voiced displeasure with government expenses to celebrate the new year.
"He complained about the government spending lavishly on fireworks that thundered as loudly as a monsoon storm while the people were facing floods," he said.
Najib and family went on a holiday across Australia last month, making use of a government jet.
Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said Najib is entitled to do so, but noted it would have been better if the prime minister made his own arrangements.
However, Raja Bahrin rebutted this argument, saying that Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong too had this option, but rarely did so, even in times when their economies were in good shape.
"If you want to talk about rights, the people have a right to expect concern from their prime minister in times of trouble and natural disasters," he added.- Mkini