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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Raja Bahrin threatens to sue over 'luxurious holiday' claim

Kuala Terengganu MP Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad has threatened to sue a news portal for accusing him of going on a "luxurious" holiday abroad while Terengganu was inundated with floods.
The accusation against him came amid his vocal criticism of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's holiday in Australia during the floods.
Najib's trip in Australia also appeared to coincide with the destinations of the Malaysia's Airbus Corporate Jet 319, which prompted Raja Bahrin to question if the prime minister was on holiday using a government jet at taxpayers' expense.
Raja Bahrin's lawyer Hanipa Maidin said a letter of demand would be issued to MyNewsHub to ask for an apology and retraction over the Jan 7 article titled: "Amanah MP on luxurious holiday in UK, ignores flood victims".
Raja Bahrin told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur that the news portal had used a photograph of his London trip three months before the flood in December last year.
"My last visit to London was in early October while the flood happened in late December 2016 - three months later.
"The accusation that I did not care about the people as I was nowhere to be seen when thousands of people had to face the floods was untrue.
"I was giving out school aid to less fortunate students from Dec 28 to 30 in a number of locations in Kuala Terengganu," he said.
A check by Malaysiakini on the pictures, which were taken from the Instagram account of Raja Bahrin's wife Noryn Aziz, confirmed they were from three months before the floods.
Raja Bahrin also questioned what the news portal meant by a "luxurious holiday".
"They did not define what is meant by 'luxurious holiday' as I only took a commercial flight like everyone else," he said.
Raja Bahrin said he was in London on party business and his party colleagues too had to rely on commercial flights.
He added that the news portal did not contact him for clarification.
Raja Bahrin also urged the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MACC) to take action over the publication.
Meanwhile, PKR's Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin also raised the issue about Najib's holiday in Australia after the prime minister reminded civil servants "not to take what belonged to the rakyat".
Rizal Mansor, aide to Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor, had defended the trip, stating that it was the prime minister's chance to spend quality time with his son Norashman.
However, Zuraida said this was not the issue.
"Even though spending quality time with one's family on a holiday is allowed, the related public expenditure must be accounted for and made public," she said.
Zuraida added that Malaysians' right to information on public matters should not be denied, in an apparent reference to the move to deny flight tracking data of government jets to the public after the Australian trip was highlighted.- Mkini

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