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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Saudis earn much more than Malaysians, MP tells 'head in clouds' Najib



Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's comparison of fuel price hikes in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia shows he is out of touch, according to Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) MP Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad.
He said by claiming the 20 sen hike - or 10 percent compared to the January price - is not as much as the 50 percent hike in Saudi Arabia, the prime minister showed that his "head is in the clouds".
"Najib appears to be like a school kid showing off his rich family friend in the kampung," he said in a statement.
"Does he realise that the Saudis are so rich that most of them can afford to own American-made cars with more than 4,000 cc engines?
"They don't pay income tax or taxes on their cars like we do and their wages are far higher than here, where we cannot even properly enforce minimum wage," he added in a statement.
Najib yesterday defended the recent fuel price hike to RM2.20 for a litre of RON95, by comparing it to the 50 percent hike in fuel prices in Saudi Arabi.
However, he did not mention that at RM1.07 per litre (90 riyal), RON95 in Saudi Arabia costs less than half of the price in Malaysia.
Najib's statement coincided with the ongoing official visit by the kingdom's King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud to Malaysia.
The king would be witnessing a US$7 billion memorandum of understanding between Petronas and Saudi's Aramco, with his Asia tour reportedly in a bid to boost Aramco's US$2 trillion initial public offering.
Yesterday, UiTM academic Hanafiah Harun said the visit vindicated Najib and puts an end to speculation that the RM2.6 billion found in the prime minister's account was not a "political donation" from the Saudi royal family.
'What endears Najib to Saudi king?'
Noting the hefty "donation" and a hike in haj quotas, Raja Kamarul Bahrin said the close ties between Najib and the Saudi royals required further examination.
"There must be something that Najib is assisting the rich country with that the Saudi king is exceedingly fond of Najib," he claimed.
"The rakyat would like to know if there are any secret deals between Najib and the Saudi king in particular on the Yemen issue," he added.
He was referring to speculation of Malaysian support for the Saudi assault on Yemen, as part of the Saudi-led intervention in the lengthy Yemeni civil war.

United Nations reports said Malaysian officials were at the Riyadh military headquarters during Saudi-led coalition air strikes in Yemen in March to October last year.
The attacks killed 292 civilians, including some 100 women and children, the AFP reported.
UN is monitoring the military operations for suspicion of war crimes.
However, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Malaysian troops were in Saudi Arabia for training exercises on evacuation and disaster relief and did not participate in any attack on Yemen, Syria or Iraq.- Mkini

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