Fahmi Fadzil: PM’s expensive outfits indicate disconnect from common people

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PM spotted wearing a branded Burberry T-Shirt valued at RM6,900.

Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil has taken issue with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s penchant for wearing expensive clothes at a time when many ordinary Malaysians are struggling to make ends meet.

This came after the Bera MP was spotted wearing a branded Burberry T-Shirt valued at RM6,900 even as he denied the government U-turned on ceiling prices for chicken but was listening to the people.

“I think the person in charge of the PM’s wardrobe has to be replaced.

Izzrafiq Alias/The Star

“At a time when more and more people are suffering due to the rising cost of goods, the PM should not be seen to be isolated from the rakyat’s reality,” Fahmi told Malaysiakini.

“Such expensive couture should not be the go-to choice. Instead, the PM can use the opportunity and visibility of his position to highlight the work of local designers (who also need not be part of his immediate family),” added Fahmi, in an apparent reference to Ismail Sabri’s son-in-law, fashion designer Jovian Mandagie.

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This latest T-shirt is listed on the Burberry website as a red short-sleeve slogan silk organza and is priced at RM6,900, although it is no longer available for order.

Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng added that while Ismail Sabri has the right to wear what he wants, he should be setting an example.

“Ismail Sabri should ‘lead by example’ because, on the one hand, the government tells us to be financially prudent in these challenging times, but on the other hand, we are seeing the cabinet ministers openly flaunting their wealth and lifestyle.

“Also, isn’t it ironic that PM ordered government officials to use only Bahasa Malaysia in events abroad but he wore a famous foreign brand shirt in a meeting with a foreign country’s premier? This is an example of the saying ‘do as I say, not as I do’.

“Why does Ismail Sabri choose not to wear clothes from our very own fashion designers? Are they not good enough for his ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ theme?” asked Lim.

Last month, Ismail Sabri was panned on social media for wearing a pricey shirt during a meeting with his Singapore counterpart in Tokyo, Japan.

That black, blue, and white shirt was also from Burberry and listed as costing RM5,500.

During 2020’s movement control order, Ismail Sabri drew attention for his creative shirt designs, which were compared to Sarawak kek lapis (layer cake), avocado shake, rainbow jelly and Oreo trifle, among others.

The then-senior minister in charge of the security cluster credited Jovian for coming up with some items in his batik shirt collection. – Malaysiakini