Najib: Just seeking my entitlement as ex-PM, land not valued RM100m

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Najib Razak today said he has not done anything wrong in asking the government to allocate him a piece of land as part of privileges for a former prime minister.

He said the land that he has sought is not valued at RM100 million as was reported in a news portal.

He said it was Dr Mahathir Mohamad who had amended the law during his first tenure as the prime minister to allow special privileges and allowances to former prime ministers, including the ownership of properties and land belonging to the government.

“My office just applied for residence after the last general election, as was allowed under the law amended by Dr Mahathir,” he said in a Facebook posting today.

“The government then gave me three land options to pick, and my family decided on the plot of land near Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka as they felt it was suitable to them.

Bernama

“And it’s not like the matter has been approved by the government already.”

He said he did not request to be gifted RM100 million or for the government to buy a piece of land for him, but only for what is allocated for all former prime ministers.

“And the value of RM100 million was given by the pro-Perikatan Nasional news portal, and this was done in time for the Malacca elections although my application was made in 2018, after GE14,” he said.

Dr Mahathir raised this issue in the Dewan Rakyat today, asking the government to explain the gift of the RM100 million property in Bukit Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, to Najib.

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz confirmed that the cabinet has received an application from Najib to obtain a property in Kuala Lumpur.

“The application was made after Budget 2022,” he told the Dewan Rakyat during his ministry’s winding-up session on Supply Bill 2022 today.

Tengku Zafrul, however, did not confirm whether the application was approved.

A news portal recently reported that Najib has requested a “privilege” from the government in the form of a 1.13ha residential property worth RM100 million in Kuala Lumpur.

Najib is said to have made the request about a year after his fall from power in the 2018 election, and again last year.

According to the report, Najib is said to have made the request based on the practice that the government of the day is expected to reward its predecessors for their service and contributions.

The news portal said the application was approved, although several ministers were unhappy with the matter.

Najib also said he is currently renting a bungalow in Bukit Pantai to use as his office, pointing out that it is not a huge complex like the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya, which is Dr Mahathir’s office.

“My children are also not billionaires like his children. But he asks what my contributions as the prime minister were,” said the Pekan MP.

He then went on to list his contributions, which included saving the nation’s economy from the Great Global Recession from 2008 to 2010, overseeing the highest economic growth in Asean under his watch and bringing in the highest amount of foreign investment into Malaysia.

“Dr Mahathir himself admitted in 2020 that I have done well for the country’s economy, although later he has continuously lied that I have bankrupted Malaysia,” he said.

Najib was sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million after he was found guilty of seven counts of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power involving RM42 million in funds from former 1MDB unit SRC International Sdn Bhd.

He is appealing the conviction and has other trials ongoing. – TMI