Questions mount over Edmund Santhara’s 3-month absence

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The whereabouts of Federal Territories Deputy Minister Edmund Santhara is being questioned after a report claiming that the Segamat lawmaker has been in New Zealand for the last three months while drawing his MP’s salary.

Former prime minister Najib Razak is the latest to question Santhara’s purported absence in Malaysia, saying it would invite public anger if not explained.

“If this is true and it is not well-explained or handled, this issue will invite great outrage towards the government.

Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini

“At a time when regular folks cannot cross districts or states, an elected representative paid as a Parliament member and a deputy minister can travel to and fro to a foreign country and be with his family for almost 3 months?”

Yesterday, Batu MP P Prabakaran also questioned Santhara’s whereabouts.

This follows a report by whistle-blower website Sarawak Report that Santhara has been in Auckland since December.

The article alleged that the former PKR politician’s family members have permanent residence in New Zealand, and that since December, his constituency staff have been carrying out work in his name.

The Malaysian Insight has sent messages to Santhara and is waiting for a response.

Malaysiakini, meanwhile, reported that Santhara had returned once to Malaysia sometime before Federal Territories Day on February 1, and gone back to New Zealand after that.

Malaysia’s borders are currently closed for casual travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic and only travel for official government business is allowed. – TMI