K KANGSAR POLLS In his latest exposé, PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli claimed that Rosmah Mansor had used a private jet to attend an event in Istanbul.
On May 27, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s wife received the 3G Children Welfare Award on behalf of Permata and this was reported by the mainstream media.
However, Rafizi said how she went there was not mentioned in these reports.
“I can confirm that she had used a private jet - an Airbus A-319 – owned by Emirates Airline (Emirates),” he alleged during a press conference in Kuala Kangsar this afternoon.
Rafizi had used phone application 'Plane Finder' to trace the jet's flight path.
Furnishing screen captures of the flight paths, he said the jet had departed to Subang from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on May 23 before returning to the UAE from Subang two days later.
The jet then departed for Istanbul from the UAE on May 25.
Although the dates were stated otherwise, Rafizi reminded that the dates were in accordance to where the jet was at the time as opposed to local Malaysian time.
According to Emirates Airlines' website, its versions of the twin-engined aircraft can carry up to 19 passengers, and sleeps up to 15.
It features 10 private suites with a 32" TV in each room, as well as a lounge area.
The jet, Rafizi claimed, was chartered and leased especially for the particular trip.
Since Rosmah received the award on behalf of Permata which is a public-funded project, he said it was therefore only fair to ask who paid for the flight.
“She has to answer this since she was the one who took the flight and Najib too has to answer because he has to be responsible for this,” he added.
The PKR vice-president also questioned why Rosmah did not use a commercial flight for her trip to Istanbul.
“Even if she took a first-class flight, I’m sure it would be much cheaper than renting a whole private jet,” he pointed out.
Apart from who was responsible for paying for the flight, Rafizi also wanted to know the identity of the person who made the reservations.
“Also, why was Rosmah, a member of the public, given the leeway to use the Subang airport which is a military base - it's not like she’s going to war,” he said.
Rafizi, meanwhile, confirmed that he would make daily exposé on the matter until Friday.
“The prime minister, Rosmah, BN’s candidate Mastura (Mohd Yazid) and PAS candidate (Dr Najihatussalehah Ahmad) can keep quiet on the matter, but the more you try to avoid this issue, the more voters can see your (lack of) honesty in defending their rights,” he said.
The vocal parliamentarian also expressed hope for PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s feedback on the matter.
“I want an open public rebuke from Hadi against our prime minister for failing to guide his own wife.
“This will also be the acid test - which party will be brave to stand up to defend the rakyat’s rights,” he said.
Therefore, he said voters should be in a position to gauge which party was the most vocal and sincere in fighting for the rakyat.
“I hope voters in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar will be convinced that Amanah and Pakatan Harapan are the most sincere in fighting for them," he added.
This is not the first time that Rosmah has been criticised for using a private jet for visits abroad.
She allegedly used a government jet to also received an award in Padang, Indonesia in 2014.
Rosmah had, however, defended her use of private jets, saying they were for work and not leisure.
When contacted, Rosmah's aide Rizal Mansor told Malaysiakini that his boss had to use a private jet due to a tight schedule.
He also denied that it was a lavish trip.