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13 passengers, 7 crew, Rosmah's aide tells Rafizi to do luggage math

Published:  |  Modified:

An aide to Rosmah Mansor has dismissed the latest allegation concerning the luggage on board a private jet which flew the prime minister's wife to Istanbul.

According to Rizal Mansor, this was another miscalculation by PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli, who questioned the excessive number of bags and their contents this morning.

"The prime minister's wife is not the only passenger on the flight. The plane also carried 13 other passengers and seven crew members. Are you saying they all do not have any luggage?

"This is a long-range flight. So it means they would have to change clothes.

"Which is why the bags were hand-carried. They also carried their own food on board," he said in a Facebook post.

Rizal (photo) also accused Rafizi of attempting to cover up a previous miscalculation over the Istanbul flight hours.

"That is why he is now talking about the number of bags for the entourage of the prime minister's wife to Istanbul," Rizal said.

He said Rafizi's allegation that the plane had ample cargo space for baggage storage stemmed from the PKR parliamentarian's misunderstanding or lack of knowledge about aircraft specifications.

First of all, he explained, the particular plane's cargo space was not as large as others of the same model or make.

"YB (Rafizi) can check the term ACT - 'additional centre tank' with his friends in the airline industry. The plane's cargo compartment has been modified to accommodate a larger fuel tank to increase its flight range," he said.

Rizal also said that the cargo space had been used to transport equipment and costumes for Permata's performance troupe, which had accompanied Rosmah on her trip on an invitation.

"For your information YB, the cargo compartment for executive aircraft is also not the same as those of commercial flights.

"In the case of this flight, the cargo compartment was used to carry the costumes and props for the Permata Seni performance group, which was invited to perform over there (Istanbul)," he said.

Rizal claimed that Rafizi, who is also the MP for Pandan, had ill-intentions and wanted to incite hatred against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife.

"Maybe, in the Pandan constituency, there are no longer any public concerns that he needs to fight for, and that is why he is minding other people's business," he said.

While campaigning for the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar twin by-elections, Rafizi had accused Rosmah of using a private jet for her overseas trips.

However, Rizal denied any wrongdoing, stressing that Rosmah was legally accorded the privilege as the prime minister’s wife and when travelling on national matters.

Meanwhile, Rosmah, who was with her husband in his full day campaign in Kuala Kangsar, stayed mum when asked to respond to Rafizi's allegations.

She visited Hospital Kuala Kangsar this evening before leaving for the BN candidate Mastura Mohd Yazid's house.

Her security came to block journalists who tried to take video footage of Rosmah on their handphones.

Earlier, before her arrival, two police personnel had told the journalists to refrain from interviewing her.

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