Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli today challenged the Prime Minister's Department to reveal the cost of chartering a private jet used by prime minister's wife Rosmah Mansor for her trip to Istanbul to receive an award, last month.
This is after Rafizi's estimation of RM1.44 million was disputed by Rosmah's aide Rizal Mansor.
The PKR secretary-general said Rizal had erroneously claimed that the jet chartered from Emirates Airlines was on a "dry lease", and that Emirates only provides "air charter" service.
"Dry lease" refers to chartering a plane but bearing fuel costs while "air charter" involves a private jet charter with fuel and full service.
As such, Rafizi said, his estimation that the lease cost RM60,000 per hour is accurate.
"Going by this rate, Rosmah's return journey from Subang to Istanbul of at least 24 hours, would cost the taxpayers RM1.44 million," he said.
"If this is disputed, then the Prime Minister's Department should be up front and give the exact amount borne by the taxpayers.
"My fear is that this air charter is done on a monthly basis, regardless of journeys taken, which is why I estimate the cost could be as high as RM86 million," he said.
Rafizi also ticked off Umno information chief Annuar Musa, who said he is now a public laughing stock.
Instead, the MP pointed out that the video he released of Rosmah boarding the jet has been watched a million times and shared by 16,800 people on Facebook.
It also appeared on 2.26 million Facebook timelines as at 7.30am today, he said.
This does not include views on Malaysiakini, YouTube and WhatsApp, he said.
“More than one million views in four days shows this issue really ignites public fury.
“So it is up to Umno leaders to continue to brush off this expose, or to take action to contain the public anger.”