Why was Riza Aziz on government jet to China, asks Rafizi

Rafizi KUALA LUMPUR: An opposition lawmaker has questioned the need for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s stepson Riza Aziz to be part of the Malaysian delegation currently on a week-long visit to China.

Rafizi Ramli (PKR- Pandan) pointed out that Riza travelled on the government jet and this was clearly shown from screenshots of RTM1’s coverage, showing the arrival of the Malaysian delegation at the VIP Terminal of Beijing Capital International Airport at 12.30pm yesterday.

“Why is Riza Aziz on that jet that is paid by taxpayers’ money. These jets are expensive.

“He should not be given special treatment. He should be arrested and probed,” he said while debating Budget 2017 in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The US Department of Justice had announced on July 20 that it had filed a civil lawsuit seeking to seize more than US1 billion in assets that it claimed were embezzled from state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Although Najib was not named in the suit, Riza and Low Taek Jho – better known as Jho Low – were implicated.

The DoJ had accused Riza of using money from 1MDB to fund the movie “Wolf of Wall Street”.

The PKR vice-president asked if that could be one of the reasons for high wastage in the government’s operation.

He said according to a study carried out by National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW) which was based on the Auditor-General’s report, it showed that there was a lot of wastage in the government’s operation.

Meanwhile in a Facebook post, the aide to the prime minister’s wife, Rizal Mansor, explained that the Chinese government had invited Najib and his family for the trip, adding that Chinese customs placed a lot of emphasis on family ties with their close counterparts.

The Republic, he noted, remains grateful that the bilaterial ties between the two nations was established in 1974 by Najib’s father, former prime minister Tun Abdul Razak.

Rizal went on to state that it was normal for Najib to want his two sons to be with him during a weeklong trip, especially since the official invitation was also extended to his family.

He also pointed out that Najib’s trip to China would see “dozens” of trade and investment agreements signed and lead to “tens of billions of ringgit in investment, trade and benefits” for the nation.

Najib will be in China, his third trip to the republic since becoming PM in 2009, until Nov 6.

The visit will see the two nations sign at least 10 government-to-government Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) on economy, tourism, construction, education and defence.

It was previously reported that Malaysia will sign a contract to buy naval ships from China.

“So why begrudge him for bringing his children along for the trip?” Rizal wrote. – FMT

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