Rizal Mansor says a government official would have to be paid a salary to helm such an organisation.
PETALING JAYA: It is “stupid” to ask why a government official was not made the patron of Permata instead of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, says Rizal Mansor.
Rizal, who is an aide to the prime minister, pointed out that if a government official was appointed, he or she would have to be paid a salary while Rosmah has not even received “a cent” nor has any executive powers despite taking on the role of patron of the children’s education and welfare organisation.
The “stupid question” Rizal was referring to, was posed by DAP’s Selangor assemblywoman Yeo Bee Yin yesterday.
“She (Yeo) questioned if no government official could hold the post (of Permata’s patron),” he said in a Facebook post today.
“Isn’t that a stupid question? Would the government want to place one of their officers there (in Permata), as a patron without paying them a salary?”
Yeo in her statement, had also asked about the legitimacy of Rosmah’s position in Permata. This was an issue she has raised before, suggesting that Rosmah was only patron of Permata because she was the prime minister’s wife.
“Is it by merit or marriage?” she had asked.
But Rizal turned the tables on Yeo, reminding her that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s wife Betty Chew, was appointed to head the property services committee of the Penang Chinese Chambers of Commerce (PCCC).
“I’m not sure if Chew received any allowance or reward, but who is she to be appointed as one of the important individuals in the PCCC, if it was not because she is the wife of the Penang chief minister?” he said.
Rizal also denied to have dodged Yeo’s questions about Rosmah’s role in Permata, saying he had even gone out of his way by taking her and her delegates for a tour around Permata’s office in October last year.
“A dialogue session was held. All questions she posed were answered at length during the session.
“And her queries on Permata’s financial reports have been repeatedly explained. That’s why I said she’s a tunggul kayu (wooden post).
“She was present (at the dialogue session), but understood nothing.”
He said Permata, as a government agency has had its financial reports audited by the Auditor-General annually while the financial reports of the Permata Foundation are displayed on the agency’s website.