Azalina’s reply on Rosmah’s London visit ‘rubbish’, says MP

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KUALA LUMPUR: DAP Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching today took to task Azalina Othman Said, the minister in the prime minister’s department, for giving a “rubbish” reply in the Dewan Rakyat regarding the visit by the prime minister’s wife to London.

Teo had directed a question to Prime Minister Najib Razak about the cost, detailed itinerary and the outcome of the visit by Rosmah Mansor.

Rosmah was accompanied on the visit by Azalina and the minister of women, family and community development Rohani Abdul Karim.

Teo said Azalina did not give a clear answer in a written reply.

“How much was spent by Rosmah and the two ministers on the London trip. I had asked whether the cost came to RM1 million or RM2 million.

“If Azalina could use three pages to inform about Rosmah’s trip, why couldn’t she devote just one line to let us know the cost?” Teo told reporters at Parliament House.

Rosmah visited London as the patron of the Permata early childhood programme from May 4 to 10.

Azalina, in her reply, said the cost of the visit was approved by the Cabinet via a Cabinet memorandum tabled on April 26 using an existing allocation in the prime minister’s department.

Teo said Azalina’s reply did not reveal the cost of Rosmah’s trip and, instead, appeared to hide the expenditure as if it was too high for the public to accept.

“If Azalina is confident the outcome of the trip was impressive, why couldn’t she reveal the cost?

“What is Azalina’s problem, I only asked a simple question. This shows that even though the Dewan Rakyat has become more comfortable, the people still can’t get the information they seek in there,” she said.