GEORGE TOWN: PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim today defended the use of the government’s official jet on a recent trip to Kota Bharu, saying it was not an abuse of government assets.
Anwar, who had come under criticism from internet users over the matter, said he had not used the jet without the presence of his wife, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
“I am not very affected by the criticism, because I feel netizens have the right to voice their views. And I can accept it. But on that note, our explanation must be heard too.
“I did not use the official jet without the deputy prime minister. Also, I used Firefly when I went to Penang. When I had an audience with the Sultan of Johor in Johor, he used his own jet.
“I am just a layman. If I have no right to use it, I will not use it. I did not break any rules,” he said in an interview carried live on Invoke this morning.
Anwar was asked to comment on pictures which recently went viral on social media, of him using the government jet to meet the Kelantan royal family in Kota Bharu.
He was also asked to comment on the planned use of the deputy prime minister’s official residence in Sri Satria, Putrajaya, for the purpose of meeting PKR representatives.
“I looked at the agenda, and the purpose of the meeting was to explain the job scope of the MPs, what they need to do in Parliament and also for the people.
“I do not think that is an abuse of power. My view was, go ahead and use it. That is my attitude. If you feel it is not contradictory, do it.
“But since Nurul Izzah is the one in charge, and she decided to change the venue, so be it,” he said, referring to his daughter and PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar.
Anwar said it was good that Malaysians were now more critical as it would keep the leaders on their toes.
“But don’t let this get to the point of you being afraid of doing your job. As long as you do not abuse your power, it is okay,” he added.