Hornbill Unleashed

January 7, 2014

Lavish ministerial parties as Putrajaya, Malaysians tighten belts

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:00 AM
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Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (in batik shirt) threw a birthday party in a five-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 6, 2014.THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (in batik shirt) threw a birthday party in a five-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Several ministers are still living up the good life although Putrajaya is trimming its budget after asking Malaysian to tighten their belts and be thrifty in the face of rising living costs and subsidy cuts this year.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi hosted a “lavish” birthday bash at a five-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur yesterday which his guests claimed was a New Year’s party.

Another minister had thrown a two-day wedding celebration for his child at another five-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur last month, graced by royalty and VIPs who were entertained by a top Indonesian songstress.

Several pro-Umno bloggers have also questioned the Prime Minister’s
Department over the need for two VIP jets after it was revealed that Putrajaya spent some RM180 million to maintain and operate government jets for official trips in 2012.

But yesterday’s luncheon came after Putrajaya announced 11 measures to trim public spending, involving cuts to entertainment and transport allowances for ministers and top civil servants apart from freezing office renovation requests.

Receiving a tip-off about the luncheon, The Malaysian Insider visited the top hotel where guests and the birthday boy followed the party theme and were dressed in red.

Ahmad Zahid’s guests feasted on a buffet spread in the hotel’s grand ballroom while he mingled with them, including several civil servants who were invited through an email sighted by The Malaysian Insider.

The Umno vice-president smiled and shook hands with well-wishers after the party, while luxury cars with chauffeurs were lined up in front of the hotel, causing traffic to halt as Porsche Cayennes and Toyota Alphards parked by the roadside.

The Malaysian Insider tried to speak to Ahmad Zahid but was stopped by his bodyguards and told to leave or be escorted out.

It is not known who picked up the tab for Ahmad Zahid’s party, nor the reason for the red theme, but his guests were dressed in their finest with designer handbags and totes in their hands.

A guest told The Malaysian Insider that the party had celebrated two birthdays, Ahmad Zahid’s and his grandchild which fell on the same day but also insisted that it was a New Year’s party as emblazoned on the stage backdrop.

Invitations were also sent out via email on Friday to selected employees from the Home Ministry. The email, titled “Celebration of home minister’s birthday”, also included a note to extend the invitation to cabinet and Umno Supreme Council members.

The lavish birthday party and opulent wedding of a minister’s daughter and even Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s new government limousine come at a time when most Malaysians are grumbling about price hikes for electricity, food, fuel and even schooling costs.

Prices of fuel, sugar and electricity tariffs rose after Putrajaya cut back on its subsidies while public transport fares would be increased this year. The goods and services tax would also be introduced in 2015.

Government spending ballooned with this year’s budget up to RM264.2 billion from last year’s RM251.6 billion amid concerns that Putrajaya was not cutting back on expenses despite asking the public to do so.

A number of Malaysians had also poured scorn over Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s announcement on December 30 that Putrajaya would implement 11 austerity measures to cut spending in 2014.

Najib’s economic czar, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar had even advised consumers to spend wisely and look for alternatives.

The former banker said that Malaysians have to be thrifty and live within their means.

“I go to the market every week. I know that the prices of basic necessities are high, but consumers have a choice in what they spend their money on,” he was quoted as saying in a news report.

6 Comments »

  1. Cut down on corruption and extravagant spending. Also cut down on unnecessary ministries. Certain portfolios are small and unimportant and can be combined. This is what a responsible Govt will do.

    Comment by Sharpshooter — January 7, 2014 @ 10:21 PM | Reply

  2. What The Fuk !

    Comment by Awaken Dayak — January 7, 2014 @ 2:23 PM | Reply

  3. Ahmad Zahid spent his own money-no problem with the lavish party.

    Comment by Ayen Piyat Tawai — January 7, 2014 @ 12:43 PM | Reply

  4. Joke is that Hard Rock Cafe’s beer is not allowed at Putrajaya, but corruption is allowed.

    Comment by damsim — January 7, 2014 @ 11:20 AM | Reply

  5. This country is rich and blessed with reservoirs of income. Najib said Malaysia has a lot of money in Tabung Haji, EPF and Bank Negara reserves. He and his cabinet is still enjoying all these reserves. But are these money -Tabung Haji and EPF owned by the treasury? I am a layman who do not know much about economics.

    Comment by Phek Moo — January 7, 2014 @ 9:32 AM | Reply

  6. Never mind about the obscene spending. If minister can have caviar, we will have tempoyak, They eat expensive cheese we eat Bintulu belachan. Our BDC rojak is as good as the most expensive western salad. Our kampong chicken though hard to catch is much more tastier than most expensive beef in the world, Ikan keli or ikan kolam ( especially those fed from hanging toilets, more lemak ) is economically than airflown salmon.For beverage, ask apai, awakened dayak and owl to prepare the best tuak or langkau. Eh? you guys masih ada rumah langkau in your NCR kah? We can always use BusAsia or STC instead of Porsche or Alphard. It is just a display of hominid brain just about to stand upright 6 million years ago.So it a matter of choice. When we witnessed the inequalities perpetuated by the “hypocrites” it really send deep sense of hurt into our heart but we are have to endure it and find alternatives to create meaning to our lives. Spend prudently and need not have to follow FLOM, Spice Victoria, Cronies ( who own numerous properties but no tenant maybe toyol inside.) Shop at Salvation Army outlets. Perhaps the Captain has a way to talk to divine to find a nice corner in heaven for you and airlifted you up there in a golden chariot by a flying horse.

    Comment by fedupguy. — January 7, 2014 @ 9:13 AM | Reply


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