RM38 mln expenditure on renovating PM’s official residence comes under fire

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Details of the RM38.5 million spent on renovating the Prime Minister’s official residence must be disclosed, says DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng.

In the interest of transparency and public accountability, there must be a disclosure of the cost details of the RM38.5 million used to justify such a spending of people’s funds in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and economic recession in the country, he said.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dr Abd Latiff Ahmad stated that the project was approved on March 19 this year and works commenced on March 29. The renovation is expected to be completed on December 7 this year.

“For a project that was approved only on 19 March but yet works can commence a mere ten days later, gives rise to questions whether a public open tender was conducted. If not, then where is the urgency until government procurement protocols are not complied with? At a time when the government is short of funds, is spending RM38.5 million on renovations necessary, when such funds can be used to build public housing for the poor, especially in the urban areas,” Guan Eng asked.

The Member Parliament for Bagan also wanted to know what kind of renovations could have imposed such a high cost.

“Unless the costs are subjected to stringent scrutiny, the public has every right to question whether the RM38.5 million could be better utilised for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with more ICU beds, better treatment, medicines or even financial aid to those affected by the economic recession.”