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Politics

‘Anwar isn’t like Najib’: Rafizi Ramli on potential abuse of government funds in Malaysia

Mr Rafizi also reiterated that the situation now is different and the days where a prime minister, who concurrently holds a finance portfolio, can casually come up with a project and borrow RM40 billion (US$9.1 billion) are over.

“Don’t forget, this is a unity government, there is no absolute power held by a single party,” said the Pandan member of parliament. 

Najib was convicted for the misappropriation of RM42 million from SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Barisan Nasional (BN) was voted out in the 2018 polls amid public anger over the scandal.

In a press conference on Monday, Mr Rafizi earlier said the decision for Mr Anwar to hold the finance portfolio in addition to being prime minister, was made under “extraordinary circumstances” in the unity government. 

“In my opinion, it was a tough decision to make actually. Because it was likely that the various parties who form the government wanted the finance minister post to be on their side,” he told reporters. 

However, Mr Rafizi reiterated his position that the prime minister post and the finance minister post should be kept separate. He also expressed hope that the current government would do this only as a temporary arrangement. 

Separately, Mr Anwar told a press conference at the prime minister’s office on Monday that his Cabinet ministers have agreed to take a 20 per cent cut in their monthly salaries. 

“There are some people who say Anwar is not taking the prime minister’s salary, he will take the salary of the finance minister. That’s not right. There is only one salary,” he said.

The Cabinet line-up, which comprises 28 ministers, was unveiled last Friday. The list of deputy ministers has yet to be announced.

Source By https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/malaysia-rafizi-ramli-anwar-ibrahim-finance-minister-government-funds-najib-razak-ahmad-zahid-3124776