Following the commotion in the Dewan Rakyat amidst the government's consideration to approve Najib Razak's application to buy a house worth RM100 million, Najib says he now "rejects" the offer
According to the former prime minister, the decision to "reject" the offer was made after the matter caused some unease among the public, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"I have decided to reject the offer, although principally, the application was made based on my eligibility as former prime minister. I'm aware that the people are facing tough times, where the country's priority should be on the people," New Straits Times quoted him as saying during a press conference on 19 November.
Najib had made the application over the entitlement for ex-prime ministers to a piece of property in 2018, after the 14th general election (GE14). Following which, the government offered him three plots to choose and he chose the one which suited his fancy while denying that he had asked for the RM100 million.
During the press conference on Friday, Najib stressed that he never asked for the government to fork out RM100 million for the housing
While pointing out that the government has not yet agreed to his request despite the fact that it was made three years ago, Najib suggested to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to review the privileges accorded to former prime ministers under the Members of Parliament (Remuneration) Act 1980.
"If there is a need, the government should withdraw all the privileges for the former prime ministers, including those after me," he said, adding that he was not aware of the value of the plot of land.
"I came to know after it was publicised because I was not involved with the evaluation."
Meanwhile, De facto Law Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said that the Cabinet has decided to set up a committee to review the request
It should be noted that Wan Junaidi's announcement about the government decision in a press statement yesterday came an hour after Najib had already told reporters that he has decided to withdraw his request.
According to Malaysiakini, the committee will also review perks for future former prime ministers.
"The committee's role will be to review the proposed guidelines for the fulfilment of the request, including rates, conditions and maximum limits or quantum, for the provision of land and residential houses, under the Former Prime Minister’s Remuneration Schedule, for future implementation," Wan Junaidi said.
Read more about the issue that came to light Dr Mahathir Mohamad questioned the government about Najib's request yesterday: