Friday, December 19, 2008

PM residence costs Govt RM6 million a year

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government spends RM6.01 million a year on the Prime Minister's sprawling residence in the administrative capital Putrajaya for rental and upkeep.[Daily Express Sabah, 12/12/08]

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi admitted RM6.01 million was paid annually to the state-owned corporation, Putrajaya Holdings for rental and maintenance of his official residence, the Sri Perdana. He was responding to an Opposition query in the Dewan Rakyat. Putrajaya Holdings' main shareholders are national energy giant, Petronas.

The Deputy Prime Minister's residence, on the other hand, drains public coffers of another RM4.3 million a year. In total, the government has to fork out a staggering RM10 million annually, simply to keep a roof above the heads of the country's top two leaders.

The official abode of the Prime Minister, known as Sri Perdana, is a complex of three buildings which consists of a reception area, banquet facilities and a residence. The buildings are spread across 16 hectares of land in the heart of the country's administrative capital, Putrajaya.

Kuala Kerai MP (PAS), Dr. Mohd. Hatta Ramli and Penang Chief Minister shared similar reservations for the extravagant expenditure the government has to bear for the both official residences.

"It is wasteful to spend so much money on renting the Prime Minister's house when the country is facing such tough times. Even though the money is going back to a government-linked company, this should not be the case as the Government should really own the building the Prime Minister occupies," Hatta Ramli said. [AFP, 12/12/08]
"We can understand paying maintenance, but rental does not make sense. This also begs the question as to who are the directors of the company and who gets all the profit made by the company, " Lim told reporters. [AFP, 12/12/08]

It is indeed mind boggling as to why the government has to pay rent for its own Prime Minister and his deputy when each of their official residences should be state-owned.