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Friday April 11, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
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by zulkifli abd rahman
Busy schedule: Muhyiddin at the Gulf Education and Training Exhibition in Dubai which has a large group of Malaysian participants. — Bernama
DUBAI: The Deputy Prime Minister’s office has rebutted accusations by two DAP Members of Parliament that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s trip here was just for “three hours work, 10 hours golf,” stressing that the visit is to boost trade and education partnerships.
“Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari and Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim Chee Keong have maliciously made an unfounded allegation based on an unverified document on the Dubai visit,” said the statement, referring to the MPs who had based their comments on the supposed Dubai itinerary posted on a blog.
The statement explained that what was seen on the blog was merely an early draft of the trip.
Such actions by the two MPs to issue their statements based on an unverified document was unprofessional, it said.
“Their insinuations that the Deputy Prime Minister’s visit to Dubai is akin to a personal holiday and a waste of the rakyat’s funds is regrettable.
“It is clear that his visit is intended to enhance trade and education partnerships between the two countries and to attract more investments from the Middle East to Malaysia,” it said yesterday.
The MPs, among others, alleged that Muhyiddin “appears to be enjoying a five-day golf holiday.”
However, the DPM’s office explained that Muhyiddin was invited to attend golf tournaments, which were funded by private companies.
“He is scheduled to attend a Tourism Malaysia golf tournament to promote Visit Malaysia Year 2014. It is sponsored by Abu Dhabi Trade and Industry vice-president Khalfan Saeed Al-Kaabi.
“He had a full programme involving meetings with UAE government officials on matters related to trade and investment, education and campaigns to attract Middle East students and companies to come to Malaysia.
“The Deputy Prime Minister also attended the Gulf Education and Training Exhibition, which included the largest group of participants from Malaysia.”
Muhyiddin also held meetings with UAE leaders and other delegations.
They included Dubai-based GEMS Education chairman Sunny Varkey, whose organisations operate a chain of private schools in 151 countries.
“GEMS Education plans to open a new private school in Malaysia.”
The statement said Muhyiddin’s itinerary included three dinner functions sponsored by Ahmad Zaki Resources Berhad, which has a business operation in Dubai and businessman Essa Al-Ghurair.
A Malaysian diaspora dinner organised by Talent Corp Bhd is meant to draw Malaysian professionals back to the country.
“The DPM also met Malaysian business representatives in the Middle East, including those from Petronas, Eversendai Corp Bhd and several other firms.
“He is also slated to meet the owner of a chain of hypermarkets in this region. The company is in the process of opening a Malaysian hypermarket with cooperation from Felda,” it added.
The statement said Muhyiddin’s visit here is similar to official overseas visits by government leaders to strengthen bilateral trade and political relations with other countries.
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