THE Foreign Ministry purchased landed assets and properties in 43 countries which are currently worth RM3.59bil, says Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.
The assets, operated by the ministry, comprised 32 chanceries, 33 official residences of heads of delegations and 143 houses and apartments, he added.
He said the Government was now paying RM95mil yearly in rent for some buildings in other countries.
The Home Minister told Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) that the ministry had obtained the assets through purchases made on the open market or through land exchange agreements with foreign governments.
“The ministry must maintain ownership of these assets because our embassies can operate in our own buildings, and save costs in the long-term,” he added.
Syed Hamid said the Govern-ment had outlined a development programme to construct embassies or high commissions in other countries, which would be funded through the five-year Malaysia Plan.
“This measure will help us re-duce our operating expenditure.’’
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