PETALING JAYA: The brothers and acquaintances of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had paid their own expenses to travel to Saudi Arabia where the Prime Minister is on a working visit, says the Prime Minister’s Office.
In a statement, it said that Najib had invited them along to perform the umrah with him.
The statement was issued following comments on social media which had questioned why his family members were included in the delegation list for the trip.
“The Prime Minister’s brothers and his acquaintances, who were with him during this visit, had paid their own way to travel to the Holy Land.
“Only Tun Rahah (Najib’s mother Tun Rahah Mohammad Noah) accompanied Datuk Seri Mohd Najib in his flight to Saudi Arabia,” it added.
The statement said that their names were included in the official delegation list to facilitate administrative arrangements with authorities for the umrah programme.
It added that the Prime Minister and his delegation were also given the status of “state guests” by the Saudi government.
The others who were in the delegation with Najib included his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, his mother, several of his family members, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, Najib’s acquaintances and government officers.
Najib is on a five-day working visit to Saudi Arabia from Monday at the invitation of Saudi Ruler King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
The statement said the visit was to discuss bilateral issues which had been agreed to by both countries during the Saudi Ruler’s visit to Malaysia last year.
Photos of what appeared to be the list of delegates accompanying Najib to Saudi Arabia surfaced on social media yesterday, along with questions on the role of family members and friends and who was paying for their expenses.
After the statement from the Prime Minister’s Office was issued, Najib tweeted his gratitude that he and his family were allowed to visit the Raudhah and the burial chamber of Prophet Muhammad after performing the Isyak prayers at Nabawi Mosque in Madinah.
Najib tweeted that the Saudi Ruler had given permission to him and his family to visit the sites.
“We are thankful to have been able to visit the makam (tomb) of Prophet Muhammad ... such an honour is only given to special guests of the Saudi government,” wrote Najib.
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