SEMENYIH: The Home Ministry has refuted allegations that the Inspector-General of Police and other Bukit Aman top brass were in Turkey on a lavish trip.
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said IGP Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun and several other Bukit Aman officers had approvals to go.
"The trip was sponsored by the Malaysian Totalisator Board, which is an agency under the Finance Ministry.
"Any officer or police delegation that seeks to go out of the country needs prior authorisation and in this case, I was informed and consented to the trip.
"It is not the first time I have authorised working trips," he told reporters after a working visit to the General Operations Force Battalion 4 base here on Tuesday (Feb 12).
Muhyiddin said the reason for the trip to Turkey was to attend training on initiatives and ways to combat online gambling.
"The issue is a big one facing in our country and briefings from other countries are important, especially for information sharing," he said.
Sarawak Report had alleged that Mohamad Fuzi and 17 other police officers had headed to Istanbul via Doha on Feb 7.
The site also implied that the officers were on a lavish trip there, staying at a four-star hotel.
The news portal made a rough estimate that the trip would cost RM254,218 for flights and RM58,225 for rooms without taking meals and expenses into account.
When asked if the trip was meant as a way to thank Mohamad Fuzi, who is set to retire soon, Muhyiddin said there was no such thing.