PUTRAJAYA: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pic) says he was not aware that an agency under the ministry sponsored a trip to Turkey for the Inspector-General of Police and other top brass at Bukit Aman.
“The sponsorship was approved by the Malaysia Totalisator Board and not by the Finance Ministry,” he said on Wednesday (Feb 13).
Lim said he would check if his ministry has the authority to get the agency to seek the ministry’s go-ahead before approving future sponsorships.
“Current procedure says that such matters only need the approval of the board of directors and need not be referred to the Finance Ministry.
“We want to check if, after this, we can ensure that the Totalisator Board gets the green light from us first,” he said, pointing out that the agency’s financial sources do not come from the ministry.
“The board does not get a sen from (the ministry) but from a number-forecasting company,” he said.
Sarawak Report had published an article claiming that Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun and several top senior officers had gone on a lavish trip to Turkey, said to have cost more than RM300,0000.
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin refuted the allegation, saying that the Malaysia Totalisator Board sponsored the trip.
He explained that he had been informed and consented to the trip.
Muhyiddin said the reason for the trip to Turkey was to attend training on initiatives to combat online gambling.
Sarawak Report 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 in a four-star hotel.
It also put up a rough estimate of the trip, claiming that the flights would come up to RM254,218 while the hotel rooms would have cost RM58,225, without taking meals and other expenses into account.