PETALING JAYA: If there are outstanding bills to my travel agent, I will settle them, says Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
Azmin said that he did not know of any writ of summons by YHA Travel & Tours as published by Sarawak Report.
"I will ask my officers to check on the claims by the travel agent, and if there are outstanding bills, I have to be responsible. I will have to pay.
"Let the checks (on the claims) be made," he said.
Azmin said this in response to an article in Sarawak Report stating that his travel agent was taking him to court for unpaid RM300,000 bills for private family trips.
He was speaking to the media after attending the Malaysia Sustainable Development Goals Summit 2019 in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Wednesday (Nov 6).
On Nov 5, Sarawak Report published a court writ, stating that Azmin had refused to pay the bills for his family's holidays.
The whistleblower site claimed that the bill was for trips over a course of just six months this year, and included trips to Sandakan and Marrakech, Morocco.
"The travel company, who say they arranged his flights, are now suing him for non-payment of this and an extensive list of other travel services, following what they say have been numerous requests for him to honour the bill.
"Perhaps more noteworthy than the apparent failure to pay for a return local flight, is the staggering size of the overall bill of over RM300,000 that the company, YHA Travel & Tours, alleges Azmin ran up in the course of just six months for flights alone, which they claim he has never disputed.
"They say he has merely refused on this occasion to pay it," stated Sarawak Report.
"It also published a Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court writ which Nov 5, the case is supposedly to be managed on Dec 3.
"Despite repeated demands of payment by the Plaintiff and/or its representative from the Defendant and/or his representative, the Aggregate Amount has not been forthcoming even though the claimed sum was never disputed.
"Due to the frequency of their travels, and by mutual understanding between the Plaintiff and the Defendant, payments have always been made and/or arranged by the Defendant and/or his representative every 1 to 6 months.
"However, in this instance, the payments have been outstanding for far longer than the aforesaid time frame, ” Sarawak Report reported the writ as stating.
Sarawak Report also published photographs of Azmin's children's social media postings of their holidays.
On Nov 5, a Facebook belonging to Azmin's PKR supporters Pejabat Timbalan Setia stated that the travel company suing Azmin belonged to the father of one of those arrested over the Sandakan sex video clips which went viral early this year after the Sandakan by-election.
Pejabat Timbalan Setia also uploaded a photograph of the alleged owner of YHA Travel & Tours with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The sex video clips, which Azmin had dismissed as fake and an attempt at political assassination, allegedly feature the minister with a party aide.
Anwar and Azmin had a public tiff in the media after the video divided the party into two camps.
Anwar's political secretary Farhash Wafa Salavador Rizal Mubarak was arrested with five others over the video.
The video is still under police investigation.
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