KUALA LUMPUR: Agriculture and Agro-based Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub (pic) has denied allegations that National Farmers Organisation (Nafas) booked 38 hotel rooms during the Tanjung Piai by-election.
He said based on the documents he received, Nafas had booked the hotel rooms for road shows held in conjunction with the National Farmers, Livestock Breeders and Fishermen's Day, where Johor played host.
"We had booked the hotel rooms until Oct 30 or 31.
"But after that was the campaign period which Nafas was not involved. The road shows were held in Simpang Renggam, Johor Baru, Pontian, Benut and others.
"This Thursday (Nov 28), the National Farmers, Livestock Breeders and Fishermen's Day will be held at Plaza Angsana, Johor Baru.
"Nafas is only helping to hold roadshows as Johor is the host so they booked the hotel room," he said in reply to a supplementary question from Siti Zailah Mohd Yusof (PAS-Rantau Panjang) during Question Time on Tuesday (Nov 26).
Siti Zailah had asked the Ministry to reveal the cost for Nafas to book hotel rooms during the Tanjung Piai by-election.
Salahuddin said if any parties had evidence of abuse, they should submit it to him and forward it to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as well as the police.
He also reiterated that the contract worth RM1.4bil to Nafas has yet to be finalised.
"This is a question of procedure. It will be finalised by the Finance Ministry.
"I did not issue any orders or cancellation after the letter of acceptance (SST) was issued. Therefore, we are still following the procedures," he said.
"If I am wrong, let the law take its course," added Salahuddin.
Meanwhile, Salahuddin later told reporters at the Parliament lobby that four to five staff members in his ministry were "rotated" to another ministry.
"Yesterday (Nov 25), I received a notice from the Public Services Department that there were four to five staff members who were rotated."
However, he refused to elaborate further as he said the matter falls under the purview of the Chief Secretary to the Government and the Public Services Department director-general.
Salahuddin also said that there was no internal investigation over the matter at present.
On Nov 21, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong exposed the fiasco by asking Salahuddin to explain why he sought to award a contract worth RN1.4bil to Nafas.
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