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Tax Payers : Samy Vellu costs RM600k

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By Lisa J. Ariffin

KUALA LUMPUR ― Expenses for Putrajaya’s special envoys to India and China amount to RM414,996 for the year to date, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said today.
The de facto law minister told Parliament today that special envoy of infrastructure to India and Southern Asia Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu’s overall expenditure this year amounted to RM373,701 while special envoy to China Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting spent a total of RM41,295.16 this year.

This excludes their respective monthly salary of RM27,000 for Samy Vellu and RM20,000 for Ong.

“(Samy Vellu) receives RM27,000 a month including a senior private secretary, one special officer, two special drivers, one office secretary and a police escort,” Nazri said today.

“(Ong) receives RM20,000 in basic salary a month with a senior private secretary and one private secretary.

“As per his request, he (Ong) has refused drivers and police escort,” he added.

When asked to comment on the choice of two previous Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition party presidents as special envoys, Nazri dismissed the insinuation of preferential treatment as “slander and baseless accusations”.

“The special envoy to India is a former works minister. When he was minister, his connection involving infrastructure with India already existed,” Nazri explained.

“So it’s logical if the two-way connection (with India still exists). That’s why we chose him,” he added.

Nazri said Ong’s appointment was because Malaysia’s ambassador to China Datuk Iskandar Sarudin was not conversant in Mandarin.

“We have an ambassador in China but he is not fluent n Mandarin, but our special envoy to China (Ong) is fluent in Mandarin,” Nazri said.

“This eases the connection between Malaysia and China. Of course when conversation is easier, work can be easily done,” he added.
Nazri also said it was wise to accord ministerial status to special envoys as this will benefit their work relations.

“Without minister status, they cannot meet with important people or with people who can make decisions,” he said.

“If he is a normal person or a businessman, he won’t get the same treatment.

“But if he is a special envoy on a ministerial lever, people will want to meet him.” (TMI)