Premier treatment for Perth restaurantBeh Lih Yi
Jan 10, 07 2:43pm
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was opening a nasi kandar restaurant in Australia last month, at a time when disastrous floods
hit Malaysia’s southern region.
According to a report in the Jan 5 edition of the Perth weekly community free paper, Asia Times, Abdullah was in the city to open the ‘Puteri Nasi Kandar’ restaurant on Dec 29.
The report entitled ‘A meal fit for a princess’ was published alongside several photos showing Abdullah opening the restaurant and sampling the food.
A Malaysian reader of the newspaper told malaysiakini: “(At a time when parts of) Johor were under water (resulting in) 17 casualties, I was unable to swallow (the reports and photos).”
The restaurant is substantially owned by Abdullah’s brother, Ibrahim, and a Malaysian corporate figure Lim Ewe Jin, according to the report.
Lim, the founder of Lejadi Group which provides water management and privatisation services, is also co-founder of Powertek Bhd, an independent power producer in Malaysia.
Seventeen people died and more than 90,000 were evacuated at the height of the floods triggered by torrential rain, and which engulfed whole towns and villages in five states.
Abdullah had made a one-day visit to Johor - the worst-hit state - on Dec 23 after an official visit to Venezuela. He then reportedly left for Australia for a holiday.
Explaining his absence, Abdullah said he had kept in constant contact with his deputy Najib Abdul Razak, who heads the national disaster management and relief committee.
“There was no problem. During the floods, Najib discharged his duties and I monitored the situation from abroad. Anyway, I am back now,” he was quoted as saying in Chinese daily Nanyang Siang Pau yesterday.
Abdullah said that, as he had led the committee previously as deputy premier, he was familiar with the mechanism and was therefore able to keep track of developments.
According to the report, the explanation was provided when he was asked to comment about flood victims who had voiced unhappiness that he had continued his holiday abroad despite the ‘red alert’ at home.
His statement was only reported by Chinese dailies.
Last month, DAP Johor leader Dr Boo Cheng Hau had urged Abdullah to consider sacking ministers who were on vacation during the catastrophe.
//Patut le cuti lama.. dok pekena nasik kandaq.. sampai tak mau balik awai tengok rakyat derita pasal banjiq..