Penny Wise, Pound Foolish (part II)

Malaysian Government VVIP jet ACJ319 with tail number 9M-NAA

Malaysian Government VVIP jet ACJ319 with tail number 9M-NAA

The austerity drive announced by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak the morning before New Year’s eve probably driven a start of an even bigger spending cuts. Especially the excessive and luxury bit, which is more likely many times over as compared to the savings to the cost saving exercise, which saw meagre salary and entertainment allowances cut.

The excessive expenditure particularly in question is the ‘Travels in Luxury’.

The ACj319 with the tail number 9M-NAA in a more recent livery

The ACJ319 with the tail number 9M-NAA in a more recent livery

On 3 October 2013 Minister in PM’s Department Dato’ Seri Shahidan Kassim disclosed that the cost of PM Najib’s annual rental and maintenance of VVIP jet utilised to ferry him around RM34.3 million. That is without the fuel and food and beverages bill and other operational charges.

Another interesting story by The Malay Mail is that RM180 million was the bigger tab, encompassing all the cost related to Prime Minister’s travel.

PMO: Putrajaya splurged RM180m to fly private in 2012

BY MELISSA CHI

NOVEMBER 7, 2013

UPDATED: NOVEMBER 07, 2013 05:08 PM

A porter is silhouetted as he pushes luggage trollies at Kuala Lumpur International Airport  in Sepang on August 19, 2010. – AFP picA porter is silhouetted as he pushes luggage trollies at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on August 19, 2010. – AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — At a time of austerity and subsidy cuts, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) revealed today that the government spent more than RM180 million for fuel and maintenance to fly private for official trips in 2012.

In a written reply to Seremban MP Anthony Loke, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the government owns and operates six private jets known as Government Executive Jets (VVIP).

They include one unit of Falcon jet, one Global Express, one Boeing Business Jet, one Blackhawk, and two Agusta jets.

”For the cost of fuel for all aircrafts used in 2012 is RM14,951,448 and RM167,079,541.80 was spent on maintenance costs,” he said.

Just last month, Shahidan said in a written parliamentary reply to Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming that Putrajaya spends RM28.8 million in annual rental and RM5.5 million to maintain the VVIP government jet ACJ319, the private aircraft used to ferry prime ministers much like the Air Force One in the US.

“To ensure the VVIP government jet ACJ319 remain in a good condition and has the highest level of safety, the government has spent US$25.2 million (RM80.12 million) in rental costs, RM16.52 million for maintenance and RM3.32 million for modification works from the year 2010 to last year,” Shahidan said in the reply.

Nga had asked the ministry to reveal details on the costs involved in buying or renting the official jet, its maintenance bills and the price of modification works that goes with it from 2000 until today.

Nga later told reporters in Parliament that in addition to the private jet costs, the government had also forked out RM44 million to fund the prime minister’s overseas travels since 2008.

The Taiping MP suggested the prime minister could travel first class on Malaysia’s flag carrier Malaysia Airlines, emulating his counterpart in Singapore, as it would save “millions” of taxpayers’ money.

Nga also urged the Auditor-General to audit the Prime Minister’s Department to prove that it is transparent and is accountable for the ministry’s financial management.

Today, Shahidan also revealed that there were 372 flights recorded last year alone, to 339 destinations on official government business.

Loke said that this is another example of wastage involving the government’s expenditure, particularly on the highest government officials.

“The government asked the people to tighten their belts, lower their costs and reduce subsidy but every time we get these answers, it shows that the government is not reducing their expenditure,” he said.

Loke also pointed out that on average, each flight costs RM489,330.

“Based on the number of times the aircrafts were used in 2012 — 372, that means there is at least one flight daily, of course the prime minister doesn’t go overseas every day… of course this also involve domestic flights,” he said, and argued that private jets were not necessary for flights within the country.

Loke’s ally from PAS, Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar, who was also at the press conference, suggested that the government’s top executives should fly using commercial airplanes more frequently from next year onwards, including for their overseas trips.

He proposed that the private jets be reserved only for Malaysia’s King.

“The executive aircrafts should only be used by the Agong, because he doesn’t  travel as often.

“It is the prime minister and his deputy that are always using the aircrafts which is wasting the people and the country’s money,” Mahfuz said.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/pmo-putrajaya-splurged-rm180m-to-fly-private-in-2012#sthash.6Ly4gxeM.dpuf

*****************

This is really an exorbitant figure, for a VVIP flight operations and management cost. The “Thirteen Million Ringgit Plus” question; Can Malaysia Government afford ro spend this, which is part of the ‘Operational Budget’?

The online log for ACJ319 VVIP jet with tail number 9M-NAA dubbed "NR1" or "Perdana One"

The online log for ACJ319 VVIP jet with tail number 9M-NAA dubbed “NR1” or “Perdana One”

Continuance of 9M-NAA online log

Continuance of 9M-NAA online log

The controversy to Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor’s contentious travel to Qatar for the International Forum on Women Entrepreneur IV in early November using the “Perdana One” ACJ319 VVIP jet with tail number 9M-NAA is still the ‘market talk’ in many quarters, across the nation.

It is time that another issue be raised and brought into public debate.

The 9M-AWK, shot in Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Halim, Alor Setar the morning a VVIP party leader flew in to attend the breakfast with rakyat of Pendang

The 9H-AWK, shot in Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Halim, Alor Setar the morning a VVIP party leader flew in to attend the breakfast with rakyat of Pendang

It seems a second ACJ320 with the tail number 9H-AWK has been constantly leased by “High Ranking Politician in Malaysia”. The aircraft is registered to a Malta based VIP jet charter, Comlux Aviation.

What is interesting, the 9H-AWK aircraft in Comlux Aviation’s own log has been dubbed as “NR2” or “Perdana 2”.

Continuance of the online 9H-AWK log

Continuance of the online 9H-AWK log

The suspicion to who or which organisation which leased this ACJ320 is as good as ours. However, what is most important if the lease for the 9H-AWK is or was paid by the Malaysian Government, any corporations or individuals.

If the Malaysian Government foot the bill for this lease, then the public also has the right to know why is the money spent especially when there are four other VVIP jets, namely the ACJ319, BBJ, Bombardier Global Express and Falconjet 900.

The ACJ320 with the tail number 9H-AWK being shot in various locations

The ACJ320 with the tail number 9H-AWK being shot in various locations

If the bill has been and probably still is, being underwritten by a corporation, then the Malaysian public should have the right to know whether it is a GLC or not. If it is a GLC and the corporation is a plc, then there are questions to be addressed. It is a matter of entitlement and accountability.

The luxurious interior of the 9H-AWK, fit for a Supreme Ruler

It is interesting to note that Comlux Aviation actually added the Jalur Gemilang and “Malaysia” on both side of the front fuselage of the ACJ320. It only proven that the client is material enough and of that high stature, to be recognised with the ‘national colours’.

This corner of the 9H-AWK VVIP jet will transform into a double bed, when its turned down in mid flight

The lease for this kind of travel is not cheap at all. It ranges between USD25,00–30,000 per hour. That is usually without the fuel and food and beverages bill. However, for long term or returning clients, a good discount could be expected.

The ACJ320 with tail number 9H-AWk, with the Jalur Gemilang on the front fuselage

The ACJ320 with tail number 9H-AWK, with the Jalur Gemilang on the front fuselage

It is pathetic if Prime Minister Najib’s austerity drive announced four days ago was actually ‘Penny Wise, Pound Foolish’ if it is true that the Malaysian Government or any of its agencies or corporations are involved in excessive luxury spending such as this. The ‘ruled’ would not tolerate if the ‘rulers’ live in this sort of opulence, especially when the common people facing hardship and reduced quality of living.

History has proven this too many times over. Santayana reminded us that those who failed to learn from the past, shall be damned to repeat the same mistakes again.

Published in: on January 3, 2014 at 01:59  Comments (22)  

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22 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. A scoop bro. Congratulations🙂

  2. The clueless one is a master pretender par rear admiral. They belong to the same era.

  3. Even more Interesting is that there was a Flight to Tel Aviv Israel in between flight to Kota Kinabalu and elsewhere?

    Only the Special One can Visit Israel. Who?

    • Thank you.

      Good observation.

      Probably there is a good explanation to that. It was between charters and some other clients could hv flew on the same jet to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion.

      Notice the shot in Ben Gurion did not have the ‘Jalur Gemilang’ on the front fuselage.

  4. Our PM is living beyond our means … so much for calling the rakyat to practice austerity drive!

  5. Lee Hsien Loong travels on SIA.

    As did Lee Kuan Yew before him.

    This, in spite of the fact that the Singapore government is rich enough to buy 1 or more private jets.

    It’s about walking the talk.

    Maybe that’s why Singapore has a triple- A credit rating and why the Sing Dollar is worth 2.6 Ringgit!

    • That’s right. BG Lee travels on SIA. Sometimes. A chartered SIA. So like LKY and Goh before him.

      But come on la!

      Measure apple for apple. Singapore Govt need not to buildi and maintain 10,000 schools, hospitals and clinics in far flung places across a country which is 1,250 miles wide.

      Quantum of the populous who received total subsidy for just these two spending alone which is reflective on the absolute value, is bigger than Singapore Govt’s annual budget.

      • Just to clarify – when did Lee Kuan Yew, Goh Chok Tong or Lee Hsien Loong charter an entire SIA aircraft for their official travels?

        If they did so for their personal travel, then it would have been on their own dime.

        And what’s “10,000 schools, hospitals and clinics” got to do with the topic at hand?

        One could argue that Malaysians who can afford it are opting for private schools, hospitals and clinics. In increasing numbers. But that’s neither here nor there.

        One could also argue that if the Malaysian government subsidised only education and public health care (and nothing else), there would be plenty of surplus funds in the government’s kitty. To provide targetted financial assistance to those Malaysians who need it, regardless of race or religion.

        That’s an argument for another forum.

        The issue here is government (be it BN or Oppo) excess. In terms of consumption and expenditure.

        So, whether it’s LGE’s Mercedes-Benz or the government’s executive jets, the principles are the same.

  6. Biggie,

    Let’s do some simple math here. Let’s say PMO did lease the Comlux ACJ320. Just for argument’s sake lacking proper details, hypothetically we set the use is 10hrs a week.

    That’s USD250,000.00/week. Add fuel/F&B/other charges, let’s round it up at USD300,000/week.

    Let’s also assume the aggregated annual lease is 25 to 30 weeks. That’s effectively RM30 million per annum, IN ADDITION to the ACJ319 jet which was bought during the Sleepyhead’s dark years.

    In all, the PMO travel bill is bigger than what Shahidan answered in Dewan Rakyat.

    Auditor General must look into these superfluous excessive expenditure. There on, the PAC Chairman must call the Minister in Charge to answer in Dewan Rakyat.

    No two ways about it! This is bloody serious!

  7. Heard that Najib the Felinist & Co late September trip to San Francisco, Pallo Alto and later across the North American continent were flown in an executive B747.

    1MDB paid for it.

    It was arranged by Jho Low & associates.

    If this is true, then its too bloody much!!!!

  8. After announced the austerity drive,Najib and Rosmah flew to LA and Las Vagas to celebtare new year with hollywood crowd.
    Heard that 200 bottles of campagne engrave with her name was presented to the guests.

    Just wonder who paid for the campagne around US$1.2 m

  9. Najib is jet setting into a political suicide. Wonder if it’s true about rumours that he might move aside sometime this year. That would be good news if it is true. His behaviour at this point of time holidaying abroad is a mark of a loser. A leader holidays after working hard and able to mitigate pressing issues in the country. He holidays after doing very little or nothing at all as a PM. Malaysia is unfortunate to have an incompetent PM being replaced by another incompetent one, maybe even worse than the one before him. Lesson learned. Be extra careful in making elitist bloke as a leader of a developing country because he wouldn’t understand what
    poverty means nor would he be able to feel the resonance of the masses pain and unhappiness caused by his callous policies.

    • Even if the operational costs of the private jet/ jets were paid by unknown filthy rich individual or individuals, the integrity has been compromised. No one will believe the individual or individuals who sponsor the use of the private jet will get nothing in return. If so, what are the favours the individual got in return. Like they say there is no free lunch.This is the kind of behaviour or practice that the govt should avoid. Not enough being a weak govt already, Najib has made it worse.

      • Well, Barack Obama spent his Christmas vaccy golfing in Hawaii.

        Travelling on Air Force One, no less.

        Maybe our own VVIPs aspire to similar heights!

      • Obama as a President of the USA has presidential privilege like the use of the US President Air Force One. Besides, he travels with a Presidential entourage so large that covers security men, media, advisers, officials, personnel staff of the White House. Our PM is equal to all his Cabinet colleagues but given the’ first among equals ‘ status. So why should PM adopt a Presidential style ala the US? Everyone now tries to advise the ordinary folks on spending ‘ ukur baju di badan sendiri’? Our govt should also do the same.

  10. […] Menjawab kepada isu blog yang dimainkan Rocky’s Bru dan Big Dog. […]

  11. wow very detail report…congrate Putrajaya happy spending. The livery should bare NR photos to i think

  12. […] earlier story about the high possibility of Malaysian Government or any of its agencies leasing a ACJ320 VVIP jet with tail number 9H-AWK from a Malta-based executive Comlux Aviation drew so many […]

  13. […] and posted in Facebook accounts. It is suspiciously look like a psy-war approach, to deflect the original story about the Malaysian Government probably leased a ACJ320 VVIP executive jet from a Mal…which drew so many […]

  14. […] on the early hours here in BigDogDotCom, it was raised about the high probability that the Malaysian Government leased an ACJ320 VVIP VVIP jet from Malta-based execu…. It quickly drew a lot attention and became […]

  15. […] still premature. What is commendable is the speed of Special Officers within PMO responding to the issues raised by the rakyat, especially in social media network and […]

  16. […] drive’ which many saw as insincere, amidst the ostentatious and opulence lifestyle of the first couple globe trotting in super luxury at the expense of taxpayers’ […]


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