Minister: Nafas booked hotel rooms in Tanjung Piai for roadshow, not by-election

Yiswaree Palansamy
Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub speaks to reporters at the Parliament lobby, November 26, 2019. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 — Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub said the National Farmers Organisation (Nafas) he is accused of favouring had booked hotel rooms in Tanjung Piai close to the by-election for unrelated events in Johor.

The agriculture and agro-based industries minister told Parliament that the roadshows were in conjunction with the 2019 National Farmers, Breeders and Fishermen's Day (Hari Peladang, Penternak Dan Nelayan Kebangsaan 2019 or HPPNK).

He also pointed out that the booking dates did not coincide with the by-election campaign between November 2 and 16.

“We booked the hotel rooms until October 30 or October 31st. After that was the election campaign, which Nafas was not involved in, and the roadshows were held in Simpang Renggam, in Pontian, in Benut, and others,” he said in response to Rantau Panjang MP Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff.

The minister added that Nafas was still facilitating activities related to the HPPNK in Johor, with another event at Plaza Angsana in Johor Baru this Thursday.

Salahuddin also encouraged rival MPs to lodge reports with the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) if they suspected corruption or impropriety within his ministry.

Siti Zailah earlier asked Salahuddin to say why Nafas had booked 38 hotel rooms in Tanjung Piai allegedly during the by-election.

MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong first made the allegation of impropriety in the hotel room bookings last week when he accused Salahuddin of seeking to award RM1.4 billion in contracts directly to Nafas.

Wee alleged that Salahuddin was favouring the group because it included members of the latter’s Amanah party.

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