The Selangor Barisan Nasional has maintained that a controversial trip to China involving backbenchers was self financed and did not involve any funding from the state government.
State executive councillor Datuk Mokhtar Dahlan said that the DAP was totally wrong in claiming that the trips, called the Silk Road Tour, were fully sponsored by the state government.
“The cost is borne by the assemblymen themselves who have or are going on the trip to China and the state government is not using its funds in any way,” said the Kota Damansara assemblyman.
He said that the assemblymen were divided into three groups. One group would tour China on Aug 21, the other on Sept 1 and the third on an unspecified date in October. The tour included visits to shopping and tourist spots.
He said that the assemblymen paid for their accommodation, the ground arrangements and tours.
“The fact that some of them took their spouses along should not be questioned as the trips are not sponsored by the Selangor government,” said Mokhtar.
State Opposition leader and Sungai Pinang assemblyman Teng Chang Khim told a press conference on Monday that the state government had spent about RM1mil on an 11-day trip to China for the 54 assemblymen and their spouses.
According to a copy of the itinerary obtained by Teng, the assemblymen visited Beijing, Urumqi, Turpan, Kashi and Guangzhou.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo said that the visit was part of a beautification and cleanliness study tour organised by the Barisan Nasional but that the assemblymen had picked up the tab.
He also dismissed Teng’s claims as a “wild accusation” and said that the opposition representative should check his facts and verify them.
State executive councillor and Sijangkang assemblyman Datuk Fatah Iskandar said that overseas trips organised by the Selangor State Development Corporation and Selangor State Investment Centre were aimed at attracting investors to Selangor.
“They are not paid holidays as claimed by the opposition and we have proven the success of such trips with the number of investors we have attracted here,” said Fatah.
Source: The Star
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