Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is currently on an entourage to New York for the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) but it appears that there were others who tagged along despite not being officially part of the Malaysian delegation.
According to Malaysiakini, those who were seen tagging along include 8 UMNO leaders and they are:
- Pahang Menteri Besar, Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail
- Melaka Investment, Industry and Entrepreneurial Development Exco, Ab Rauf Yusof
- Umno Information Chief, Shahril Sufian Hamdan
- Former Terengganu Menteri Besar, Ahmad Said
- Tanjung Piai Umno division chief, Jefridin Atan
- MP for Rompin, Hasan Arifin
- MP for Cameron Highlands, Ramli Mohd Nor
- Umno Kedah Deputy Chairman, Othman Aziz
Meanwhile, the matter raised several questions among netizens, asking why they were there with the Prime Minister.
It was reported that several other leaders were set to join the entourage but they did not in the end. These include Umno Vice President Khaled Nordin, its Secretary-General Ahmad Maslan and MP for Baling, Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahman.
Even more so, the matter was not that secretive as the UMNO leaders themselves had taken it to social media to share their trip to UNGA.
The matter has since attracted the attention of netizens who criticise them for tagging along to New York without the need to do so.
Many were of the opinion that having more unrelated people joining the entourage is a waste of public funds as the expenses for the trip is exorbitant.
“May I know what the purpose to have them there?” a netizen asked.
“Stop going on holiday on taxpayers money!” another netizen said.
However, Malaysiakini also reported that the UMNO leaders and other individuals invited by the Prime Minister to New York were travelling at their own expense.
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