Revealed: Najib opted for most expensive ‘privilege’ after turning down ‘cheaper’ land

(Malaysia Now) – Najib Razak opted for the most expensive land on a list of housing allowances offered by the government to the ex-prime minister, it has been learnt following further investigations by MalaysiaNow into the controversy of the RM100 million home for the convicted former leader.

It is also understood that Najib could have settled for a monthly rental allowance of RM10,000 if he chose to remain in his current Taman Duta bungalow, or to stay in a government home complete with amenities without any ownership transfer.

“But he personally sent in an application for the more costly option of the government surrendering a plot of land. In addition, he also opted for the government to construct a house on that land,” a source familiar with laws on the maintenance of top government officials and senior civil servants told MalaysiaNow.

It is understood that Najib personally visited the site before officially making known his desire for the property early this year, even as he was busy accusing the administration of Muhyiddin Yassin of ignoring the welfare of Malaysians affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

His request for the land only received serious attention after the appointment of Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who replaced Muhyiddin following a coup engineered by Najib and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi with the backing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

The highlighted part of an aerial picture of Bukit Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, the location of a plot of land where a free house for Najib Razak has been proposed at a total cost of RM100 million to the government.

However, the move drew protests from within Ismail’s own Cabinet, including from senior ministers Tengku Zafrul Aziz and Mohamed Azmin Ali, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin as well as Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.

Yesterday, Najib defended the gift as legal after coming under fire from Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the Dewan Rakyat.

The Pekan MP said he had picked one of three options of properties offered by the government.

“It’s a government land near Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, because my family feels the location is most suitable for them,” he said, before listing what he claimed were his contributions to the nation during his nine-year administration.

Najib also denied that the property would cost the government RM100 million, adding that news of his request for the land was timed to coincide with the election in Melaka where he has been busy campaigning for Barisan Nasional candidates.