KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — In dismissing claims that the government has ulterior motives in organising the Madani Aidilfitri open house in six states, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said it is an effort to reach out to the people and is not wasteful.
The prime minister said the open house was not his personal undertaking but a government programme aimed at getting closer to the rakyat.
“Governments everywhere do it (open house event). It is not a waste because we give food to the people. To me, it is not wasteful.
“If it was organised in my personal capacity including family, it would be appropriate to use money from my own pocket. But this is a government programme for the people and it is far cheaper to be held in Alor Setar, Kedah than in Putrajaya,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after performing Friday prayers at Masjid Jamiul Ehsan, Kampung Kubu Gajah in Sungai Buloh here. Also present was Selangor Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari.
Perikatan Nasional (PN) had alleged that the government’s decision to hold the Malaysia Madani Open House with the Prime Minister in six states instead of in Putrajaya is a waste of money and aimed at scoring political points.
Kedah will kick off the open house programme tomorrow, followed by Kelantan, Terengganu, Penang, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor.
Asked on Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor’s allegation that he was not invited for tomorrow’s event, Anwar said he was told that the organisers had sent an invitation to the Kedah Menteri Besar.
“I was given to understand that an invitation (to Sanusi) had been sent. Tuanku (Sultan of Kedah Al-Aminul Karim Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah) will attend, so the MB (Menteri Besar) has been invited,” he said.
Anwar said preparations for the open house in Kedah, to be held at Hotel Raia in Alor Setar, were going well and that he would be checking out the preparations this evening.