A photograph of Azmin Ali and a tour guide in Turkey that surfaced online has raised the hackles of netizens who questioned if the minister of international trade and industry had taken his family along on a holiday recently.
Hours later, however, the tour guide posted an apology and said Azmin was at Hagia Sophia with the ministry delegation on a Turkish government programme.
The Instagram post has since been deleted, but netizens have been quick to share screenshots of the photograph.
The photograph, posted by Turkish travel account @Turkishlocalguides about 15 hours ago, was captioned “It was a pleasure to guide for Mr Muhammed Azmin Ali (Senior Minister of Malaysia). He was willing and patient to listen to stories of Hagia Sophia”.
However, netizens shared screenshots of what they claimed to be the original caption, now edited, which implied Azmin was there with his family.
The original caption according to social media users read: “It was a pleasure to guide for Mr Muhammed Azmin Ali (Senior Minister of Malaysia) and his family….”
That led to criticism for purportedly going on holiday despite Covid-19 clusters erupting in many factories, especially in Selangor.
One netizen on Twitter said: “The rakyat is under difficulty and disorder, this stupid … MITI minister is still in Turkey, and can even go on a trip to Hagia Sophia.”
He also posted a screenshot of the photograph with two different captions side by side.
Another user said: “I just want to ask, how many of us here have been separated from family/loved ones and have not been able to see them for quite some time?”
Many MPs and ministers have drawn flak from the public for breaching travel restrictions and SOPs.
Most recently, Padang Rengas MP Nazri Aziz and his family were also on the receiving end of wide social media backlash, after his wife posted an Instagram photograph of her and their son on their way to France in what appeared to be a first-class cabin.
Source : FMT
Azmin denies using ministry’s funds to take family to Europe
International trade and industry minister Azmin Ali has denied that he brought his family along for a trade mission to London two months ago.
He said that the trip overseas followed all protocols accordingly.
“Before a trade mission is approved, it must be brought to the Cabinet meeting and every detail, including the members of the delegation, the total allocation, destination is presented.
“The breakdown is given and approved by the Cabinet accordingly. I did not bring my family along for the trip,” he told RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong).
Rayer had asked Azmin if his family followed him to London during a trade mission two months ago, with their travel expense also funded by the international trade and industry ministry.
Earlier, the question saw opposition MPs in a brief disagreement with Speaker Azhar Harun who told Rayer that his question was not linked to the Supply Bill 2022.
But Ong Kian Ming (PH-Bangi) said the Speaker should allow the minister to reply as every ministry has a budget for overseas trips, including for trade missions.
“Jelutong (Rayer) is asking if the minister booked first-class flight tickets because the flight cost from London to Singapore and to Malaysia is expensive.
Rayer further interjected: “If the minister did not spend the ministry’s money, please answer.”
Azmin replied that he understands Rayer’s intention was to divert the focus from the bigger issues but “I do not have any problems in replying to him.”
Azmin was earlier answering questions on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
In November, a viral meme alleging Azmin spent RM207,712 at an upscale restaurant in London went viral. He denied the claim stating it was another attempt to smear his image.
In October, Bernama reported that Azmin and senior Miti officials went overseas on a trade mission to Europe, which included stops in France and the UK.
Viral meme stating that Azmin Ali spent over RM 207712 at Salt Bae’s London restaurant
A viral meme making the rounds on social media saying Datuk Seri Mohd Azmin Ali spent £ 37,023 (RM 207,712) at an upscale London restaurant is bogus.
The meme features a picture of the Nusr-Et Steakhouse in London, along with a picture of the Minister for International Trade and Industry and a receipt stuck on it.
The picture was actually lifted from a story published on Oct 16 in British daily The Independent, titled “Customers shock over £37,000 bill at Salt Bae’s new restaurant has people divided.”
Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe, also known as Salt Bae, gained popularity in 2017 when a picture of him sprinkling salt on meat became an Internet meme.
According to The Independent, prices at Gökçe’s restaurant have shocked diners ever since it opened its doors in Knightsbridge, London last September.
Customers have complained over having to spend £44 (RM246) for four cans of Red Bull and were left in awe over the Gökçe’s £850 (RM4,768) 24-carat gold tomahawk steak.
The receipt that was paired with Azmin’s picture was first posted online on Snapchat by an angry diner complaining about the prices.
Source : Negara Merdeka
Source : The Star
Travel Agency Suit Against Azmin Ali’s Children Over Unpaid Bills To Marrakech, London, Jakarta, the Gold Coast, Dubai, Geneva, Singapore, Bangkok, Barcelona
YHA Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd’s RM102,560 suit against three of Senior Minister cum International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali’s children over unpaid travel bills will go through mediation.
YHA’s lawyer Adam Yap confirmed this with theedgemarkets.com.
Yap emphasised that the mediation only applies to the suit relating to the three children and that the company’s suit against Mohamed Azmin will still proceed as before.
The outcome was revealed during case management held today at the Sessions Court before Sessions judge Lailatul Zuraida Harron @ Harun.
Mohamed Azmin’s children who were named in the suit and purportedly still owe the company are Farah Affifah (RM3,880), Farah Amira (RM6,400), and Mohamed Ameer Shazrin (RM92,280).
Meanwhile, Yap said a date has yet to be fixed for the hearing of the suit against the senior minister.
The suit against Mohamed Azmin’s children had to be re-filed last September after one of his daughters, Farah Syazlina, had paid her dues of RM8,510.
It was also reported on July 22 last year that the court had allowed the substituted service of court documents to Mohamed Azmin’s children as lawyers were unable to serve a copy of the suit to them.
According to YHA’s statement of claim, which was found by theedgemarkets.com through a file search, Mohamed Azmin had been a customer of the travel agency for 20 years.
The company claimed the senior minister would normally settle his bills within three to four months but in this instance, the payments had been outstanding for far longer.
It was referring to family trips made between Sept 10, 2018 and Aug 5, 2019, including to Marrakech, London, Jakarta, the Gold Coast, Dubai, Geneva, Singapore, Bangkok, Barcelona, and Santorini.
The company also provided the itineraries of Mohamed Azmin’s trips to Hanoi and Kota Kinabalu between Sept 14 and Sept 16, 2018, and to Sandakan on May 10 to May 11, 2019, which was during the Sandakan by-election.
YHA is seeking a payment of RM167,332 from the minister and a total of RM102,560 from his children.
The company claimed it sent a letter of demand to Mohamed Azmin on Aug 27, 2019 and another on Sept 30, 2019, but had received no response.
“Notwithstanding the repeated demands, the defendant had failed and neglected and refused to pay the amount stipulated,” YHA said.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Azmin was reported to have filed a counterclaim against the travel agency through Messrs Daim & Gamany.
The senior minister claimed that the travel agency’s majority shareholder Yasmin Hanim Arbee and her husband, chairperson Datuk Mohd Ayub Hassan, are the parents of one Mohd Haziq Hassan Mohd Ayub.
According to the counterclaim, Haziq Hassan had been arrested in connection with a police probe into a purported sex video that allegedly features Mohamed Azmin and one other individual.
The counterclaim said both Yasmin and Mohd Ayub had enjoyed a “very close relationship” with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“The filing of this suit by the travel agency is not for the vindication of the plaintiff’s rights but for some ulterior purposes designed to harm the defendant (Mohamed Azmin),” it said.
“The conspiracy in relation to the ‘fitnah video’ was orchestrated by the leader of a political party,” it added.
The countersuit also alleged that YHA’s statement of claim had been leaked to Sarawak Report, which could not have been privy to the filing, thus supporting the claim of an ulterior motive.
Mohamed Azmin admitted liability to the sum owed by himself and his children under the age of 20, which according to him amounted to only RM162,272.
However, he said his children that are older than 20 would have to pay the sum owed by themselves.
The minister is seeking damages, costs and other relief deemed necessary by the court.
Source : The Edge