“RM38 mil renovation bill for Seri Perdana completely justified,” says Muhyiddin’s ex-aide

THE RM38 mil renovation and repair works for Seri Perdana, initiated by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during his administration, were completely justified, said the former prime minister’s ex-aide Datuk Dr Marzuki Mohamad.

According to Marzuki, he was directly involved in the renovation process at the official residence of the prime minister as he was then Muhyiddin’s chief private secretary.

“The main problem at the residence involved a leaking roof which damaged the ceiling, walls, and floorings,” he said in a Facebook post today (July 31) following criticism against the spending, adding that Seri Perdana was a massive property encompassing some 56,000 sq ft.

“I was also told that the equipment in the kitchen could not be used and that the entire wiring had to be replaced.”

Adding to its woes, Seri Perdana’s inventory of furniture was also in disarray with no proper records of who owned what.

Marzuki further pointed out at that time Datuk Seri Najib Razak had also laid claim to furniture at the residence and the latter wanted to take back what was his.

“This included the chandeliers at the residence. These were just some of the disputes that were ongoing then but we managed to resolve it,” he said, adding that Seri Perdana was supposed to be an official residence but no prime minister has stayed there since the Najib administration because it was in a poor state.

Elaborating, Marzuki said after Najib was ousted, even Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did not move in to stay there.

“It became sort of an abandoned property…it looked beautiful from the outside but was inhabitable due to the condition inside,” he remarked.

“Any building, if not maintained, will continue to have more problems and the cost of repairs will increase.”

Marzuki said the aim of the renovation works was to restore Seri Perdana to its former glory, adding that Muhyiddin had subsequently directed the chief secretary to the government to ensure a proper inventory of the assets in Seri Perdana to be prepared and the residence to be gazetted as a national heritage building and its original state to be preserved.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (Pic credit: Facebook/Muhyiddin Yassin)

Marzuki’s response came following Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s criticism of Muhyiddin, whom he said did not have his priorities in order when he was prime minister.

At a rally in Kota Damansara on Saturday night (July 29), Anwar said Muhyiddin had focused on repairing Seri Perdana rather than helping the people.

“Seri Perdana already looks like a palace. Do you know how much the repairs cost? RM38 mil. Amid people who don’t have enough to eat, people who are out of jobs, the disabled, and the poor, you choose to repair your house,” he was reported as saying.

In 2021, special functions minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad said the RM38.5 mil renovations at Seri Perdana were approved and begun under Muhyiddin’s watch.

This came about after several MPs scrutinised the multimillion-ringgit works.

Muhyiddin had come out with his explanation on the issue, saying that the building required maintenance due to years of neglect.

He said the damage involves leaks, outdated lighting systems, and the physical condition of floors and roofs that have been damaged or worn out, among others. – July 31, 2023


Main pic credit: Selangorkini

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