PETALING JAYA: Najib Razak tonight questioned Muhyiddin Yassin for spending RM38.5 million on repair work at Seri Perdana – the official residence of the prime minister in Putrajaya – if he had no intention of staying there.

“Was it meant to be left empty?” the Pekan MP asked his former number two in Umno in a Facebook post.

Muhyiddin had earlier this evening said that he had never lived at Seri Perdana as “long as I served as prime minister” – a post he had held for 17 months.

He said this when justifying the sum spent, where he also revealed it was used to purchase new furniture, as much of it had been removed by Najib as it had apparently belonged to the latter.

Muhyiddin said the total expenditure also included repairing old and damaged sections of the property, such as leaks, outdated lighting systems, damaged floors and ceilings.

But Najib said Muhyiddin should not have used him as an excuse to spend such a large amount.

“Especially when you told the rakyat that the government had no money to help the people.”

Najib went on to say that after Barisan Nasional lost in the 14th general election (GE14) in May 2018 he was only given a few hours to vacate Seri Perdana.

He then wrote to the Prime Minister’s Department (JPM) twice, first in August 2018 then in August 2019, to get their approval to retrieve personal belongings and furniture “which I bought at my own expense”.

According to Najib, JPM only gave the nod on Oct 21 last year and on Nov 18, he was officially notified to remove everything within two weeks.

Najib said he and his staff found it odd for the sudden order to remove his belongings and with just two weeks to do so.

“We were then informed that Seri Perdana’s newly-appointed manager was a relative of the eighth prime minister (Muhyiddin), who apparently had plans to upgrade the official residence with the intention of moving in.”