PETALING JAYA: A cartoonist has questioned why deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohd Rashid Hasnon is on a work trip to Europe – at a time when most of the countries are on holiday to celebrate Christmas and New Year.
Speaking to FMT, Zunar, whose real name is Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, said Rashid’s claim that he was visiting several European countries until Jan 8 in his capacity as deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker was “absurd”.
He said the trip should be cancelled as the country is facing major floods, especially in Johor. Rashid is the Batu Pahat MP.
“A working trip during Christmas? What kind of reason is that? Who is working during that time?” Zunar asked.
“They (European countries) are usually on Christmas holidays at the end of the year. No one is working at this time.”
Yesterday, Zunar shared a photo on social media allegedly showing Rashid and his wife at a dinner in Vienna. He criticised Rashid for going on a trip abroad while the country was battling massive floods.
Zunar said he had received the photo from one of his acquaintances.
In response, Rashid said he was visiting several countries in his capacity as deputy speaker to meet his counterparts there.
“I am in Vienna on a working trip. I am here in my capacity as a legislative member, as a representative of Parliament,” he was quoted as saying by news portal The Vibes.
While Rashid’s itinerary is unknown, he reportedly visited Austria, Slovakia and Iran and is set to return to Malaysia on Jan 8.
Zunar also asked Rashid to reveal his full work schedule during the overseas trip, including the government representatives he met.
Zunar’s criticism of Rashid’s trip comes after Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob ordered ministers on leave abroad to return home immediately to help victims hit by floods last weekend.
In a statement on Dec 24, Ismail also said those who were planning to go abroad for holidays had been told to postpone their plans “until the flood problems are solved”.