Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rosmah’s visits according to the rules, says Rais

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 — Critics of the overseas visits of the prime minister’s wife do not understand government regulations, Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said today. He said that visits of the kind Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor undertook recently to Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bangladesh were provided for by the Members of the Administration Ethics 1988/1999 decided by the Cabinet.
Rais cited Article 1180A of the ethics, which said that the wife of a member of the administration may represent her husband or make an overseas visit on official business as long as it does not contradict the function and service of the minister or his ministry.
He told reporters here that the criticism from certain quarters over the visits of Rosmah, accompanied by the wives of ministers, “stems from political ill-will” with the opposition belittling whatever the government did and slandering the people involved.
Rais said that Rosmah had visited Oman at the invitation of its government to discharge her duties as a woman who cared about the education of children, for the disabled and the welfare of women.
“She should play a part to help the nation and the prime minister in carrying out supplementary work in the nation’s interest,” he added.
Rais said it was the responsibility of his ministry to explain to the people the importance of the visits in helping the nation.
He said the visits had indirectly helped to foster closer ties with the three countries.
Rosmah was reported to have said yesterday that she was not affected by the negative comments on her visits because they were arranged after she received the invitation of the government or a woman minister of the country concerned.