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Former Ferrari F1 boss Jean Todt (Datuk Seri) is paid RM593,400 to holiday in Malaysia according to The Sun.

Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) today alleged in the Dewan Rakyat that former Ferrari F1 team boss Datuk Jean Todt was appointed as Malaysian Tourism Ambassador at a cost to the Tourism Ministry of some RM593,400.

Asking Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abdul Taib the rationale for the appointment, Azmin said he had proof to support all his claims, including on Todt and his fiancé Datuk Michelle Yeoh being offered land on an island in Terengganu.

However, Sulaiman did not reply to his question on grounds that it has deviated from the original question and advised Azmin to put his question in writing.

Azmin stressed that the question was not out of topic as the original question from Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (BN-Putatan) was about films produced by the ministry to promote Malaysia as a tourist destination.

“I have proof whereby Yeoh and Todt were offered (part of) Pulau Besar. And his flight ticket alone had cost RM360,000. The cost of his appointment reached RM593,400.

“But, he (Sulaiman) didn’t want to reply. Don’t you agree with me that this is a related matter, Tan Sri?” Azmin asked Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia who said it was not his duty to agree or not with him.

Later, when met in Parliament lobby, Azmin said the annual fee of RM593,400 included air tickets costing RM360,000, accommodation (RM60,000), tips, laundry, faxes and telephone costs (RM90,000) and other miscellaneous costs.

He also said Todt also received RM388,000 as travel allowance when he holidayed in Malaysia and this included RM240,000 for two air tickets and miscellaneous expenses (RM60,000).

He said Todt, in return, is required to attend a minimum of two major events in the country and two international missions to promote Malaysia.

“The ministry agreed to bear all expenses, including his holiday in Malaysia twice a year for two persons,” he said, adding that he had proof to show communication between Todt and the ministry on the deal.

“Why do we need to spend so much money? I hope the ministry will clarify this before the end of the session and if I am wrong, make a statement to prove me wrong,” he added.