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Najib spent $177k on watch, $41k on hotel stay

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak spent US$130,625 (S$177,660) on a luxury watch in 2014 as a birthday gift for his wife Rosmah Mansor, the High Court heard.

The watch was purchased at a Chanel boutique in Honolulu, in the US, on Dec 22,2014.

"The purchase at Chanel in Honolulu was a watch that I bought as a gift for my wife's birthday in December," he saidyesterday.

The 66-year-old Pekan MP said this during an examination-in-chief at the SRC International trial, when he was asked by his lawyer Rahmat Hazlan about two controversial transactions on a credit card.

The other transaction was RM127,017.46 (S$41,510) at Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok in January 2015.

"Regarding the Shangri-La transaction, just after my trip to Kota Baru to check on the flood situation there, I continued my private vacation in Bangkok, Thailand, where I flew to straight from Kota Baru.

"Although this was a private trip, I took the opportunity to meet with my Thai counterpart, (Thailand's Prime Minister) Prayut Chan-o-cha, to discuss how the Thai government would be able to help us with the bad flood situation," he said.

Najib added that the money spent at the Shangri-La covered his stay as well as that of the supporting staff that accompanied him, unexpected expenses and required expenses throughout the trip.

"It is within my right to claim the expenses from the government considering that I worked on my trip.

"However, I chose to bear the expenses because I didn't want to complicate matters and I exercised my discretion," he said.

METICULOUS

Najib, who was reading from his 243-page statement, said he was meticulous about expenses.

"My lawyer had prepared a breakdown of the funds used in the account including the credit card expenses from August 2013 until March 2015.

"The total of my personal spending was 0.4 per cent from the funds received in the account," he said. - THE STAR

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