Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's visit to Australia - on a government aircraft on Merdeka Day - was made in his personal capacity, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
"The visit to Perth from Aug 31 to Sept 3 was a personal visit," the Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said in a written reply to Tian Chua (PKR-Batu).
However, the minister explained that Najib had taken the opportunity to meet with Malaysian students and citizens residing there at a Hari Raya Aidilfitri event organised by the Malaysian Consulate-General.
"The prime minister also spent time meeting and discussing with representatives of a Muslim group in Perth."
Last week, Parliament was informed that the Airbus A319 used by the prime minister has been leased from Syarikat Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd by the government since Aug 3, 2007.
In that written reply to Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR-Lembah Pantai), Minister in Prime Minister's Deparment Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz had said the aircraft was meant for VVIPs, including the Agong, prime minister and deputy prime minister.
Nazri had revealed that the government had paid RM9.1 million in rental from January to August, with the jet having been used for trips to 155 places within the country and abroad.
The cost, Nazri said, covered jet fuel, parking and handling charges and food and logistics for the crew.
Najib ke Perth 31 Ogos lalu atas lawatan peribadi
Najib di luar negara pada Hari Kemerdekaan