Malaysia wedding sparks corruption inquiry

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An anti-corruption inquiry has been launched in Malaysia after reports that public funds were used to pay for the giant wedding of a top official's son.

Some 130,000 guests poured into a sports centre in the southern state of Malacca for eight hours of revelry.

Malacca's chief minister, Ali Rustam, insisted the function, where food alone reportedly cost $200,000 (£124,000), had been his "own family arrangement".

Opposition politicians have asked how he could afford the cost on his salary.

Malaysians are having to pay more for food and petrol as the government cuts back on subsidies during tough economic times, the BBC's Jennifer Pak reports from Kuala Lumpur. Corruption allegations are therefore becoming more sensitive.

The governing coalition, Barisan Nasional, has been accused of being corrupt and arrogant after 55 years in power.

Opposition 'jealous'

Sunday's wedding of Ridhwan Ali, 26, the eldest son of Ali Rustam, was meant to show that the party still had support from the people.

Start Quote

We are going item by item, to see how much money was spent and who paid for it”

End Quote Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdul Corruption investigator

It lasted eight hours to accommodate the guests, who included estate workers.

"[The opposition] should not be jealous of the huge crowd," the chief minister was quoted as saying by The Star daily newspaper.

"The wedding was my own family arrangement and has nothing to do with the state government."

Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdul, deputy head of the Malaysian anti-corruption commission, said a detailed investigation had begun and warned it would take time to draw conclusions.

"We are going item by item, to see how much money was spent and who paid for it," he was quoted as saying by Malaysian news agency Bernama.

The extravagance of the wedding is seen as another sign that the governing coalition is out of touch with Malaysians, our correspondent says.

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