M’sian PM Slammed for Wearing Burberry Shirt That Costs S$2,176

If there’s one thing that people from all walks of life are probably interested in, it’s the lives that politicians lead.

It’s also no secret that politicians are put under much scrutiny once they enter the public eye, and that no part of their personal life is spared.

Even their wardrobe.

And if you’re wondering how true this is, here’s a real-life example just for you.

Recently, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has been under fire for wearing a Burberry shirt to a carnival.

The reason?

The shirt cost over $2,000, which is more than the average monthly salary in Malaysia.

Malaysia PM Attended Carnival in Burberry Shirt

Recently on 25 June, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob uploaded the following video to his Facebook page.

In the caption, he wrote that he attended the Jom Heboh Carnival in Purtajaya alongside fellow Malaysians, and noted that it was the first time the event was held after a two-year absence.

He also shared that many Malaysians attended the carnival over the weekend with their families, creating a lively atmosphere at the event.

However, instead of the carnival, the focus of the video for many netizens was Mr Ismail Sabri’s shirt instead.

And here’s why.

Shirt He Wore Cost Over $2,170

Yup, you read that correctly.

The shirt that he wore, which was a collared shirt that was rose pink in colour and had white blotches on it, had the phrase “UNIVERSAL PASSPORT” printed all over it as well.

A quick search on the Burberry Malaysia website would reveal that the shirt costs RM6,900 (approximately S$2,176), which clearly isn’t something most of us in Singapore would buy on a whim either.

Listed as the “Short-Sleeve Slogan Print Pink Organza Shirt”, it is “no longer available on Burberry.com” as of now, perhaps due to the fame it’s gained after being worn by the PM.

According to the product details, the outside of the shirt is completely made of silk, while the inside of it is completely made of cotton.

The shirt is also part of the Spring and Summer Men’s Collection designed by Burberry’s creative director, Ricardo Tissi.

Netizens’ Reactions

Upon realising the price tag attached to their Prime Minister’s shirt, many netizens started to express their own opinions about the ridiculously high price of his outfit.

One commenter even wrote in Malay jokingly that the leader of their country could not wear any clothes that cost less than RM5,000.

A netizen likened him to Ms Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Malaysia’s ex-PM Najib Razak since she was well-known for her expensive clothing and lifestyle as well.

Another Facebook user who left a comment wrote that the PM should be more mindful about his dressing as the opposition might use it as a point to attack him.

On the other hand, there were netizens who spoke up for their PM, pointing out that he might have received it as a gift. If so, he did nothing wrong by wearing the shirt to show his appreciation for the person who gifted him the shirt.

However, there were also commenters who wrote about the root of netizens’ uproar against his dressing, which is that many Malaysians are experiencing financial difficulties due to the increase in prices of items.

There were also some who mentioned how the Burberry shirt costs more than an average Malaysian’s monthly salary.

Malaysian’s Average Salary Lower than Cost of Shirt

In Malaysia, the average monthly salary is RM6,590 (approximately S$2,080), just a bit less than the retail price of the shirt.

But that’s not all.

Based on reports by The Star, Malaysia’s minimum wage is set at RM1,500 (approximately S$473).

And just based on simple math, the shirt that the Malaysian PM wore costs around 4.6 months’ worth of salary for anyone earning the minimum wage in Malaysia.

MPs’ Reactions

When speaking to Malaysiakini, opposition MP Fahmi Fadzil criticised the PM’s choice of outfit and even said that whoever is responsible for his wardrobe should get fired.

He also emphasised that the PM should not turn a blind eye to the struggles that Malaysians have been experiencing due to the inflation and increase in the price of goods.

On the other hand, fellow ruling party MP Mr Nazri Abdul Aziz stood up for Mr Ismail Sabri and claimed that it is not strange for the latter to be dressed in expensive or branded clothing.

This is due to the fact that the PM receives many of these costly items and clothes as gifts, and that wearing them in public shows the PM’s gratitude towards whoever gifted him the items.

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Same PM Wore Another Burberry Shirt When Meeting PM Lee Too

Yes, Mr Ismail Sabri has another Burberry shirt.

And he was seen wearing it not long ago in May, when he met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a conference in Tokyo.

But instead of bright red, the Burberry shirt he wore back then was black, white and light blue in colour.

After the photos of him wearing the shirt were released, netizens soon launched their criticism towards him discovered the price of his shirt on the Burberry Malaysia website.

His “Short-Sleeve Abstract Print Cotton Shirt” cost RM5,500 (approximately $1,736) on the website.

The shirt is also sold in Singapore at $1,790.

After finding out about the hefty price tag of the PM’s shirt, netizens took to social media as well to call him out for his “insensitivity” given that there are fellow countrymen going through financial struggles.

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Featured Image: Facebook (Ismail Sabri Yaakob)