Monday, October 2, 2017

Flying S'wak chieftains on military plane to see PM not right, says PKR

Published     Updated
Sarawak PKR has criticised how local chieftains were supposedly flown on military aircraft to the federal capital to meet Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Commenting on several images of the flight that have been circulating online, Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said he was "shocked" at the mode of transport used.

“I really kesian (pity) the penghulus (village chiefs) that they had to be transported like this, army planes take a few hours to arrive in Kuala Lumpur and the seats are uncomfortable.

“If it is true that military planes were used, this is an abuse of power.

“You can’t use military machinery for your political is a political act used to influence these village chiefs to vote for BN, and they themselves are being used to ensure the (Sarawakian) people vote for BN,” he claimed when contacted today.

Efforts are being made to contact the prime minister and his aide.

Photographs of people in civilian clothes boarding what appears to be an Airbus A400M Atlas have been circulating online since yesterday.

The military has four of such planes at their disposal. 

According to PKR women's wing vice-chief Voon Shiak Ni, who commented on the matter on her Facebook page yesterday, said she felt uneasy with how the chieftains were being treated.

"This is the first time I see an entourage, guests, being ferried by a military vessel," she wrote.

Many netizens who commented on this post also expressed outrage that the chieftains were being subjected to such treatment. 
According to a source who has knowledge of the trip, there were 180 participants involved in the trip and that they were only given a 24-hour notice before the scheduled departure from Sibu.
The source said the participants, who were mostly from Kapit, Kanowit, Song, and Belaga were flown in two planes and arrived at the Subang Airport yesterday afternoon.

Borneo Post reported that Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president James Masing had led the entourage in meeting with the prime minister over lunch at Seri Perdana in Putrajaya.

It added that the visit was a "show of support for Najib's leadership."

The group is apparently also scheduled to meet with Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today, followed by a meeting with Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein tomorrow.


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