Bintulu Resident’s Office rebuts claims of sabotage during Tun M’s visit

Chong addressing the press earlier in the evening, after learning from police officers that no one is allowed in through the VIP arrival gate to receive and welcome Dr Mahathir. 

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KUCHING, Dec 1: Bintulu Resident’s Office has denied claims that instructions were given to bar the public from welcoming Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the airport’s VIP room this evening.

In a statement, the Bintulu Resident clarified that he had not given such instructions and that the VIP room at Bintulu Airport was under the jurisdiction of Malaysia Airport Bhd, which controlled security access.

“The state government in fact, welcomes the visit of the prime minister to Sarawak and the Resident’s Office has actually provided all the necessary assistance and logistics to facilitate his visit,” the statement said in response to Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s claims that the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairman’s visit to Bintulu to officially launch the party in Sarawak was sabotaged.

Earlier, Chong had condemned the state government on the purported instruction to ban members and supporters from welcoming and receiving Dr Mahathir at Bintulu Airport.

“This is a sabotage done by the state government to give a negative impression of Tun M (Dr Mahathir)’s presence in the state that he is not welcomed and supported here,” he told reporters waiting at the airport lobby for Dr Mahathir’s arrival.

Chong, who is also Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, had earlier approached police officers guarding the VIP arrival gate to inquire as to why people were not allowed to go inside, in which he learned that the instruction allegedly came from the Resident’s Office.

Dr Mahathir arrived in Bintulu at 5.55pm to launch Bersatu Sarawak at the Bintulu Civic Centre on Dec 1. — DayakDaily