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KUCHING: Members of the delegation from the Rajang River Basin who went to meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said they had an enjoyable time when they traveled via military aircraft from Sibu to Subang Airport .
Those who opted to travel by the military aircraft have now touched down on home soil and were on their separate ways back to their various home towns when contacted by DayakDaily.
Wallace Paul Majau, 46, who is special officer to Pelagus assemblyman Wilson Nyabong, said he had enjoyed flying in the military aircraft.
“I fly frequently due to my job nature. And to me, this was a special trip which I will always remember and talk about. We are very lucky to be able to have that kind of experience of flying in a military aircraft.
“This A400M military aircraft is an Airbus and it is one mean, tough-looking machine. This experience will be one of my fondest memories,” Paul told DayakDaily today.
Another member of the delegation Awing Igo from Belaga, 60, said he was honoured to take the military flight which he described as ‘a rare experience’.
“The journey was smooth. And I noticed that it was more spacious in a military aircraft than a commercial aircraft. The trip was very comfortable and enjoyable.
“All of us in the military aircrafts enjoyed the flights. I don’t understand why some people said we were ‘downgraded’ by taking this mode of transport,” said Awing who is a community leader.
Describing the experience as ‘rare’ and which money could not buy, he said he would treasure this experience.
Councillor Bakat Gira when contacted said it was a very fruitful trip for him and he had enjoyed the trip thoroughly.
“I have flown in commercial flights before to Thailand and Australia. This was the first time I took a military aircraft. It was a very good experience.”
“The thing about commercial flights is that you have to follow the schedule. For the military aircraft, it could take off when we were all present and ready.
“The waiting time as well as the flying time were all cut short. We were all very happy about the new experience and can’t stop talking about it,” said Bakat who is now in Sibu and will be traveling back to Kapit tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Dennis Lani, 41 who was taking a bus from Sibu to Bintulu texted his comments to DayakDaily.
“Flying with TUDM (The Royal Malaysian Air Force) plane really surprised me and I felt proud. It was a precious experience where the flight was very comfortable. TUDM flying crews also offered great hospitality.
“It was a pleasant surprise to find that it was such a comfortable and interesting trip. I felt like a national hero. Actually we all felt like national heroes,” said Dennis who is an assistant longhouse chief from Tubau in a WhatsApp message.
Most members of the delegation comprising community leaders and Barisan Nasional (BN) supporters from the Rajang River Basin had opted to travel to West Malaysia to meet the PM via military aircraft while the rest opted for commercial flights.
News and photos of their unusual mode of transport quickly became viral on social media and drew praise as well as criticism from netizens.