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By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, sept 17: Serian MP Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem has expressed dissatisfaction at the organisers of the Malaysia Day celebration at Stadium Perpaduan, here, claiming them of double standard.
He felt that the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led federal government, while preaching for equality under the ‘New Malaysia’ slogan, seems to have failed to “walk the talk”, based on his personal observation, at the event yesterday evening.
Riot was unhappy at the selection of the venue, stating that while the federal Cabinet ministers were seated conveniently inside the Indoor Stadium, many were left suffering from the thick haze outside.
“Sincerely I didn’t feel proud when there was a double standard that way. Again, I heard (from) the host that the media from Sarawak were chased away by a federal official. Even seats for Sarawak MPs were not provided.
“In fact, I entered the stadium and there was no seat allocated for me. So I left. I was not treated as a Member of Parliament,” alleged Riot to DayakDaily.
The former Human Resources Minister also suggested that the organisers should have provided face masks for the people who came to celebrate outside the stadium.
“What is the meaning of Malaysia Day celebration if the ministers and invited guests sits in the indoor stadium, while the public had to see the event via a big screen outside the stadium and exposed to the unhealthy haze.
“The federal ministers who ‘loved’ Sarawakians are protected from the haze. The organisers should not have switched the venue from Padang Merdeka,” he said.
He reminded that the venue switch would double the hosting cost, which was borne by the state government.
Riot urged the state government not to bow to the peninsula, as Sarawak was an equal partner in the formation of Malaysia.
“Sarawak is not another state in the Federation of Malaysia. Today is our day, but the opposite happened,” said Riot.
Riot, who is also SUPP deputy president, was critical with the public who turned up in political party shirts and displaying political logos of parties under Pakatan Harapan.
“Malaysia Day is not a party meeting,” he said. — DayakDaily