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KUCHING, Dec 3: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) information chief Datuk Idris Buang says the Sarawak government should not be blamed for the low turnout to welcome Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Bintulu Airport on Saturday.
He said no one should be blamed for the lack of enthusiasm, except for Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) itself.
“I do not think it is fair at all to blame anyone else for the lacklustre turnout at Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s inaugural launch of its Sarawak Chapter.
“MP Chong Chieng Jen (Stampin) should not freely point any finger at all towards any other person but to Sarawak Bersatu itself and its Sarawak PH allies, like Sarawak DAP and PKR,” said Idris in a statement today.
Idris was responding to Chong’s allegation that the Sarawak government banned Bersatu’s and Dr Mahathair’s supporters from welcoming the latter at Bintulu Airport on Saturday.
He claimed it was a sabotage done by the Sarawak government to paint a negative impression that Dr Mahathir’s presence was not welcomed and supported in Bintulu.
Dr Mahathir was in Bintulu to launch Bersatu Sarawak on Saturday evening.
Idris pointed out that except for Chong (who is also Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs-cum-Sarawak PH chairman ), other Sarawak PH leaders were absent.
“Except for him being present then, other Sarawak PH leaders were noticeably absent.”
On the entry to the Bintulu Airport VIP Lounge, Idris said not everyone was allowed into the VIP area at the airport or the tarmac.
“Not everyone was allowed into the VIP area at the airport or the tarmac. Not everyone was allowed into the party’s do also. It was a party function, not an official government one, wasn’t it?”
The Muara Tuang assemblyman said despite being a private party function, Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip was there to represent the Sarawak government to welcome Dr Mahathir, who is also the prime minister.
“Even though it was a private function, our state minister in the person of YB Datuk Talib Zulpilip was there, duly prompt and proper to greet the prime minister on behalf of the state government. So, where was the sabotage, really?”
He opined that the real reason for the low turnout was that Sarawakians, including those in Bintulu, have set their minds to fight for Sarawak’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“Personally, I believe that the majority of people in Sarawak, including those in Bintulu, have fixed their minds towards supporting the cause of Sarawak vis-a-vis its rights under the MA63 and the related documents now being enhanced and spearheaded by Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi) Abang Johari (Tun Openg) and the GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) state government.
“That, I think, is a spontaneous natural repelling force towards Bersatu’s effort in trying to spread its wings here.
“It makes them feel that Bersatu is quite irrelevant in Sarawak; hence, the lukewarm response to Bersatu leaders,” said Idris. — DayakDaily