MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Saturday, September 30, 2017

I sought military's help to fly village chiefs to Putrajaya, says Masing

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president James Masing revealed that he had sought help from the military to fly 180 village chiefs to Putrajaya for a meeting with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
Masing said commercial flights would be too costly.
"It was because I could not afford using commercial flights. We're talking about 180 people.
"So I talked to the military people and they said 'we will assist'. That was what happened," said Masing.
He declined to reveal how much PRS paid the military for the use of the two Airbus A400M Atlas planes.
“We don’t talk about the charges…,” he said.
Masing insisted that using military planes was “more affordable”.
“I don’t have the money,” he told Malaysiakini.
Masing also denied that Najib had paid for the military transport. “We (PRS) help them out, (and) share the cost,” he said.
Photographs of the village chiefs in the planes have been widely circulated on the Internet yesterday.
Some PKR leaders and netizens said the chieftains were not given proper treatment as they should have been flown on commercial airlines.
There were also allegations that the act was an abuse of military resources.
Thanking Najib
Masing said PRS had brought the 180 chieftains to Putrajaya because the group wanted to thank Najib for what he had done to develop their villages.
"The trip was to thank the prime minister. Ever since he (Najib) became the prime minister, he has helped us a lot.
"Among other things, he has given infrastructure to Kapit, (and) now Kapit is no longer an island because of this prime minister. That's why the people wanted to go see him," he explained.  
Masing had led the entourage for a lunch meeting at Najib's official residence in Putrajaya yesterday.
According to Bernama, Najib told the village chiefs that his administration had spent RM2 billion on Sarawak's development and he was committed to ensuring that the state enjoys economic progress on par with Peninsular Malaysia.
He also said he had made more visits to Sarawak than "a former prime minister" and that he had "made good what was missing when Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the prime minister".
Mahathir, now the head of the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan, visited Kuching on Sunday to unveil the coalition's manifesto for the state. The event was attended by some 10,000 people.
Abuse of power?
Masing also took a swipe at Sarawak PKR, who yesterday criticised the government for abusing its power by using military aircraft.
"At first, they (PKR) accuse me of abusing the dignity of the village chiefs by using military planes, and now they say we have abused our power by using the planes.

"Please make up your mind…" he said.
Masing also explained that the Sarawak government has a close relationship with the military.
"If you read the history of how the communist insurgents were eliminated in Sarawak in the 1970s, you will understand why the military is so willing to assist us," he said.
The PRS president did not see anything wrong in getting the military to help ferrying the village chiefs to meet Najib.
“Is this a problem?” he asked. “What is the problem with that?”- Mkini

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