Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu anak Numpang must explain his ‘complete indifference’ to a recent series of disasters in Sarawak, including last Friday’s helicopter crash near the Sungai Lingga estuary.
In the chopper crash, state PKR vice president Peter Mayau was killed alongwith two others – Henry Loh (an architect) and Siti Khuzaimah Anuar (quantity surveyor).
The trio were on their way to Nanga Merit, in Kapit to inspect a school when the crash occured.
Listing out critical ‘situations’ in Sarawak, the state PKR has called for Jabu to resign as the chairman of Sarawak Disaster Relief Committee.
Said PKR vice chairman See Chee How: “Where was Jabu when the helicopter crashed? Or even when the bodies of the three victims were recovered?
“I think it is very irresponsible for him as the chairman of the disaster relief committee not to be there.
“Now everybody is confused and nobody seems to know what were the efforts put by the Search and Rescue (SAR) operations to recover the bodies of the three victims.
“Nobody knows whether the state disaster relief committee actually did anything at all over the incident.”
See said it was imperative that Jabu clarify the situation before people accuse the state government of not being concerned and not making any effort to assist the families in recovering the bodies.
“From what I know actually there was no boat being deployed by the SAR operations. No helicopters or planes took part in the SAR operations during the first day of the aircraft crash.
“The first day was most important as the ‘golden hours’ that you must put all efforts as you can still be able to save lives,” said See, who is the Batu Lintang Assemblyman.
HFM in Sarawak ‘nearing’ epidemic
See also pointed out that Jabu had failed the public in a number of other times as well.
He cited the fire in Sebuyau last month and the recent drought that affected the whole of Sarawak for nearly one month.
The Sebuyau fire destroyed 17 double-storey wooden shophouses and 13 stalls. Eighty people were made homeless.
But Jabu, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, was allegedly nowhere to be seen.
Jabu also has not said anything regarding the spread of hand, foot and mouth disease which is approaching epidemic situation in the state.
The latest statement from the medical authorities dated July 15, 2012 confirmed this.
“Yet Jabu has not come up with any statement or has not shown his concern for the fire and drought victims.
“Nor is he concerned about the spread of HFM disease in the state.
“He has certainly failed in his duties as chairman of the state disaster relief committee and should step down to make way for a younger and energetic person to take over,” said See.
Speculations rife about crash
Back to the helicopter incident, the PKR leader also wanted to know the progress reports from the police on their investigation.
“We want to know whether a statement has been obtained from the pilot who is the sole survivor of the plane crash and hope the police and the public prosecution office will review the progress of their investigations to stop all sorts of rumours and speculation by the public with regard to the incident.
“I am worried that no statement has been taken from this pilot yet. He is a German national and he could be leaving the country and to get him back later on may be difficult.
“And from the initial conversation and the interview that he had with the divers, there are a lot of confusing statements made by him which are different from what he said later.
“The pilot in his earlier statement said that the victims were wearing life jackets. But when the three bodies were found there were no life jackets.
“So this is the kind of contradiction made by him,” he said, expressing the hope that the police will quickly get the statement from him so that the public know what is happening and the progress of the investigation.