Melanau association resents Bintulu being called ‘poor town’

BINTULU: A statement that hurts the feelings of the people should not be made by the so-called educated and experienced television presenter, says Bintulu Melanau Association information exco member Saiful Bahari Bujang.

He said Bintulu, which would be the centre of the Malaysia Day celebration on Sept 16, should not be referred to as a ‘poor town’ (bandar dhaif).

“Such a statement is inappropriate as the first meeting of the state assembly was held here. Our state legislative assembly is the oldest in Malaysia. It was formed by Raja Muda Charles Brooke from the orders of Raja James Brooke, in a meeting held in a fishing village here on Sept 8, 1867,” he said.

The state legislative assembly was then known as General Council with 21 members who were elected from the local community leaders. They helped to administer the territories under the Brookes, which covered the coastal areas.

“We hope the management of the private television will take the matter seriously,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Saiful added: “If not for Bintulu, there will be no KLCC because Bintulu is the energy town that has become the biggest provider of  the nation’s wealth.”

He thus hoped that the presenter would give a public apology to the Bintulu people in all the media.

“All parties should be aware that Bintulu is an industrial town and fast becoming a city, and not a poor town,” he said.

He hoped the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture would monitor private television stations so that such things would not recur in the future.

“As a native here, I hope this incident will be a lesson for people in other places because such a statement is very likely to upset the local people and could turn the whole celebration sour,” he added.

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