Wednesday, November 13

Agencies asked to investigate chopper landing at school

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Abdul Aziz Isa

KUCHING: The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), and Education Department have been called on to thoroughly investigate the helicopter landing incident at SK Sacred Heart in Kampung Semeba on Sunday (Aug 4).

In a statement yesterday, Democratic Action Party Batu Kitang chairman Abdul Aziz Isa said he was taken aback by Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan’s claim that the issue of minor damage to the school’s guardhouse and signboard, believed to have been caused by a helicopter landing, had been amicably resolved and was considered closed.

“Snowdan can claim that the issue has been amicably resolved between him and the school management.

“But is he in the position to claim that the matter is closed entirely? Is he above the law?” he said and questioned whether the three agencies had investigated the matter.

The special assistant to Stampin member of parliament Chong Chieng Jen claimed Snowdan had put the safety of the primary school at risk, and that landing a helicopter on an unpaved school field in close proximity to villages could only be justified in times of emergency.

“Attending a party function does not qualify for an emergency. Can anybody in Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) clarify if the party function held last Sunday at Kampung Semeba was considered an emergency?

“I’m very sure that Snowdan is fully aware that Kampung Semeba is merely 15 kilometres from Kuching city, and in fact, it’s just 10 kilometres or a 15-minute drive from Kuching International Airport (KIA) where a helicopter can be landed safely,” he said.

Abdul Aziz accused Snowdan of being “selfish, unprofessional and potentially breaking the rules and good practice of civil aviation laws” for requesting the pilot to drop him off at SK Sacred Heart to attend the GPS function nearby.

Aziz claimed it is a clear-cut case of abuse of power and called on the MACC to investigate if taxpayers’ money was used to rent the helicopter to attend the political function.