KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Barisan Nasional is in no rush to take a stand on the presence of coalition party leaders at last Saturdays rally against the relocation of airport squatters to a site near Kampung Maang in Penampang.
I leave it to the state Barisan leadership to follow up on the matter and take whatever action it sees fit, state Barisan secretary Datuk Karim Bujang said yesterday.
Karim, the state Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, said he personally felt the presence of the Barisan component leaders not only reflected their sympathy with the villagers but also helped calm the situation.
Villagers from six kampungs including Maang staged the rally to protest against relocating some 1,000 squatters to make way for the RM1.2bil Kota Kinabalu international airport expansion project.
Among those who showed up at the protest were Penampang MP Donald Mojuntin and Moyog state assemblyman Philip Lasimbang of the United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Organisation (Upko), and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) supreme council members Dr Chong Eng Leong and Johnny Mositun.
Also present were Sabah Keadilan deputy chairman Christina Liew and Kota Kinabalu DAP chief Dr Hiew King Chew.
Following an initial round of protests against the relocation of the squatters, Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman announced that the state Cabinet had unanimously decided to go ahead with the move but added that only half the 2,000 squatters would be relocated.
Protest organising committee chairman Frederick Mosom said that they hope the state Cabinet would reverse its decision.