Johor MB defends Batam visit as working trip

  • Nation
  • Monday, 18 Mar 2019

PASIR GUDANG: Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian has defended his trip to Batam island in Riau province, Indonesia, saying it was working trip meant to boost local tourism.

The state government’s working visit was planned long before the chemical contamination disaster.

The trip was aimed to increase the co-operation between local tourism industry players with their Indonesian counterparts in Batam, said the Kempas assemblyman.

“The working trip was supposed to be for three days but we cut it to less than a day for the urgent need to manage the clean-up operation.

“I managed to cancel several discussions but there were some important meetings that could not be avoided as they were connected to Visit Johor Year 2020,” Osman said.

Osman thanked Batam’s Wali Kota, Muhammad Rudi, for being understanding of the need to cancel several meetings.

He pointed out that even the Indonesian authorities he met expressed their sadness over the incident in Sungai Kim Kim.

“Throughout the time I was in Batam, the disaster management committee was in contact with me every two hours to ensure that every need and operation ran smoothly,” said the Johor Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and state Pakatan Harapan chairman.

It was recently reported that Osman had come under fire for going to Batam.

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