IPOH: It was supposed to be just a press conference on the alleged destruction of a turtle landing area, but it ended with a politician and several activists being trapped for hours at a sand mining site, even though they had the police on their side.
For five hours, they were barred from leaving the sand mining site in Segari, Lumut before they managed to leave.
Pantai Remis assemblyman Wong May Ing, together with 20 others, had their exit blocked by heavy machinery owned by the sand mining operator, who accused the group of trespassing.
Society of Environmental Activists (Kuasa) secretary Noor Ismady Ahmad Radzuan said the operator blocked the entrance and said the group was trespassing.
“We tried to talk to them, but they shouted at us.
“We were stuck for hours from 11am before finally getting out by 4pm,” he said yesterday.
Two journalists who were at the site managed to leave by boat at 1pm, he added.
Earlier, Kuasa and Sahabat Alam Malaysia held a press conference near the site to highlight what they called the destruction of a turtle landing area and proposed that it be gazetted a protected area.
Noor Ismady said the company had also threatened to sue them for trespassing.
“Despite Wong and the police advising them, the operator refused to let us go at first,” he said.
When contacted, Manjung deputy OCPD Deputy Supt Chong Boo Khim declined to comment.
As at press time, Wong had not responded to a request for comment.