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Najib should give assurance that an independent inquiry would be set up to investigate serious allegations that some military personnel and rescue workers demanded money before rescue of Johore flood victims to inspire public confidence that there would be no cover-up
(Parliament, Saturday) : It is not good enough for the Deputy Prime Minister, Defence Minister and Chairman of the National Disaster Management Committee, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to say that he would check on the veracity of a news report that a soldier had asked flood victims in Segamat for money before rescuing them and that the Defence Ministry will not hesitate to act against armed forces personnel who ask flood victims for rescue money.
What is needed is an assurance from Najib that an independent inquiry would be set up to investigate the serious allegations that some military personnel and rescue workers demanded money before rescue of Johore flood victims. This is vital to inspire public confidence that there would be no cover-up
Rumours had been rife since the massive floods in Johore, particularly in Segamat and Kota Tinggi, of such extortionist conduct by some irresponsible elements who held flood victims to ransom in demanding money to rescue them In Segamat, a flood victim, Wong Yee Ken had with great public-spiritedness come forward to lodge a police report on how he was forced to bribe a military personnel to take food and drinks to his customers and staff who were trapped in his hair salon and also to rescue them by boat. The report was lodged two days ago - Police Report Number SEGAMAT/007292/06.
The wife of Tunku Mahkota Johor, Raja Zarith Sofiah, has also commendably spoken up about allegations in Kota Tinggi that some rescue personnel had demanded money from flood victims as payments to rescue them, calling for investigations by the relevant authorities. Raja Zarith is the Chairperson for the Malaysian Red Crescent Community Service Committee.
The establishment of an independent inquiry into the allegations would both inspire public confidence that there would be the fullest investigation and to encourage all victims to come forward to report and root out such criminal and heartless blackmail during a national disaster, which have marred and stained the record and good name of selfless and heroic military personnel and rescue workers to save lives during the massive floods in Johore.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman