PETALING JAYA: Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari has apologised on behalf of the Pakatan Harapan over harsh words uttered by his exco member to residents over the closure of a public road.
He said state Agriculture, Entrepreneur Development and Agro-based Industry Committee chairman Norhizam Hassan Baktee could have handled the situation better.
In the video, which has gone viral, Norhizam, who is also Pengkalan Batu assemblyman, is seen arguing with villagers over a road closure in Bukit Beruang, Melaka.
Adly said such behaviour is unbecoming of an elected state representative.
“Regardless of whatever provocation he had received, we, on behalf of the state government, apologise for what our state exco member has done.
“No matter what was done by the leader in question, the way he spoke could have been much better,” Adly told FMT today.
“I have already informed the exco the matter could have been handled in a better way, without using that kind of language. Even if we are provoked, as leaders we need to show a good example,” he said.
The video in question shows Norhizam raising his voice as he argued with residents in Taman Akasia, Kampung Nibong. It happened before a dialogue on the closure of a shortcut between Taman Akasia and Taman Kerjasama.
A group of residents had urged Norhizam to explain the rationale for closing the shortcut.
Residents from Taman Akasia wanted the link closed after a spate of accidents and motorcycle thefts in the area.
Adly, however, praised Norhizam for being attentive towards problems raised by his constituents.
He said Norhizam always lent an ear to problems raised by residents but said this issue could have been solved by the relevant local council.
“We were once in the opposition and now part of the government. So, we don’t really understand how to work as members of the government.
“I believe this issue could have been resolved through negotiations involving the local council.”
The Star reported that the road closure had the approval of the Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council.
Norhizam, meanwhile, said the video circulating online was an attempt by Umno leaders to ruin his credibility.
He claimed it did not paint a full picture of the incident.
He issued a statement today stating he regretted his harsh remarks and wanted to apologise to all involved.
“I have a responsibility to take care of the welfare of the residents. The road is often used by the public and there have been a number of accidents involving children.
“I wish to apologise for being rude in yesterday’s incident and will improve my approach and services to the people,” Norhizam said.
Melaka DAP secretary Khoo Poay Tiong had also urged Norhizam, who is state DAP deputy chief, to apologise.