KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno Youth has slammed the action of Sandakan Municipal Council (SMC) president Peter Hii who waved money at a utitlity company officer in an attempt to have power restored to a relief centre in the district.
The Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) had earlier cut off power supply to the Kampung Air multipurpose hall, which was used as a temporary relief centre for victims of a recent fire in Sandakan, after it was found that the SMC owed almost RM3,000 in unpaid bills to the company.
Hii’s action was caught on video and it has since gone viral on social media, drawing criticism from the public.
Sabah Umno Youth chief Abdul Aziz Julkarnain said for Hii to lose his temper at the SESB staff in public was unbecoming.
“The president did not showcase professionalism as a public servant, what more as a department head.
“And for him to wave money in the face of the staff is an insult to the SESB officer as a human being.
“Actions similar to that of a samseng (thug) in dealing with what was actually a simple situation should not have taken place,” he told FMT.
In the video taken on Mar 18, Hii was seen speaking to the SESB staff, believed over the unpaid bills, and at one point flashed his badge after losing his patience, saying: “I identify myself to you, I am the president here. I guarantee you I will pay you, sini ada money (I have the money here).”
Hii vowed the council will pay what was owed to SESB after being asked for assurance by the staff if MPS would settle the matter.
Meanwhile, Aziz said the MPS president did not need to “act like a hero” to win over the people, particularly the fire victims, adding Hii created an unnecessary tense moment by lashing out at the SESB official.
“The president needs just to make a call to the SESB head there to reconnect electricity supply temporarily on grounds of community service,” he said.
He urged SESB to file an official police complaint, adding the company must protect its staff from further provocation.
He also urged Chief Minister Shafie Apdal to take action against Hii.
“We would like to remind the chief minister that he had himself appointed Hii, who is originally from Sarawak, as president despite criticism to his appointment previously,” Aziz said.
Hii’s appointment last September drew flak from the opposition which questioned why a Sarawak-born was named as the president of a local council in Sabah.