Woman heckles Tony Pua, demands PH fulfil election promise in Sandakan

Norbayan Tanong (in red shawl), a resident at the PPR complex, being calmed down by PH supporters after asking Tony Pua when the residents will be able to own the units they are staying at. (WhatsApp screengrab)

KOTA KINABALU: A DAP campaign programme at Taman Harmoni PPR in Sandakan tonight was disrupted after an elderly woman heckled DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua who was giving a speech.

In the 9.50pm incident, the woman, who later identified herself as Norbayan Tanong, a resident at the PPR complex, said she was merely trying to remind DAP of the party’s promises in the previous election.

“We have been promised that we will be given the chance to buy these homes we are staying at. Is it wrong for me to say they must keep their promises? Besides, we voted for DAP,” she said.

She added that she and her family are burdened by the rising cost of maintaining the home.

All in all, she said her family had to come up with more than RM300 a month to pay for the house rental and utility bills.

“My husband is no longer working. Only two of my children work now. I have not received the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) despite already updating my information in the system.”

Norbayan said her case is not unique as there are other families who are in a worse situation, with house rentals amounting to more than RM1,000 not paid for months.

“That’s why I asked when DAP is going to fulfil its promises. The previous MP promised to change the current system from rental to rent-to-own. Will this promise ever be kept?”

The woman did not have enough time to tell Pua all her grievances as she was almost immediately surrounded by Pakatan Harapan (PH) members at the venue.

She was later escorted away from the venue.

The people living at the PPR are mostly former “squatters”, whose homes were bulldozed by the government to make way for a second road in Sandakan.

About 8,000 families were displaced by the road project. The government only managed to house 1,600 families in three PPR projects around Sandakan.

The rest are still waiting for their homes.