GEORGE TOWN: A woman who took photos of the Kedah menteri besar and his two aides in what appeared to be a test drive on Saturday said she has been under attack by supporters of the menteri besar, ranging from religious teachers to those with political links.
Nini Siron, 36, said personal details of her family had been circulated, including photos of her husband, her son and her sister spread widely by those accusing her of fabricating the incident.
She had posted an account of a man resembling menteri besar Sanusi Md Nor apparently on a test drive of a new car, an activity forbidden under lockdown rules.
An aide to Sanusi has since denied that such a test drive had taken place and said the entourage had merely stopped to take a look at a car Sanusi chanced upon while stopping to buy a takeaway on his way to Kuala Lumpur.
Nini said hate messages had been flowing into her personal Facebook account and her husband’s business page where he promoted Honda cars as a salesman.
The page had to be deactivated after his mobile number and the pictures of his customers were spread. He has since been inundated with hundreds of hate and spam calls.
She said there have been threats and curses left on her Facebook Messenger account since she posted the original post. In the wake of the furore, she said, she changed the privacy settings to allow only her friends to view the posting.
Nini defended her posting, saying she was confident that she saw the menteri besar in action.
No politician, just a regular Malaysian
“I barely post anything on Facebook, and I am no politician, just a regular Malaysian who is sick of lockdowns,” the housewife said in a telephone interview with FMT.
“I was so angry to see that people still go against the SOPs while the pandemic is raging. It is upsetting. Here, we are waiting for the 14-day lockdown to not be extended, and we have people doing as they like.
“Hence, that is why I took to Facebook, following MKN’s advice to be their eyes and ears for those who go against the law,” she said, referring to the National Security Council.
Giving a rundown on how she chanced upon the menteri besar and his aides, Nini said she and her husband had first gone to a RM2 store at Juru Auto City, which was next to a Ford dealership.
As they parked at the store, they saw a familiar face – a man who appeared to resemble Sanusi – with two other men and a Ford salesman, entering a blue Ford Ranger Raptor bearing Sime Darby and test drive livery.
They returned after 14 minutes and appeared keen on testing a white Ford pick-up, with the salesman appearing to start the car for a drive. But that did not take place as Nini intervened.
“When they came back from the test drive, I got out of the car and asked the salesman if he knew it was wrong to offer test drives or to open a showroom during the MCO. He said ‘how la I’m going to cari makan’ and stormed off.”
Nini said she was certain the person she saw was Sanusi, as he had taken off his face mask for about two minutes before wearing it again.
Black Vellfire with KEP5000 number plate
She said while she was confronting the salesman, the menteri besar and his aides left in a black Toyota Vellfire, with the number plate KEP5000 bearing the words “Menteri Besar Kedah” embossed on top.
Nini said she lodged a police report on the incident the same day, with a video she took from her mobile phone as evidence.
“I decided to come out in the open as many have accused me of fitnah (slander). I couldn’t take it. I swear to God this was what took place. But after these cyberbullying attacks on me and my family, I wish I could rewind time.
“I am really hurt, as these attacks continue. My phone keeps ringing with calls and messages from unknown people. I am not a politician, but just a regular Malaysian. I am not asking for a medal, I just want to save our society from more Covid-19 infections,” she said.
Seberang Perai Central police chief Shafee Abd Samad confirmed receiving a complaint from Nini, which is the basis of an investigation earlier announced against Sanusi and his aides over an apparent MCO violation.
Separately, Sanusi’s political secretary, Afnan Hamimi Taib Azamudden, said the menteri besar was on his way to Kuala Lumpur for a meeting and had stopped by the Juru Auto City area to pack some food, as most R&Rs are closed during the lockdown.
He said Sanusi was travelling with his personal bodyguard and driver at that time.
“There was a salesman parking a Ford Ranger outside the showroom. MB had gone to look at the car, not to buy it. The salesman was courteous and treated the MB well. After buying food nearby, MB continued on his journey back to KL. There was no test drive at all,” he was reported as saying.
Sanusi has declined to comment and has left it to the police to investigate.