According to The Malaysian Insider, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, told a crowd during his visit to Kundasang in Sabah today, near where Friday’s earthquake struck, why he could not visit Ranau/Kundasang earlier.
“I had intended to come earlier after hearing news about the earthquake. But that day was the birthday of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and then I had to leave for an official visit to Saudi Arabia as the king and the crown prince were involved.
“Because our bilateral ties are very important, I could not come to Sabah, specifically to Ranau, earlier.”
Najib would not be telling the truth if he had indeed said that he could not visit the earthquake-hit zones in Sabah on Friday because it was the birthday of Yang di Pertuan Agong as this was not the case.
The birthday of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was on Saturday, 6th June 2015 and not on Friday, 5th June 2015.
Furthermore, why was the Prime Minister informed of the Ranau earthquake some five hours after the disaster, as indicated by his Friday tweet?
As Friday was not the Yang di Pertuan Agong’s birthday, Najib has still to explain why with his new private executive jet, he could not make a lightning visit to Ranau and Kundasang in view of the rare earthquake disaster which claimed 18 lives, with two still missing, before his trip to Saudi Arabia the next evening.
Two mountain guides, Robbi Sapinggi and Joseph Solugin, along with Mountain Torq trainers Valerian Joannes and Ricky Masirin, perished from injuries sustained during the quake.
I had expected the Prime Minister to announce in his belated visit to Ranau and Kundasang a special project to honour the four for sacrificing their lives so that others could live, and it is a disappointment that this is not the case.
The authorities must take immediate action to help the mountain guides and their families who are immediately hit by the aftermath of the Sabah earthquake.