Najib cancels flight to Indonesia as angry crowd stands guard outside airport

Members of the public gather around a white Vellfire as the vehicle enters the  Subang Airport May 12, 2018. — Pictures by Mukhriz Hazim
Members of the public gather around a white Vellfire as the vehicle enters the Subang Airport May 12, 2018. — Pictures by Mukhriz Hazim

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SUBANG JAYA, May 12 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah won’t be flying to Indonesia today, a police source told Malay Mail.

According to the source, the private flight that was supposed to depart from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport here for Jakarta at 10am has been cancelled pending further instructions, following the appearance of a mob earlier.

A man uses his phone to take pictures of a vehicle as it enters the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang Jaya May 12, 2018.
A man uses his phone to take pictures of a vehicle as it enters the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang Jaya May 12, 2018.

“It’s due to security reasons and the crowd here this morning.

“We still need to ensure the security of everyone. Emotions are running high and we can’t allow the public to take matters into their own hands,” the source who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

Some 100 people gathered outside the airport at about 9.30am today, waiting for the arrival of Najib and Rosmah who were to be fly on a private jet operated by Premiair and owned by Indonesia’s 14th richest man and head of PT Rajawali Corp, Tan Sri Peter Sondakh, to Jakarta.

A man peers into a white Vellfire as the vehicle makes its way into the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang Jaya.
A man peers into a white Vellfire as the vehicle makes its way into the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang Jaya.

The multiracial crowd surrounded passing cars, blocking their passage and demanded to see the occupants within by banging on the car roofs and trying to peer through the heavily-tinted windows.

Perlis Barisan Nasional chief Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim who was in a white Toyota Vellfire was among those mobbed, but was let through after winding down his window and showing his face to the angry crowd.

Former minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim smiles as he enters the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang Jaya May 12, 2018.
Former minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim smiles as he enters the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang Jaya May 12, 2018.

The police source said Shahidan was scheduled to fly back to his hometown.

One man who banged on Shahidan’s car was heard shouting that the people had the right to know who was entering the airport premises.

“We’ve waited 61 years for a change. We have the right to know who is in these cars coming in. We want to know if it’s Najib!” he demanded.

The man refused to give his name when Malay Mail approached later, only saying he was a Subang Jaya resident.

Police personnel, including a light strike force unit, were deployed to control the situation after the mob started harassing motorists.

Police officers, including the light strike force, stand guard outside the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang Jaya May 12, 2018.
Police officers, including the light strike force, stand guard outside the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang Jaya May 12, 2018.

With the crowd growing unruly, the police relented to the crowd’s demand that car occupants identify themselves.

The police left the scene at about 10.15am. As did the crowd after the light strike force departed.

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