JOHOR BARU, March 16 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today criticised Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian for leaving the state for a working trip to Batam in Indonesia while toxic fumes still envelop Pasir Gudang, posing a deadly health hazard.
He said Osman should have delayed his travel abroad as the contamination of Sungai Kim Kim was a very serious incident that needed his state leadership.
“He should have postponed the trip because when the country was hit with major floods in 2014, I myself cut short my vacation in the United States to visit the areas badly hit with flooding.
“We always took a serious when it comes to any disasters as it involves the question of the people’s lives,” said Najib, implying that the previous Barisan Nasional administration treated such incidents as important.
Najib, who is also the Pekan MP, said this when met during a visit to the Medan Niaga Kampung Melayu Majidee here today.
Earlier, he had engaged with the traders to look into their grouses of escalating fees and rental cost of their lots. In 2012, Najib had approved a RM20 million allocation for the Medan Niaga Kampung Melayu Majidee at the request of then Johor Baru MP Tan Sri Shahrir Samad.
It was reported by Indonesian media that Osman went to Batam yesterday to promote the state as part of its Visit Johor 2020 programme.
He has since received criticisms on social media for the trip that many view as unnecessary in times of the toxic fume crisis.
The toxic pollution in Sungai Kim Kim started since March 7 where more than 4,000 people including students have been treated forcing all 111 schools in Pasir Gudang to be close down until further notice.