JOHOR BARU, Sept 1 — Pulai MP Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub has alleged that a cycling event organised by him in conjunction with Merdeka celebrations was barred due to political interference.
He said the event, scheduled to have taken place in the city here on Sunday night, was blocked by enforcement officers from Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) on the grounds that the programme did not adhere to Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP).
“The programme has been well planned and in accordance with the SOP set by the government. In fact, it was held on a small scale.
“This action disrupted the excitement of celebrating our 63rd Merdeka Day, which was also attended by other cyclists that night,” said Salahuddin.
The 59-year-old former federal minister said such a matter should not have occurred as he was a federal lawmaker and the constituency’s elected representative.
“It is not right that such a hindrance happened. I could not meet my constituents.
“This is bad politics. Such a culture can be likened to ‘revenge politics’ as there was absolutely no opportunity to meet people.
“Preventing me from meeting people on the eve of Merdeka Day is a backward and uncivilised political practice,” claimed Salahuddin when contacted on the matter today.
Despite the alleged shortcomings, Salahuddin said he was thankful that the spirit of the participants was commendable in making the best out of the programme.
“Alhamdulillah, even though we were stopped, we still managed to make the programme a success,” he said.
Salahuddin, who is also Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) deputy president, said it was also regrettable that he received information that there were other people who also organised similar programmes but were not stopped.
“This is a situation where there is discrimination in enforcing the law.
“I hope the people see this because during Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) time (in government), we never barred any programmes organised by any parties, even though some of them were in the form of Opposition politics at that time,” added Salahuddin.