KUCHING, Feb 15 — Julau MP Datuk Larry Sng today said he had a frightening encounter with local gangsters who he claimed planned to attack him with weapons while he and his supporters were visiting the Chinese community in Julau during Chinese New Year a few days ago.

He said they were obviously looking to cause trouble.

“They planned to attack me, because they mentioned to one of my supporters that they have prepared weapons in the car to target me,” he said when contacted by Malay Mail.

“But since that didn’t happen, an argument took place and when my supporters tried to calm the situation, they pushed a Tuai Rumah (longhouse headman) to the ground,” said Sng, who is also Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) president, when asked to elaborate on his Facebook post.

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In his Facebook post, he said despite not being injured during the incident, it has since come to his attention how quickly the once-peaceful rural town has become an apparent hub of illegal activity.

“Over the course of a year, the introduction of online gaming has carved up Sarawak’s cities and towns into various districts controlled by gangsters from different groups,” he claimed.

He said in Julau, apart from online gaming, their illicit activities have expanded to selling drugs and contraband (cigarettes and liquor) to illegal money lending.

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“They have forced local coffee shop proprietors to buy their contraband in Pakan and Julau and have squeezed the profit margins from the shopkeepers.

“Those who resisted were forcefully threatened. In one instance, some months ago, ‘batu’ (crystal meth) was sold in public, in Julau town, to demonstrate that they were untouchable,” he alleged.

Sng said he was also informed that some public servants and headmen have fallen into debt and are desperate to sell their land and borrow money to repay these gangsters who are charging exorbitant interest.

“Many of these people can’t afford to repay them and are often threatened by force,” he said.

“I don’t wish for this to escalate but if their activities continue in such a brazen manner, the authorities from Bukit Aman will need to come down hard on them,” he said, adding that this total disregard of law and order must not be taken lightly.