Assemblyman vows to improve weaknesses in communication.
Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari has apologised on behalf of the Pakatan Harapan over harsh words uttered by his exco member to residents over the closure of a public road.
He said state Agriculture, Entrepreneur Development and Agro-based Industry Committee chairman Norhizam Hassan Baktee could have handled the situation better.
In the video, which has gone viral, Norhizam, who is also Pengkalan Batu assemblyman, is seen arguing with villagers over a road closure in Bukit Beruang, Melaka.
Adly said such behaviour is unbecoming of an elected state representative.
“Regardless of whatever provocation he had received, we, on behalf of the state government, apologise for what our state exco member has done.
“No matter what was done by the leader in question, the way he spoke could have been much better,” Adly told FMT today.
“I have already informed the exco the matter could have been handled in a better way, without using that kind of language. Even if we are provoked, as leaders we need to show a good example,” he said.
The video in question shows Norhizam raising his voice as he argued with residents in Taman Akasia, Kampung Nibong. It happened before a dialogue on the closure of a shortcut between Taman Akasia and Taman Kerjasama.
A group of residents had urged Norhizam to explain the rationale for closing the shortcut.
Residents from Taman Akasia wanted the link closed after a spate of accidents and motorcycle thefts in the area.
Melaka exco member Norhizam Hassan Baktee has apologised for his outburst while representatives of villagers agreed to put aside their differences.
“I hope the villagers understand that I had no ulterior motives when I arrived to resolve the issue and admit that I raised my voice,” Norhizam said.
“I apologise for the harsh language during yesterday’s incident and will work towards improving my weakness in the communication aspect when faced with such situations and pledge to continue serving the people and the state,” he said.
“I am aware that the video clip of the incident has given a negative image to me as a people’s representative and the government I represent.
“As an assemblyman elected by the people I have the responsibility to ensure the welfare and well-being of the people, especially the people in my constituency,” he added.
Meanwhile, the villagers invited Norhizam to join them for Friday prayers at Kampung Pulau Nibong to show that they harbour no ill will over the Tuesday (Oct 9) incident.
Village elder Derus Tompang, the 58-year-old who was seen having a heated exchange with Norhizam in a viral video, said the issue is now closed.
“My fellow villagers welcome Norhizam with an open heart and hope netizens don’t continue to criticise anyone,” he said.
“We take it as a bygone issue and open a new chapter in our relationship,” he said.
Derus also thanked Melaka DAP for arranging the meeting.
Melaka DAP chairman Tey Kok Kiew and secretary Khoo Poay Tiong were also at the meeting.
Earlier, Khoo had urged Norhizam to apologise.
Adly, however, praised Norhizam for being attentive towards problems raised by his constituents.
He said Norhizam always lent an ear to problems raised by residents but said this issue could have been solved by the relevant local council.
“We were once in the opposition and now part of the government. So, we don’t really understand how to work as members of the government.
“I believe this issue could have been resolved through negotiations involving the local council.”
Earlier report: Oct 10, Melaka Exco Issues 24-Hour Ultimatum to Remove Viral Video