Escalating into a he-said-she-said free-for-all.
- Exco claims video taken out of context, does not reflect actual situation
- Villages allege exco started fight
Melaka executive councillor Norhizam Hassan Baktee has given those who published the viral video of him in a war of words with villagers an ultimatum – remove the video or face action.
In a video interview with Melakakini, Norhizam said they had 24 hours to remove the video.
“If you continue with your accusations and viral video, I will take action soon.
“This is my warning to them,” he said in the video on Tuesday (Oct 9).
The Pengkalan Batu assemblyman justified raising his voice during the heated discussion with villagers, saying he was merely responding to their aggression.
“As an exco, I would not be rude. I turun padang (went to the ground) to work, and I faced 20 people who opposed and provoked me…
“They raised their voice, so I raised mine too, that is it. I did not say anything rude or used insults,” he added.
Norhizam said he accepted criticism and would apologise if he was in the wrong.
“I’m not angry if the criticisms are true. I am not egoistic or hypocritical,” he said.
“It is not my fault. I was facing an aggressive community, so I needed to raise my voice. There was nothing more than that.
“If I am in the wrong, tegur (advise) me, and I will accept my fault and apologise,” he added.
In the viral video, the Melaka Agriculture, Entrepreneur Development and Agro-based Committee chairman was seen raising his voice during a dialogue over a road dispute.
Norhizam was accused of being uncouth towards the villagers who were locked in an argument with residents in Bukit Beruang.
The dialogue was arranged after some 600 residents of Taman Akasia demanded that the link be closed, following a spate of accidents and motorcycle thefts in the residential area.
In a separate video on the Belia Bangkit Facebook page, the woman who was seen arguing with Norhizam in the viral video said he provoked them.
“When Pak Cik (the man in the video) gave [Norhizam] the letter, Norhizam immediately asked ‘what is your problem?’,” she said.
Kisah sebenar YB Samseng DAP biadap pada orang tua kampung melayu..
Publiée par Belia Bangkit sur Mardi 9 octobre 2018
“YB immediately started provoking us… We tried to explain our suggestions, but he would not listen,” she said.
She added that Norhizam grew angrier when other villagers came to talk to him, as the villagers’ natural talking style is rough.
“As a YB Exco, he should be tactful in dealing with villagers, especially when these villagers have a lower level of education,” she said, adding that Norhizam raised his voice.
“When a villager told him ‘why do you close the road, just open it’, Norhizam responded ‘Do you know who you are talking to? I am YB’… That’s how the argument started as seen in the video,” she said.
The villager said they were not able to reach a solution about the road closure.
“He said he did not want to find a solution, and he also said, ‘see you in court’. ‘If you want to fight, fight me in court’,” she said.
She said Norhizam refused to listen to their suggestions for an amicable solution to the road issue.
She claimed that he said he is taking care of his constituency in his decision to close the road.
“But why are you not taking care of us?” she countered.
Norhizam has said the episode of the viral video is not going to stop him continuing his confrontational way of resolving issues.
“I am not a sissy and wouldn’t kowtow to tactic used by my foes to paint a negative picture that I’m a rowdy and loudmouth leader,” he said.
He said he would continue to be a Hulk if his constituents were bullied.
“I need to answer only to my constituents and Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari, as well as party leaders,” he said this morning (Oct 10).
“I am unfazed by the criticism made by some netizens as they were unaware of what I go through to resolve issues, including facing those who are trapped in the mindset that DAP is an opposition party,” he said.
Norhizam said the villager who asked a barrage of questions during a supposedly peaceful dialogue session was actually an Umno branch leader from Pengkalan Batu.
He said the man worked with a local council here, and he was certain that the man had deliberately created a pandemonium during the meeting to malign his reputation and was the first to spread the videos of him raising his voice.
“I have to admit that I am short-tempered, and the man knew that and how to provoke me,” Norhizam said.
“I don’t go and simply pick a fight or to flaunt that I am an executive councillor,” he said.
The 58-year-old-man who confronted Norhizam, however, denied he was an Umno man and blamed Norhizam for being uncouth when he just wanted answers on the road closure.
Md Derus Tompang from Kampung Nibong told Sinar Harian that he never anticipated Norhizam would act rudely when he posed questions in a cordial manner.
“We are taking the matter of the road closure to the court,” he was quoted by the daily.
Norhizam said he experienced the same hostility when he tried to expose an attempt to hoard government-subsidised fertilisers meant for padi farmers at Sungai Rambai in Jasin last month.
“It was the same situation then, when opposition supporters viralled my video, alleging I’m a gangster,” he said, adding that authorities later confirmed the fertiliser bags were illegally stored in a secluded farm.
In the latest issue, Norhizam said the motive for disseminating the video of him and putting him in a bad light was purely political.
“Anyway, I am not going to be cowed and I will continue to be a Hulk if my constituents are bullied,” he said.
The Malaysian Insight reported that Norhizam was quoted saying that the video was taken out of context and “did not capture the whole story”.
He said that he was at Taman Akasia to resolve a problem of a road closure of a shortcut which was causing danger to pedestrians.
This angered residents of the nearby village who went to confront him.
“But what has gone viral on social media only shows a bit (of what happened). The real facts about the road closure issue were not shown in the video,” Norhizam was quoted as saying.
Footage shows Norhizam telling the people heatedly that villagers have to use the “jalan kampung” (village road).
He also asks them why they are picking a fight instead of using an alternative road that was recently tarred for them to use.
In another video, Norhizam tells the people gathered that he has to take care of the residents of the area as they own houses there.
He then shouts out that his decision to close the road is final.
Norhizam said the closure was made according to the law, with approval from the Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council (MPHTJ).