Malaysian Minister denies using Armed Forces helicopter to campaign in Cameron Highlands

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Malaysian Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu has dismissed an allegation that he used an Armed Forces helicopter to campaign in the Cameron Highlands by-election.

The Amanah President told former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to check his facts before making such an allegation.

He said the photograph of him standing in front of a helicopter was taken during his official visit to Kem Slim in Cameron Highlands on January 9, three days before nomination for the parliamentary by-election.

Mohamad said that he drove his own car to Cameron Highlands on nomination day last Saturday.

“I am surprised that a former prime minister thinks like any ordinary person when he should have checked his facts. As a former prime minister, we should have respect for him. But if he is just like any other person, then I think it does not matter. It’s sad to see someone of that status not verifying his information,” he told Bernama after appearing on the Ruang Bicara talk show on Bernama News Channel (BNC) on Tuesday night.

He was commenting on the posting of the photograph on Najib’s Facebook account that went viral, linking Mohamad to the use of the Armed Forces helicopter to campaign in the by-election.

Mohamad said the people he met at Kem Slim were also not Cameron Highlands voters but those from Sungai Petani, Kedah.

Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry issued a statement last night saying that the two photographs that had gone viral on social media were of different dates and days.

“The first photograph, with the helicopter in the background, was of an official visit by the Defence Minister to Kem Slim, Cameron Highlands, on January 9, 2019. He returned to Kuala Lumpur on the same day.

“The second one shows him at the Cameron Highlands nomination day on January 12, 2019. He left for Cameron Highlands on January 11 by road using his personal vehicle and returned to Kuala Lumpur after the nomination,” said the statement.

It added that the allegation that Mohamad had used an official government vehicle to campaign in Cameron Highlands recently was not true and urged people to verify their facts first.