Saturday, May 31, 2008

We're not bowing to pressure: Najib

We're not bowing to pressure: Najib
Adrian David
1 June, 2008

PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA: The Barisan Nasional government supports the move to open the access road connecting Bandar Mahkota Cheras to the Cheras-Kajang Highway for the benefit of the people.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the decision was not to bow to pressure or to please the Pakatan Rakyat-led state government in Selangor.

"We want what's good for the people," he said at a parade held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Royal Malaysian Air Force in Subang yesterday.

However, he said, the government will not back the people if they break the law.

On Friday, the cabinet had decided to allow the access road to be opened, pending a court decision.

Controversy arose when the highway toll concession holder, Grand Saga Sdn Bhd, sealed off the access road.

Grand Saga had built a wall in January 2006 to prevent toll-free traffic from Bandar Mahkota Cheras accessing the Bandar Tun Hussein Onn junction that connects the Cheras-Kajang Highway.

This resulted in a spate of confrontations between the residents and a group believed to be employed by Grand Saga to prevent the removal of the wall.

On the RMAF's future procurements, Najib, who is also defence minister, said there were plans to acquire more jets to strengthen the air defence.

"There are plans to beef up the multi-role combat aircraft fleet. But a lot depends on the budget and the requirements.

"If need be, we will acquire the jets in stages."

The RMAF, he added, was looking at optimising the Sukhoi Su-30MKM in two years once the aircraft are fitted with the desired avionics and the crew trained.

"We are looking at using Indian Air Force flying instructors to train our pilots in dogfights, tactics and weaponry."

On the alleged poor maintenance of RMAF aircraft, Najib said that the ministry had taken stock of the issue.

"We have learnt from our lessons. The RMAF is being structured towards a better maintenance culture."

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