KUCHING: A woman from Bintulu resorted to wielding a cleaver following an altercation triggered by a dispute over crops she had planted on state land.
Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing — who intervened when efforts by officials to persuade the woman to remove her plants were to no avail — was at the receiving end of her threats and verbal abuses.
Tiong, who is also Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China, regretted the altercation and apologised for the manner in which he raised his voice in frustration when trying to reason with the woman.
“I have to apologise to everyone involved after raising my voice over the land dispute. Unfortunately, when we all tried to communicate with one another, the atmosphere inadvertently heated up. I admit that I also let my own emotions colour my words,” he said in a statement on Sunday.
He explained, in order to solve flood problems caused by rain which was plaguing residents all year round, the government had decided to expand a ditch at one end of Kampung Pisang in Kidurong. Tiong said he was eager to make the other party understand the importance of the project, but made no excuse for losing his temper.
“A resident had occupied the land leading to the site of the ditch expansion to grow some crops, blocking the path of heavy vehicles needed to be used for the project.
“Not only was the resident demanding unreasonable compensation, but she threatened with a cleaver and spewed curses at officials who visited her to discuss the situation this afternoon.
“Needless to say, this behaviour was wholly deplorable. Fortunately, no one was injured during the altercation,” he said.
Tiong said, to prevent the scene from escalating out of control, a police report was lodged and the woman’s husband and son also arrived at the scene.
“Subsequently, the husband managed to calm the woman and apologised for the inconvenience caused while giving assurances that the drainage’s construction would not be hampered,” he said.