(File pix) Pulau Betong assemblyman Datuk Muhammad Farid Saad said he was shocked by a news report that PKR was dissociating itself from Norlela after she thanked the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for taking action against the factory. Pix by Shahnaz Fazlie Shahrizal

GEORGE TOWN: An Umno lawmaker has come to the defence of Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin after her party distanced itself from her over the issue surrounding an illegal carbon filter factory in Sungai Lembu.

Pulau Betong assemblyman Datuk Muhammad Farid Saad said he was shocked by a news report that PKR was dissociating itself from Norlela after she thanked the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for taking action against the factory.

“If the report is true, it is truly sad because Norlela was merely seeking justice for her constituency. She was merely performing her duty as an assemblyman.

“It is not fair if she is being penalised for thanking MACC for taking action. It is an issue that she had brought to the state government’s attention two year ago.

“PKR, which claims to be a party fighting for justice for everyone, should support Norlela instead of sidelining her and scolding her for taking the right action,” he said in a statement today.

A news portal had quoted Penang PKR chief Datuk Mansor Othman as saying that the party would stand with the state government in the issue.

On Friday, Norlela had posted on Facebook expressing gratitude to the anti-graft agency for taking action against the factory.

Farid said PKR has decided to stand behind the DAP-led state government and defend a state executive coucillor, who is being investigated by the MACC.

“PKR has also supported the state government’s policy, which is risky and can endanger the safety of its people. This is despite repeated complaints against the factory.

“However, when Norlela cried in the state legislative assembly over the fact that her motions about the illegal factory are being rejected, both PKR and DAP assemblymen laughed at her.

“When it is proven that the issues Norlela was arguing about had some merit after MACC and several agencies took action, PKR has chosen to let her stand alone,” he said.

Farid said DAP was no different, with Tanjung Bunga assemblyman Teh Yee Chew being asked to apologise and withdraw his criticisms whenever he questioned the state government.

“If the DAP and PKR representatives themselves are not given a chance to voice out for the people, it is not surprising that the people and even the media are sued for reporting news that is not favourable to the state government.”

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