Malacca exco member Norhizam Hassan Baktee, who made headlines for being involved in an altercation with a group of residents, has said that his reaction in future would depend on the situation.
“If faced with a lion or tiger, should I face the situation as if I am confronting a cat? It depends on the situation – if it is soft, it (my reaction) will be soft, if it is hard, it (my reaction) will be hard,” he told Utusan Malaysia when asked if he would change his approach.
“It is not that I am insolent or rude. You can ask the people in Pengakalan Batu (Norhizam’s constituency) if I am a gangster. They all know me,” he added.
Yesterday, the DAP state assemblyperson apologised for the heated exchange over the closure of a road. A video clip of the incident went viral on social media.
He also vowed to improve his communication skills.
Prior to this, Norhizam, who claims that he transforms into the “Hulk” when his constituents are bullied, blamed the altercation on an “Umno branch leader” for bombarding him with questions during the dialogue.
“I have to admit I am short-tempered, and the man knew that and knew how to provoke me,” he had said.
In the interview with Utusan, Norhizam also commented on netizens who focused on his background as a former van driver ferrying factory workers and possessing only a SPM certificate.
“Education is not the main issue. For me, work is more important. I am one of those excos who often go to the ground. I do my work, and if there are abuses, I report them to the authorities.
“To me, 'siapa makan cili akan terasa pedasya'. If the person did not do his work in the past and now that I am going to the ground often, this person considers me an obstacle ... so the only way to get rid of me is to use netizens to hammer me,” he added, without mentioning names.
On netizens criticising him for raising his voice during the dialogue, Norhizam claimed he was faced with a difficult situation, where he was “attacked”.
“I was insulted in a harsh tone, but this was not recorded. So I had to respond with a similar tone. I admit to raising my voice, otherwise, I would not have been able to speak and my voice would have been drowned,” he said.
The Pengkalan Batu assemblyperson claimed that the recording of the incident was aimed at tarnishing his image since it did not contain the parts where residents berated him.
“If you dare, show the entire recording of what transpired. All this does not rattle me since I work because of Allah,” he said.
Norhizam claimed he was “attacked” by a group of 10 residents with unflattering words as soon as he arrived in the area.
He said despite the local authorities explaining the reason for the road closure, the residents refused to accept this and continued to point fingers at him.
Yesterday, Norhizam explained that the road was closed due to safety reasons since there had been several accidents involving children.