Missing deputy minister wanted to go by car, not chopper

Report says she told a relative prior to boarding the helicopter that she felt uneasy about taking the flight.

noriah-kasnonPETALING JAYA: Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Noriah Kasnon had wanted to travel from Betong to Kuching by car instead of boarding a helicopter.

Utusan Malaysia quoted Noriah’s niece, Ummu Hani Assaidah Abdullah, 30, as saying that her mother had received a call from Noriah several minutes before boarding the flight, saying she felt uneasy taking the helicopter and had wanted to go by car instead.

The daily also spoke to Wan Mohd Khir Johari Wan Ahmad, the brother of Kuala Kangsar MP and Malaysian Palm Oil Board chairman Wan Mohammad Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad, who was also on the helicopter which has gone missing.

Wan Mohd Khir said he had a hunch that his brother was still safe.

“I was in touch with him until yesterday evening, but after Maghbrib, I received a call from a friend notifying me of this incident.

“I tried calling my brother many times until 9.25pm but he was unreachable.”

Meanwhile, Berita Harian Online reported this morning that Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek was supposed to have boarded the now missing helicopter.

However, Shabery had changed his plans at the last minute and boarded another aircraft to join Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu Numpang instead.

The chopper with Noriah went missing enroute to Kuching from Betong, yesterday evening. Others on board were the pilot, Captain Rudolf Rex Ragas, Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry Secretary-General Dr Sundaran Annamalai, Noriah’s husband Asmuni Abdullah, and her bodyguard Ahmad Sobri Harun. – FMT

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