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Abdullah should condemn the ugly assault yesterday where Pemuda BN youths roughed up PKR candidate and injured a free-lance photographer, discipline the culprits and issue clear instructions to end the Mat Rempit culture of lawlessness in the BN campaign in Ijok


Media Statement (4)       
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Petaling Jaya, Sunday) : The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, had condemned from Namibia the fracas that occurred during nomination day for the Ijok by-election as “a stupid thing”, saying that “Such a thing should not have happened”. 

Abdullah said he was referring to both parties, meaning Barisan Nasional and Parti Keadilan Rakyat, when referring to the incident where BN and PKR supporters hurled stones, sticks and bottles at each other, forcing police to intervene. 

I fully agree. To stamp out such unseemly incidents, leaders must set a good example to stop their members and election workers from getting out of control. 

Leaders of both parties are blaming the supporters from the other camp of starting the fracas on nomination day. 

However, there can be doubt whatsoever as to who was responsible for the ugly incident at Batu 8, Ijok at 2.40 pm yesterday, where some 20 people, including some in Pemuda BN uniform, roughed up PKR candidate Khalid Ibrahim and two freelance photographers – one of whom is well-known blogger Jeff Ooi, injuring the other photographer. A police report had been lodged.  

Abdullah is now back in the country. Is he prepared to condemn the ugly assault yesterday where Pemuda BN youths roughed up the PKR candidate and injured a free-lance photographer, discipline the culprits and issue clear instructions to end the Mat Rempit culture of lawlessness in the BN campaign in Ijok? 

Jeff Ooi has given an eye-witness and firsthand-victim account on his blog where he wrote:

“Our casual attire for comfortable photographing also ensured that we are not to be wrongly mistaken as KeADILan's cadre. We were there merely as men-at-work, photographers on assignment.

“We were wrong. We were surrounded by over 20 rowdies, and the long and short of it, my colleague, who wound down his window to inch carefully his way out from the besieging scene, was smashed AT CLOSE RANGE with the sharp portion of the mineral water bottle (picture above).  

“He tried to evade but still broke his glasses, bleeding. Without the glasses, he drove the both of us out of the danger zone until some KeADILan members escorted us in another vehicle to safe ground in Ijok town centre. (Thanks Cikgu Li.)

“We kept our cool and tried hard to avert any eventualities as we didn't want this incident to be spun as an ugly chapter of over 20 Malay youths attacking two Chinese photographers in Malaysia.

“Nevertheless, the unasked question must get answered some days when the fanatical election fever is over:”

Abdullah must prove that he means what he says and come out strongly to condemn the ugly incident yesterday, taking action not only against the culprits but also holding their leaders responsible for such  lawlessness.

Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the Director of Operations of the Barisan Nasional Ijok by-election campaign should unreservedly apologise for yesterday’s incident to Khalid, Jeff and the injured freelance photographer.        



* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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