Anwar Ibrahim, his supporters and staff were hit by shards of glass and rocks during a PKR ceramah in Malacca last night.
PETALING JAYA: A PKR ceramah in Bukit Katil, Malacca, last night turned ugly when thugs bearing flags with the Barisan Nasional logo hurled rocks and splashed red paint onto the opposition party’s Merdeka Rakyat bus.
The rocks shattered the windows of the bus, showering Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and staff with shards of glass, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said at a press conference at the party’s headquarters here today.
“During the incident [last night], the PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, who was in the bus, as well as his bodyguard and several staff were hit by glass fragments from the bus’ window, which was smashed due to the rocks thrown by the Umno-BN thugs.
“Others who sustained injuries were members of the public who had turned up for the ceramah, as well as two policemen on duty,” said Saifuddin, who is also Machang MP.
One man, identified as Ghani Buang, 44, bled profusely after being hit by a stone, Malaysiakini reported this morning.
“I saw bottles thrown and I avoided them, but I could not see the stone thrown, that’s why it hit me,” Ghani, a resident of Kampung Bukit Lintang, was quoted as saying in a statement.
This is the sixth time the opposition pact’s ceramah was greeted with violence by alleged BN supporters, and the second time it was attacked in Malacca.
“Before this, the Merdeka Rakyat bus was pelted with rocks, paint and ball bearings in Kota Baru, Kelantan; in Jasin, Malacca; in Tangkak and Johor Baru, Johor; and in Tapah, Perak,” said Saifuddin today.
He expressed frustration over how police had seemingly done little to stem such political violence, and even accused the men in blue of encouraging the attacks with their inaction.
“PKR feels that the rowdy behaviour of the Umno-BN thugs are emboldened by the behaviour displayed by the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers. Even though these incidents have occurred many times, no legal or court action was taken against these thugs,” said Saifuddin.
“The thugs also appear to have received ‘inspiration and encouragement’ from the Umno president-cum-prime minister, and Umno vice-president-cum-Home Minister, who have never come out to condemn their violence.”
‘Malacca police failed in their duty’
He urged the police to be more firm and aggressive towards the attackers, which he said were growing more aggressive and bolder.
“PKR believes that the Malaysian police are capable of acting more professionally so that they do not bow down to pressure and the evil influence of Umno-BN leaders, by closing one eye to the violence perpetuated by these thugs,” said Saifuddin.
“The Malacca police chief was very biased when he told us: ‘I have no respect for Anwar, I have no respect for opposition parties, I have no respect for Pakatan Rakyat’. He blamed PKR for holding a ceramah in Umno territory,” said Saifuddin.
“We advise the Malacca police force, led by state police chief SAC Chua Ghee Lye, to emulate their counterparts in other states, who appear to be more firm and brave in taking action against the violent behaviour of the Umno-BN thugs.”
Saifuddin said he would be writing a letter to the Inspector General of Police, Ismail Omar, to request a meeting with the latter to discuss safety issues for all parties throughout the campaign period.
“The elections are getting closer, and the violence is getting worse,” said Saifuddin.