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Fears over next polls as ‘cowardly’ attack on Mahathir condemned

 | August 13, 2017

Zaid Ibrahim says the violence at the PPBM forum today could point to a suspension of the next polls, as others doubt a peaceful general election.

zaid-ibrahim-1

Is this a prelude to a suspension of the 14GE, asks Zaid Ibrahim.

PETALING JAYA: Fears have been expressed over the next national polls after violence broke out at a dialogue attended by Dr Mahathir Mohamad today, when a chemical projectile was thrown as the former prime minister spoke to hundreds who packed a hall in Shah Alam.

“Is this a prelude to a suspension of the 14th general election?” asked a shocked Zaid Ibrahim, after pandaemonium erupted at the Nothing to Hide forum organised by PPBM Youth at the Dewan Raja Muda Musa in Shah Alam.

Soon after a projectile was thrown in Mahathir’s direction as he answered a participant’s question, PPBM members rushed on to the stage to protect the 92-year-old chairman of PPBM and Pakatan Harapan.

There has been no confirmation of any injuries, although PPBM Youth head Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman said at least one volunteer was hurt after he was hit with a chair.

Police have arrested three suspects, aged between 17 and 19.

“Is this the beginning of the end for our country? Today we saw thugs disrupting a peaceful dialogue session. I wonder what the prime minister and his deputy have to say,” said the former minister, who expressed relief that Dr Mahathir was safe and said that the “people are with him”.

Zaid who also attended the forum said the attack could be a result of infiltrators who had donned PPBM T-shirts, adding that he saw dozens of the PPBM T-shirts on the ground while leaving the event.

Former information minister Zainuddin Maidin echoed a similar tone when he expressed doubts on the conduct of the next general election.

“If such a thing can happen now, we cannot rule out the possibility that it might also happen during the election,” he told FMT.

Zainuddin says there is a need to double security for Mahathir

Zainuddin says there is a need to double security for Mahathir

But while Zainuddin said everything pointed to Umno supporters, he also did not rule out the chaos could be a deliberate act by those out to put the ruling party in a bad light.

Zainuddin said the incident highlighted the need to double security for Mahathir, adding that the former leader no longer enjoyed the kind of security when he was the prime minister.

“He may have an army of supporters to protect him, but the security during his time as the prime minister was different.”

Malay rights group Perkasa urged police to ensure a transparent investigation.

“This is a very serious incident because flares were thrown indoors and this could have sparked a fire or stampede. It’s life threatening,” Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali told FMT.

Selangor Menteri Besar and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali condemned the attack as the work of “cowards”, while Mahathir’s eldest daughter urged Prime Minister Najib Razak to apologise.

Najib needs to aplogise to my mum, says Marina.

Najib needs to apologise to my mum, says Marina Mahathir.

“My 91-year old mum can’t see very well,” said Marina Mahathir, referring to Siti Hasmah Ali who accompanied Mahathir to the forum.

“Imagine how she felt hearing shouts… what if she had fallen? You need to apologise to her Najib Razak!” she said in a series of tweets from abroad.

Azmin also urged Najib to “bear full responsibility for the uncivilized and criminal action of his party supporters”.

“We asked for a civil and orderly debate and they respond with throwing shoes and slippers and firing flares. The police must immediately investigate and arrest the culprits without fail,” he said on Twitter.


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