Pan­de­mo­nium breaks out af­ter Me­mali ques­tion

A few peo­ple in­jured when they are set upon by mob

New Straits Times - - Front Page - HARIZ MOHD AND THARANYA ARUMUGAM SHAH ALAM news@nst.com.my

A flare is tossed, wa­ter bot­tles, chairs and a shoe are thrown, and peo­ple are as­saulted at the Noth­ing to

Hide 2.0 fo­rum or­gan­ised by the PPBM Youth wing. It all starts shortly af­ter PPBM chair­man Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad is asked about his role in the Me­mali in­ci­dent in which 18 peo­ple, in­clud­ing four cops, were killed.

AQUESTION on the Me­mali in­ci­dent in 1985 sparked off a riot dur­ing the Noth­ing to Hide 2.0 fo­rum here, which saw sev­eral peo­ple hurt when a group of peo­ple threw a flare, slip­pers and chairs.

It be­gan when Pakatan Hara­pan pro­tem chair­man Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad was speak­ing about the Me­mali in­ci­dent, which saw 14 vil­lagers and four po­lice­men killed.

The 5.30pm in­ci­dent at De­wan Raja Muda Musa in Sec­tion 7 here saw sev­eral peo­ple, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the press, in­jured when they were set upon by an an­gry mob.

The com­mo­tion be­gan shortly af­ter a mem­ber of the au­di­ence asked the for­mer prime min­is­ter on the Me­mali in­ci­dent.

“I want to ask about the Me­mali in­ci­dent in 1985 when you were the prime min­is­ter so that peo­ple, like my gen­er­a­tion, would un­der­stand,” asked the male au­di­ence, who was im­me­di­ately jeered.

“This is (sup­posed to be) noth­ing to hide, so don’t be a ‘machai’. Let me speak.

“In 1985, there is this Me­mali tragedy. Po­lice had to raid Us­taz Ibrahim Mah­mud’s hide­out. Four po­lice­men and 14 vil­lagers were killed. Why, Tun? They were Malaysians. They were Malays, vil­lagers, not Jews or Zion­ists,” he said.

Dr Ma­hathir replied that po­lice had to fol­low the stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures.

How­ever, the for­mer prime min­is­ter’s re­ply was cut short when some­one in the au­di­ence stood up and threw a shoe at him. This was im­me­di­ately fol­lowed by oth­ers who started throw­ing wa­ter bot­tles, slip­pers and chairs to­wards the main stage, where Dr Ma­hathir and event moder­a­tor Azhar Harun were sit­ting.

The sit­u­a­tion wors­ened when an un­known per­son tossed a flare, which landed near the peo­ple seated close to the stage, caus­ing a small fire on the floor.

This led to a se­ries of as­sault in­volv­ing hun­dreds of peo­ple, mostly wear­ing Parti Pribumi Ber­satu Malaysia Youth T-shirts. They also chased af­ter a group of al­leged agent provo­ca­teurs to the hall’s exit.

It is learnt that at the same time, Dr Ma­hathir, his wife, Tun Dr Siti Has­mah Mohd Ali, and other op­po­si­tion lead­ers, in­clud­ing Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Tan Sri Muhyid­din Yassin and Datuk Seri Mukhriz Ma­hathir, were ush­ered to safety by body­guards and se­cu­rity per­son­nel.

Sev­eral mem­bers of the au­di­ence vented their anger at mem­bers of the press for tak­ing their pic­tures.

Po­lice ar­rested three peo­ple, aged 17, 18 and 19, fol­low­ing the chaos.

Shah Alam dis­trict po­lice chief As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Shafien Ma­mat said the trio, two of whom are pri­vate col­lege stu­dents, were ap­pre­hended by mem­bers of the pub­lic. Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Dawn Chan and Faisal Asyraf

Page 1 pic: Pan­de­mo­nium break­ing out af­ter a flare is thrown near the stage of the Noth­ing to Hide 2.0 fo­rum in Shah Alam yes­ter­day. PIC BY MOHD ASRI

SAIFUDDIN MA­MAT

PIC BY MOHD ASRI SAIFUDDIN MA­MAT

The fra­cas at the fo­rum in Shah Alam yes­ter­day.

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