GEORGE TOWN, May 22:
Tension ran high briefly outside the state legislative assembly building when a man claimed that he had been roughed up by an Umno Youth member.
The man, said to be a state Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) member, claimed that his shoes were stepped on and his helmet taken away when he had crossed the street from the state legislative assembly building heading for the food court in Lebuh Light.
This, he claimed, happened as he was passing by a group of people said to be from Umno.
Fearing a repetition of yesterday’s fracas, a team of about 20 police personnel from the Light Strike Force Unit, stationed outside the state assembly building since 8am, rushed over to control the situation and to break up the commotion.
The SAMM member was later seen escorted away by police.
A few state assembly Opposition leaders, including Datuk Jahara Abdul Hamid, were seen speaking with the group to calm them down.
State Umno Youth exco member Arman Azha Hanifah, who was at the scene, told The Rakyat Post the incident happened due to provocation.
“He walked towards us, shook hands with our division chief and lifted his helmet to show an anti-Umno sticker stating ‘Asalkan Bukan Umno‘ which sparked the outrage.”
Meanwhile, Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Bayan Baru Member of Parliament Sim Tze Tzin has called on Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin to issue an open apology to the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (TYT) and State Assembly Speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang for what happened yesterday at the Penang State Assembly.
“Umno Youth’s behaviour can be perceived as to humiliate TYT. In Khairy’s statement, he, too, disagreed with what Umno and Umno Youth did,” Sim said in a statement.
He said that based on that, the onus was on Khairy as Umno Youth chief to apologise on his subordinates’ behalf.
“If he fails to do so, Khairy should take full responsibility and resign as Umno Youth chief,” Sim stated, adding that as the head, Khairy was responsible for the discipline of the Youth wing.
“I also call upon Law to set up a ‘democracy zone’ across or outside the premises.
“This zone will be designated for civil societies, Opposition parties and non-governmental organisations to petition or protest.
“Umno or other civil society has a right to freedom of speech or assembly, but they should be regulated and bound by law and protest peacefully,” he further said in his statement here today.
Yesterday, a commotion erupted at the state legislative assembly building after a group of protesters turned up and barged into the house looking for Seri Delima assemblyman R.S.N. Rayer.
This was after Rayer had allegedly uttered in the house on Tuesday: “Celaka celaka ini, celaka celaka Umno ini, kurang ajar, biadab” which had sparked outrage among Umno Youth members in the state.
Later on, Khairy said that the group should have instead protested outside the building, an action which he would have also supported, as Rayer’s remark had insulted Umno.
“As a people’s representative myself, I told them that their action to storm into the building was wrong.
“But, at the same time, the DAP lawmaker in question should not have made the remark,” Khairy told reporters after a walkabout with Barisan Nasional’s parliamentary candidate Datuk Mah Siew Keong in Teluk Intan.