Monday 30 April 2007

Flashbacks: UMNO Thugs on Rampage in Complicit with the Police during the 2004 Election

From "No Holds Barred" Blog on Malaysiakini -READ HERE


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Related article:

28th April, 2007:Ijok "...Kekecohan berlaku di pusat mengundi SRJK (C) Bukit Badong yang dikatakan didalangi oleh samseng Pemuda Umno apabila bertindak menahan kereta pacuan empat roda milik petugas KeADILan. Cermin kereta petugas KeADILan itu telah dipecahkan samseng BN, di mana menimbulkan kekecohan hingga berlakunya pergelutan di antara kedua-dua penyokong parti berkenaan...." Read here for more

Excerpts: Read here for more

My wife has never forgotten what happened in Putrajaya during the last general election in March 2004.

Abdul Rahman Othman, then Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Deputy President, contested the Putrajaya Parliament seat.

On the other side was Tengku Adnan Mansor, the Minister of Tourism.

The seat should have actually been contested by PAS but Rahman wanted it so PAS gave it to him although Keadilan did not have any branches in Putrajaya and maybe just a handful of members; a very small handful. The PAS machinery in Putrajaya was quite well established and they had been laying the groundwork to contest that seat for quite a number of years.

Rahman arranged a meeting with the PAS boys from Putrajaya and at first they were not quite prepared to help out because they felt that Keadilan had hijacked that seat from PAS. Rahman asked me whether I would like to be his campaign manager. You must remember, Rahman told me, we would most likely lose that seat to the extent of losing our deposit as well.

It is quite a difficult seat to win because not only are 98% of the voters Malay but they are nearly all civil servants as well. And with such a small number of voters it would be very difficult for them to vote opposition. The government would be able to detect who they voted for quite easily. In a bigger seat it would be more difficult for the government to check the votes.

A few days before the election, the civil servants were called for a meeting and were informed that the government is monitoring who they vote for and if they voted for the opposition the government will be able to find out and take action against them.

These meetings were held during office hours and in the government departments. We, however, were not allowed into the government offices so we had no choice but to campaign after office hours and meet the voters outside their homes.

But everywhere we went we were trailed by the Umno people so many of the voters did not dare talk to us.

We broke up into a few groups and canvassed house to house.

One group that was headed by Rahman’s son was surrounded by Umno bouncers in black jackets and he was beaten up. A police report was made but of course no action was taken. Rahman’s son said that the Umno chap who beat him up was a huge chap built like a gorilla.

While I was having dinner with my wife I received a phone call from the Putrajaya Special Branch head, ASP Ibrahim. He told me that the police have received a report that we are using Bangladeshi workers to put up our posters and flags and this is a violation of election rules which can result in Rahman being disqualified. I stopped eating and rushed to our base to find all our workers still idling under the tent. It appears that not one of our workers is out yet. All are still waiting for midnight before they start moving.

I drove around Putrajaya and saw that the Umno boys were putting up their posters and flags. And they were using Bangladeshi workers. I then phoned ASP Ibrahim to inform him that none of our workers are out yet, all are still in the two bases, and that it is Umno that is using Bangladeshi workers. He just replied, ‘oh’.

Come midnight, our chaps loaded all the posters and flags into their cars. However, before they could move, their cars were surrounded by the Umno cars. They phoned me to inform me that they are being locked in by Umno cars and can’t move. I phoned ASP Ibrahim to inform him about this and he assured me he would send a police patrol car to look into the matter. No police patrol car ever came and our operation for that night had to be aborted.

I organised a meet-the-voters session and invited Anwar Ibrahim’s daughter, Nurul Izzah, to attend. As soon as Rahman started talking, the police arrived with the Umno chaps and a couple of Election Commission officers in tow. I was informed that we are holding an illegal assembly and must stop. I argued with the police and one Election Commission officer told me that this is a breach of election rules and Rahman can be disqualified. Tengku Adnan would then win the Putrajaya seat uncontested.

The next day the Election Commission sent Rahman a show cause letter.

In another gathering, Ezam Mohd Noor, our guest of honour, could only shake hands with the voters. He was not allowed to address them or else we would be deemed as holding an illegal assembly which, again, would result in Rahman’s disqualification.

I invited Ustaz Haji Abdul Hadi Awang to speak at one gathering and this time, just to make sure, I applied for a police permit. I sat there at the police station until they approved it. They told me that the Special Branch needs to approve it so it may be a long wait. I told them I would wait and sat there in the office without budging. They finally approved it just to get rid of me. They could not go home with me still sitting there. The only way they could go home would be to approve my permit so that I would leave.

I received a phone call that Hadi was on the way and was only a few minutes away. But the hall was completely empty. This was most embarrassing. No one was attending our ceremah. I asked one PAS chap as to why the hall was empty. He informed me that a group of policemen were outside the hall taking photos and video shots of everyone who comes into the hall so no one dared enter the hall.

I went outside and found about half a dozen or so police officers, ASP Ibrahim included, with cameras and videos in hand hard at work. One police officer, an Indian, was holding a video camera and was taking shots of everyone. Lurking in the dark shadows at a safe distance was a few hundred people who did not dare approach the hall.

I told the Indian policeman to stop taking shots of the people but he ignored me. It had been a long and tiring five days with no sleep and I was in no mood for crap. With all that had been happening the last week or so, I was already at the end of my wits.

I shouted at the Indian police officer, “Hey, Keling pariah, I said stop taking shots of the crowd. Tak dengarkah? Babi Keling. Berhentilah. Pariah” He ignored me and continued shooting.

The other police officers, ASP Ibrahim included, just stared at the ground and did not even dare look me in the face.

I approached the Indian man and tried to grab the video camera from him. He resisted and I was half expecting the other police officers to handcuff me and take me away.

The Indian man replied that there is no film in the video. This really upset me. What does he take me for, a fool? He was using a digital video camera and of course it had no film.

Dr Hatta Ramli, Hadi’s political secretary, and my son who had heard me shouting at the top of my voice came to investigate what the commotion was all about.

I screamed at the Indian man, “If you don’t stop taking shots of the crowd I am going to smash up your video into a million pieces and force you to swallow it. Then I am going to kick you on the arse all the way back to India.”

Dr Hatta joined the shouting match while my son grabbed the Indian cameraman by the throat and I had to stop him from punching the chap. The cameraman looked at his boss who signalled him to lay down his camera. ASP Ibrahim put his hand on my shoulder and urged me to calm down. I will get my officers to leave the area, he assured me.

As soon as the police left, the hall overflowed with about 1,000 people. The night was a success. But I was now on the warpath.

The next day I toured Putrajaya and found all our flags cut down while Umno had stuck theirs on all our posters and billboards. You could no longer find any Keadilan flags and posters. Many had been cut down and those few left standing were covered with Umno flags. This was too much. I knew it was no point complaining to the police.

I rushed back to our base and grabbed my Bowie knife. My wife knew that I was about to do something that everyone may regret and she told my son to follow me with a request, “Jaga daddy.” My wife knew better than to say anything or try to stop me. I wanted to do something, anything, just as long as I did something.

I cut down all the Umno flags tied to our flagpoles and posters. I was careful to not touch any Umno flags that were on their own flagpoles. I only went for those tied to our flagpoles and posters. I threw the Umno flags into the middle of the road so that all the cars that passed by could run over them. I walked all over cutting down Umno flags and threw them into the middle of the road. My son followed behind in the car.

Within a few minutes, three carloads of Umno chaps in black jackets arrived. My son shouted, “Daddy, jaga!” About six or seven chaps with sawn timber in hand came towards me. One of them, a huge man built like a gorilla, seemed to be the head honcho and I knew straight away that this was the man who had beaten up Rahman’s son. He fit the description perfectly.

I could not escape. In fact, I was in no mood to run. I wanted blood and I rushed towards the half a dozen or so chaps with the Bowie knife in my hand. I could not take all of them so I charged the biggest of the lot, the gorilla. If I could fell him then the others would back off. These Umno black jacket bouncers are not that brave. If it is six or seven against one, they would be brave. If the odds are equal then they don’t have the balls.

The gorilla moved back. I had caught them by surprise. They never expected me to rush them. They probably thought I would run. I shouted at the gorilla. “Oh, you beat up Rahman’s son is it? Okay, now try to beat me up.” He denied beating up Rahman’s son while all the time not taking his eyes off the knife in my hand.

I charged the gorilla again and he moved further back. In fact, all of them moved back. They could have beaten me silly with the wood they were holding and I would have been powerless in spite of my Bowie knife. Till today I wonder why they did not. Maybe it was the look on my face that showed I wanted blood.

In a short while the police arrived and I threw the Bowie knife into the car before they could catch a glimpse of it. One of the Umno chaps, a Datuk in sunglasses, shouted at the police to arrest me. My son charged the Datuk and tried to smash his face in.

I had a hard time trying to hold back my son who wanted the Datuk for lunch. The police pleaded with all and sundry to calm down. I shouted at the police, “Fuck you. Arrest me or fuck the hell out of here.” Nobody moved.

I told my son to get into the car and start the engine. I got into the car and we drove off with the Datuk screaming, “Jangan lari! Tangkap dia! Tangkap dia!” But the police were in no mood to arrest anyone that day.

I responded to the Datuk by yelling back, “Melayu bodoh! Melayu bangsat. Melayu pariah!”

I then sent word to the Umno black jackets that if they touch any of our boys again or vandalise our flags and posters they are going to find their boys dead in the drain with their throats slit.

The police called me in for a meeting and I warned the police to stay out of the war.

This is between Umno and me, I told the police. If you don’t want any dead bodies on your hands then tell Umno to lay off, I warned the police. It is Umno that is attacking us. We are just defending ourselves.

From thereon the police sent their people to follow our people around. They were worried that the Umno chaps would continue attacking our boys and they knew that this time it would be with drastic results.

That was my Putrajaya experience; exactly what Keadilan is facing in Ijok today.

And that is why my wife does not want me to go to Ijok. She knows that I have not forgotten Putrajaya and I am still sore about it till today.

If any of the Umno boys do to me what they did to Jeff Ooi a couple of days ago it would not be me with the black eye. I will just not tolerate being bullied and treated like shit.

And my wife loves me too much to see me spend the rest of my days in the Sungai Buloh Prison.

So I am stuck at home at the request of my wife. And this makes me mad as hell because I would rather be in Ijok kicking the arses of the Umno black jackets.

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