Several flares were hurled, and the forum was forced to be cancelled.

Political debates constitute an integral part of democratic politics. Through rational debates, people holding different political views can exchange their ideas, compete among themselves, and convince the public in a bid to win their support.

Unfortunately, the forum organized by PPBM Youth was marred by the unpleasant incident that saw violence overpowering rationality.

But luckily the incident did not flare into much bigger conflicts and the troublemakers were arrested while former PM Mahathir, who was on the stage, was unhurt.

Politicians on both sides of the divide began accusing one another, giving this whole incident a very thick political conspiracy hue.

Both sides should exercise maximum self restraint at this moment to allow the police to step in and investigate. Any politically motivated allegations will not help resolve the matter.

Simply put, it is utterly important for the police to initiate the probe and severely punish the perpetrators so as to prevent similar incidents from taking place again in future.

The weird thing is, among the three men detained, two are private college students. Their motives of causing trouble at the forum must be thoroughly probed.

As political parties are stepping up their preparations for GE14, it is inevitable for political climate in the country to get heated up as confrontation gathers steam.

BN and Pakatan Harapan are gearing up for the election to wrestle power, and rivalry has been elevated to a new height after Mahathir set up PPBM which subsequently joined Pakatan Harapan.

But, that does not mean that intensified competition must do down the violent way.

The ruckus taking place during the “Nothing To Hide 2.0” forum shows a deteriorating trend in the country’s political development.

Such a trend must be reversed at once. As a country ruled by law, all political activities and maneuvers must go according to the law.

We are a democratic country that has been practicing democratic politics for decades. Unfortunately our democratic politics has yet to reach a certain level of maturity. This will form a major hurdle in our quest of a developed nation’s status and must be overcome at all costs.

Rationality is a manifestation of matured political culture, not violence. We must strive to win the support of people through civilized means and good reasoning.

We need to establish a matured political culture and incidents like the one at “Nothing To Hide 2.0” must never happen again.