OPPOSITION leaders vowed to carry on informing Malaysians on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, saying they will not be cowed with what had happened at the Nothing To Hide 2.0 forum in Shah Alam, Selangor earlier today.
They expect more of such provocations as the general election come closer but added it only showed that “certain parties” were very uneasy that the opposition coalition is getting stronger and public understanding of the 1MDB issue is increasing.
At the forum in the Selangor Youth and Culture Complex this afternoon, several youths lit flares, threw shoes and chairs at Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad while he was on stage.
The incident caused pandemonium and panic as some 2,000 people at the event made for the exits.
The forum was organised by Bersatu Youth (Armada) as a platform for Dr Mahathir and Prime Minister Najib Razak to debate on issues surrounding 1MDB. The prime minister, however, did not turn up.
PKR deputy president and Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali said, “too scared to debate, Najib used gangsters to shut Dr Mahathir up, and this is a cowardly act.”
Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub said he expects more provocation, but added they are not going to be stopped.
“We are not afraid. We will continue with the 1MDB roadshow as long as it’s within the democratic structure,” said the former Kubang Kerian MP.
“We just have to be more careful because there will be more incidents like this.”
DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua said PH will increase the level of security after today’s incident.
“It is obvious that there are parties who cannot stand the pressure and are now resorting to the use of thugs.
“We will not stop. But we will increase the security and adhere to the law,” said Petaling Jaya Utara MP.
Other leaders, meanwhile, said Najib has to take responsibility for today’s fracas as the authorities had failed to safeguard the safety of those present.
“Najib has to take responsibility because his administration failed to provide security for the forum and national leaders like Dr Mahathir,” Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar told The Malaysian Insight.
“If Najib had come to face Dr Mahathir in this forum today, the fracas would not have happened.”
Mahfuz felt there were hidden hands behind the fracas because the youths who were involved would not have dared to pull off such a stunt if they did not get the backing of “certain parties”.
“That’s the norm, the youths would not dare to create chaos just like that if there were no assurances and protection,” said the former PAS information chief.
DAP strategist Liew Chin Tong said there were certain parties that will do whatever it takes to make sure that Umno continues to rule.
“All Malaysians have to condemn this act that could threaten democracy in our country,” said the Kluang MP.
“I really am angry about this incident.”
As for Bersatu strategic and policy bureau chief Dr Rais Hussin, the sooner the culprits are brought to book, the better.
“We are not afraid with this type of cowardly act because the people with us are against violence and they will put a stop to this, just like today,” he said.