The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) today said an orchestrated attack against former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was planned, with the intention to hurt the elderly statesman.
An attack against Mahathir – with slippers and shoes thrown at him and chairs flying in the hall where the ‘Nothing to hide 2’ event was talking place – caused a raucus and the suspension of the event.
The attackers also lighted flares in the forum hall to create chaos in the crowd, with the fight then spilling outside the forum hall.
Mahathir was swiftly taken away from the forum by his body-guards, unharmed.
The party said its Youth T-shirts were distributed for free amongst alleged agent provocateurs prior to the event in Shah Alam today.
Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman in a media statement, said the intent was for the aggressors to slip into the function, organised by Bersatu Youth, and cause harm to party chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“There was a systematic element of sabotage… We believe it was meant to sabotage this program and hurt Mahathir.
“From initial police investigations, they wore Armada T-shirts,” Syed Saddiq told a press conference after order was restored at the function.
Armada is the official name for Bersatu Youth.
Piles of red t-shirts, allegedly worn by the provocateurs, were put on display during a press conference by the youth chief.
The forum was to serve as a platform for Mahathir to debate Prime Minister Najib Razak on issues surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
While Najib did not turn up at the event held at the Selangor Youth and Culture Complex in Shah Alam this afternoon, the attackers came well prepared to halt the event.
Najib had said in the ruling Umno’s anniversary rally this year that the party members would be prepared to spill blood to save the party from losing power.
Attacks against opposition rallies is not new, but turning the troops against Mahathir could have negative consequences for the Umno, said observers.
Three suspects, apprehended by the Bersatu youth team, were handed over to the police, but the law enforcers said they did not charge the three as no police report were made against them.
Mahathir is the chairman of the Bersatu, a party he formed with his allies to counter Najib’s Barisan Nasional in the upcoming general elections.