Feb 26, 2009
By Adib Zalkapli and Lee Wei Lian
[Megat Zulkarnain seems to warn Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong during the confrontation in the Parliament compound.]
Megat Zulkarnain seems to warn Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong during the confrontation in the Parliament compound.
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — A group from Selangor Umno Youth, led by its Serdang chief Ungku Mat Salleh, attempted to stop DAP veteran leader Karpal Singh from entering the Parliament building today to demand that he apologise for saying yesterday that Umno Youth was responsible for sending bullets in the mail to him recently.
Pakatan Rakyat representatives N. Gobalakrishnan and Lim Lip Eng tried to protect Karpal but were roughed up by the Umno group members.
Karpal eventually managed to make it into the Dewan Rakyat safely.
Also present outside the Parliament building was Gombak Umno Youth chief Megat Zulkarnain Omardin who told reporters that they are Umno members who are willing to die defending the party.
“They must stop insulting the Rulers and the Malays,” said Megat Zulkarnain.
He added that Umno Youth's patience was running out.
The group also tried to stop DAP lawmakers from speaking to the press, challenging them to engage directly with the Umno Youth leaders present.
Backbenchers Club president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing later met the group and urged them to disperse.
The Bintulu MP said he regretted that such an incident happened inside the Parliament compound and hoped that security would be beefed up.
“They were provoked, but they should know how to handle it and not get emotional,” said Tiong, who claimed that he did not know the reason why the group had gathered.
“I heard there was a fight so I came down, but this is still within the Parliament compound so they must respect Parliament,” added Tiong.
Inside Parliament, Karpal angrily denounced the scuffle, calling the youths “gangsters” and complaining that he was delayed for 10 minutes while the security officers did nothing to intervene.
He also demanded to know what measures the Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, would take to ensure safety in Parliament.
“I may be disabled but I will not stand for intimidation,” he said.
The Speaker warned Karpal not to raise his voice and said that he would speak to the police as well as the Home Minister.
A shouting match also erupted with lawmakers from both sides standing up and shouting at the same time.
The BN MP for Pasir Salak, Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, then offered an olive branch by saying that he agreed with Karpal that such incidents should not happen.
Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also tried to bridge the partisan divide by saying that even if it was a Pakatan Rakyat group which physically attacked a BN member, he would also object.
When contacted by The Malaysian Insider, Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin said he regretted that the incident took place. “Our official stand is that we don't condone violence towards other politicians especially members of Parliament.” He promised to look into the matter.