DAP calls on the Police to call an all-party meeting to end ‘political rowdism’ during election campaigns

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader , DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Tuesday, August 7, 1990:

DAP calls on the Police to call an all-party meeting to end ‘political rowdism’ during election campaigns.

The Barisan Nasional leaders have started a campaign of disinformation to disseminate false news to the people.

A good example is the speech by the Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba, in Kepala Batas,
Penang, yesterday, where he warned ‘political rowdies’ who planned to use violence
during the coming general election campaign, that they will be stopped.

Ghafar said that past incidents had shown that certain political parties had an inclination
towards violent behaviour, arid in a clear reference to the recent Kijal by-election,
he mentioned, ‘acid-throwing or smashing of windscreens of cars’ and even stopping
the car of a Menteri Besar and certain other political figures.

From my reports, there were ‘political rowdies’ in the Kijal by-election, but they came
from UMNO Baru and the victims of acid-throwing and the smashing of windscreen of
cars were Semangat 46 supporters.

In order to cover up their ‘political rowdism’, the Barisan Nasional leaders are accusing
the Opposition of such hooliganism.

Just before polling at Kijal by-election, the local press carried big headlines of reports of the
Malacca Chief- Minister, Tan Sri Haji Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik and his entourage being
‘trapped’ in the Padang Kubu TDM estate hall, 40 km from Kijal, for about two hours
when ‘a mob disrupted their ceremah by breaking car windscreens and throwing acid
onto the vehicles’.

It was reported that a 500-strong group blocked the en¬trance to the hall with a van and
shouted abuses at Barisan Nasional leaders when the Malacca Chief Minister started to
speak at about 10 p.m. on 31st July.

The Malacca State Executive Councillor, Datuk Mohamed Ali Rustam, told the press
later that he was there and the situation became very tense.

However, this ‘story of election violence in Kijal’ by-election, where the Malacca Chief
Minister was ‘trapped’ and in danger, of his life and limb, was denied and contradicted
by the Police.

The ‘trapping of Malacca Chief Minister’ in Kijal by-election a pure concoction and a big lie.

The Police Internal Security and Public Order Director, Datuk Ang Phaik Chin,
categorically denied, that Tan Sri Haji Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik was ‘trapped’
by opposition campaigners, and Datuk Ang said that no violence was reported in
connection with the Kijal by-election campaign at Padang Kubu TDM Estate Hall,
and that there were no reports of acid-throwing or car windscreen-breaking there.

It is clear that the whole story of the ‘trapping of the Malacca Chief Minister’ in the
Kijal by-election is a pure concoction and a big lie.

It is shocking that the UMNO Baru leaders like the Malacca Chief Minister, Abdul
Rahim Thamby Cik, could concoct such lies about being ‘trapped’ and incidents of
acid-throwing and smashing of car wind-screens. What is even more shocking is
that the Deputy Prime Minister could be so easily convinced by such lies that he
is spear¬heading a campaign of disinformation, talking about ‘political row¬dies’ in
the Kijal by-election.

The Deputy Prime Minister should declare whether he believes the Police or the
Malacca Chief Minister about the alleged ‘trapping’ incident as well as the acid-throwing
and breaking of windscreen of cars?

If Ghafar Baha accepts the Police version, that it never happened, then why is he going
round, the country spreading untruths about the so-called ‘trapping the Malacca
Chief Minister’ incident?

DAP however fully agrees with the Deputy Prime Minister that we should not allow
‘political rowdies’ from whatever party to create trouble in any election.

I suggest that the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, should call a meeting
of leaders of all political parties to end ‘political rowdism’ in the general elections, and
to work out a code of conduct where all political parties respect the right of all political
parties and candidates to explain their policies and objectives to the voters without interference
and obstruction.

If this principle is accepted, then the problem of ‘politi¬cal rowdism’ will be resolved.