Umno Youth angrily mobs Karpal in Parliament

By : V. Vasudevan & Eileen Ng


7:07pm UPDATE: DAP chairman and MP for Bukit Gelugor Karpal Singh was confronted by a group of Selangor Umno Youth members at the Parliament tower block this afternoon but this soon culminated in a shouting match and a scuffle that led MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng to having his shirt tugged.

The group had been waiting at the parliament tower for Karpal and as soon as he arrived they surrounded him and started heckling him over his warning to Pemuda Umno yesterday.

He accused Umno Youth of having sent him two bullets while debating the Royal Address.

"Where did the celaka Pemuda Umno fellows get the bullets?" he had asked while pronouncing himself not afraid.

The drama started when Karpal was confronted by the 22-member group comprising Selangor Umno Youth members as the MP was making his way into the parliament's tower block at 2.45pm.

The group had been waiting for Karpal since 1.30pm.Noticing the veteran politician, the group surrounded the wheelchair-bound Karpal and demanded that he apologise for remarks made against Umno Youth in the House on yesterday.

However, Karpal refused to recant his allegation that the wing had sent bullets in the mail to him recently, as well as using the term “celaka” (damn) to berate the movement.

Pakatan Rakyat MPs - Fong Kui Loon (DAP-Bukit Bintang), N. Gobalakrishnan (PKR-Padang Serai) and Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut), who just came back from lunch, went to Karpal’s aid after being informed by parliament staff of the incident.

They claimed they were roughed up by the mob, with their bodies pushed and shoved by several Umno members. "One even pulled my tie. At one point, I nearly fell into the fountain," Lim claimed.

However, the trio manage to wheel Karpal into the House, while the Umno Youth group continued to heckle and shout at them.

Moments later, Liew Chin Tong (DAP-Bukit Bendera) tried to cool down the situation but he was greeted by more shouts.

"Who are you? Go away," shouted several members of the mob.
Karpal's son, Gobind Singh (DAP-Puchong), who sprinted to his father's aid, traded verbal blows with the group. At one point, Gobind and a member of the mob had to be restrained by their respective members to prevent fisticuffs.

The situation improved after BN Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) chief Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing appeared and urged the group to disperse.

"Please go back and respect the House. We can't have such incidents happening here," he told them.

Gombak Umno Youth chief Megat Zulkarnain Omardin, who was part of the mob, told reporters that they are Umno members “willing to die defending the party.”

"He (Karpal) must stop insulting the Rulers and the Malays," he said. “Our patience is running out.”

Karpal immediately took up the matter in Chambers and demanded to know how the group made it into the compound.

"What security is the House providing?" he asked speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, who promised to investigate and assured members that everything was done to protect them.

"I am disabled but not intimidated by this. The police were there and they just watched," Karpal claimed.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said not agreeing with Karpal was not an excuse to get physical with him. "We must come up with a ruling that all parliamentarians must be protected," he said.

Later, at a Press conference at the Parliament lobby, Karpal remained defiant despite the scare. “I maybe in a wheelchair but I will not be cowed or intimidated by anyone,” the MP dubbed the Tiger of Jelutong said.

The Press conference was also attended by Pakatan Rakyat leaders and members. Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and DAP parliamentary leader, Lim Kit Siang were at Karpal's side.

The MP for Bukit Gelugor also declared he would not apologise for the terms he had used while debating the Royal Address yesterday.

“There is no question of apology," he said. "They abused and threatened me and insisted I apologise. I said that was out and told them back off. They were becoming menacing and they looked like they were ready to hit me."

Karpal likened the group antics as to that of brazen gangsters. “As an MP, I have duties which I will carry out without fear,” he said.

Karpal also criticised parliament security. “Each time we start the sitting, there is a motion by the Home Minister to ensure that members have safe passage to parliament and are safe from any disturbances while here. How could they allow them to enter the parliament compound? Where is the security?” he asked.

Despite the incident, Karpal did not lose his sense of humour. “Singh is King. I should be paid royalty for promoting the movie (the Bollywood movie). I will share the royalty with you all (looking at the press),” he quipped.

Karpal had twice referred to the title of the movie in passing as a way of reinforcing his credentials as a fearless man.

Opposition leader, Anwar said he was disappointed with the uncultured behaviour of the Umno Youth members. “I demand fast action from the authorities that MPs are safe and their security assured,” he said.

Lim said this was the first time the Parliament history that such an incident had occurred. “It is shameful and outrageous. It is in violation of parliament sanctity. This shows how ugly Malaysian politics have become,” he said.

Lim called on Umno Youth Chief Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein and Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to publicly apologise for this outrage.

NST Online

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