SHAH ALAM: Three teenagers have been held after a riot erupted during the Nothing To Hide 2.0 gathering which featured Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Dewan Raja Muda Musa in Section 7 here today.
District police chief Assistant Commissioner Shafien Mamat said the trio, two of whom are private college students, were apprehended by members of the public and later handed over to the police.
Shafien, who arrived at the scene at about 7.30pm, said the trio are aged 17, 18 and 19.
“Two were clad in red T-shirts bearing the (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) Armada logo and another in a black T-shirt. At the moment, no one, including the organiser, has lodged a police report.
“However, we will be hauling up the organiser for questioning. Right now, it is at the preliminary stage. Please give us room to investigate this case,” said Shafien after inspecting the hall with the forensics team.
Shafien said police had met with the organiser after receiving an application for the event.
“I have told the organiser and explained the conditions to them which was to ensure the safety of all those who attend and prevent all sort of chaos.
“Those were our conditions. But you can see what had happened today. We will summon the organiser and investigate from all angles because they have also failed to adhere to our conditions,” said Shafien.
He added that a team of seven officers and 35 personnel were present at the hall during the event.
Meanwhile, a security personnel said the assailants clearly were targeting Dr Mahathir when they hurled objects including two flares towards him.
He said a slipper nearly hit Dr Mahathir who was surrounded by his bodyguards.
He said the rowdy group, comprised of no less than 300 people, mostly teenagers, had printed and donned their own PPBM T-shirts to blend in with the party supporters.
He said a colleague had spotted the group parking their motorcycles outside of the gate and that they had put on two layers of T-shirts, including the supposed PPBM’s one.
“After the provocation, they fled and ditched their PPBM T-shirts while running to their motorcycles,” he said.
The spokesperson claimed that a plain-clothed policeman was also hit by the assailants when he tried to catch them.
The commotion broke out shortly after an audience asked Dr Mahathir about the Memali incident in Kedah in 1985, and whether he took responsibility of the incident which saw 18 including four policemen killed.
Before Dr Mahathir was able to answer the question, he was immediately escorted out to safety, together with his wife Tun Dr. Siti Asmah Mohd Ali and other Pakatan Harapan leaders.
The New Straits Times reporters who were there saw several members of the audience, including those wearing Armada youth wing’s t-shirts, being assaulted at the parking area.
A group also started venting their anger towards members of the press for taking their pictures. It is learnt that several female reporters were also kicked by unidentified assailants.
The incident continued for about half an hour, where a mob also chased after a man back into the hall and started beating him up, before another group of men believed part of the security group, took the man away and shielded him from the mob.
Police had also deployed a Light Strike Force anti-riot team about 6.30pm