Puad denies involvement in Batu Pahat anti-govt rally

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Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi has denied being involved in a rioting incident against the government in Parit Raja, Batu Pahat, yesterday.

Puad in a Facebook post today said there were individuals trying to link him to the fracas caused by a group who had lit flares and paraded a “Kerajaan Gagal” (failed government) banner in Parti Raja.

Najjua Zulkefli/TMI

“Probably, first because I am the Batu Pahat Umno division chief. Secondly, because I have consistently said that PM 8’s (prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin) government is indeed a “Kerajaan Gagal,” he posted.

Police yesterday arrested a man to assist in an investigation into the rioting incident in Parit Raja after footage of it went viral.

Batu Pahat district police chief Ismail Dollah said the 21-year-old man was arrested last night at the Parit Raja police station where he had been summoned to have his statement recorded.

Puad clarified that Parit Raja is in the Seri Gading parliamentary constituency and not the Batu Pahat parliamentary constituency and that he should not be recklessly linked to the incident.

“It is necessary to think about why, on the first Eid (Hari Raya), people are willing to do such a thing…don’t just think about arresting them.

“Not only that, there are those who celebrate Hari Raya on the highway while displaying the banner “Kerajaan Gagal.”

“We hope PM8 (Muhyiddin) will see the reality. Congratulations to the people of Parit Raja.”

Ismail said police yesterday received an alert that a banner with the words “Kerajaan Gagal” had been spotted on a pedestrian bridge in Jalan Parit Raja but a visit to the location found that it had been taken down.

“Not long after that police received a report about a video of a rally, where flares were lit and a banner was raised with the words reading ‘Kerajaan Gagal’, which did not comply with the set standard operating procedure.

“Initial investigations found that the incident occurred in Parit Raja and it is believed that the banner raised at the rally was the same banner that was spotted on the bridge.”

The case is filed under Section 144/269 of the penal code and Section 8 of the Explosives Act 1957. – TMI