Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has ordered the police to take immediate action and identify the members of a mob who heckled Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman at a political event in Johor yesterday evening.
Muhyiddin said he viewed the incident seriously, as disruption was severe enough to bring the programme to a halt.
“I have instructed the police to identify the individuals involved and bring them to justice. All parties are reminded to not engage in anything that could threaten the nation’s harmony, and those found doing so will face the law,” Muhyiddin said in a statement today.
Syed Saddiq was attending a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Youth event at a restaurant in Ulu Tiram together with his parents when a group clad in black and red shirts began surrounding their table and started yelling, heckling, and demanded that he leave Johor.
In a Facebook post, Syed Saddiq claimed that some 200 people gate-crashed the function. He said other Bersatu members from the Women and Youth wings were also in attendance, such as Malacca state exco member Datuk Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen.
The mob became sufficiently unruly until Syed Saddiq, his family, and several others, were forced to escape the venue. The Bersatu Youth chief also alleged that the mob individuals were linked to Umno.
“Gangsters and disrespectful. They stood surrounding our dining area, disturbing all other guests in attendance. They yelled and shouted all manner of coarse words. My parents were also witnesses last night.
“What is this? There were small children, women at the function…Worse, they demanded the minister (himself) apologise to TMJ, if I were to leave. What happened? I do not know,” he wrote.
Though he did not say who he was referring to, TMJ is the moniker for the Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.
Syed Saddiq has had a run in with Tunku Ismail in the past.
The incident has since been condemned by other Pakatan Harapan legislators, including Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah who called for swift police action to be taken, and Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim who said political samseng (gangsterism) did not belong in Malaysia Baru.
Meanwhile, Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki denied the party had anything to do with last night’s incident and has since said Umno Youth will file a police report against Syed Saddiq for accusing them, as well as initiate legal procedures against him.
Asyraf wants police to probe Syed Saddiq for slander, as well as under the Communications and Multimedia Act for spreading objectionable information.
He said they will be sending a letter to Syed Saddiq soon to demand a public apology.
“If he fails to do so, Umno Youth will file a defamation suit in court,” he said in a statement this evening.
In videos allegedly of the incident circulating online, the group could be heard yelling for the Muar MP to leave the state.
The group was said to have shouted and called for Syed Saddiq to apologise to the Johor Crown Prince.
The minister, however, said he was clueless over what the issue was about.
He further claimed that he, his family, the two assemblypersons and others had to “jump the fence” to get away.
The minister said he could not forgive the “rude group”.
“I would like to remind the puppet masters that Malaysia has laws, police, and courts. No one is above the Federal Constitution,” he said.
“No one is above the rule of law. This is Malaysia. Malaysia belongs to all”.
The Bersatu Youth wing had lodged a police report over this incident yesterday.
Meanwhile, police have set up a special team to investigate the gate-crashers.
Kamarudin said preliminary investigations found that the group of youths had deliberately hurled insults that could provoke anger, intimidation and aggressive behaviour at the scene.
Pakatan Harapan has criticised the group.
“This political culture involving thuggery has no place in Malaysia Baru.
“It is a remnant of the old regime that should be rejected,” PPBM’s secretariat said in a press statement.
The secretariat further called for the immediate arrest of those responsible for causing the disturbances and to charge them in court to serve as a deterrent.
The group, clad in black and red shirts, went to the restaurant in Ulu Tiram and started a commotion, calling for Syed Saddiq, who is also the Muar MP, to leave Johor.
Among those with Syed Saddiq were his mother and father, Melaka exco member Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen, Puteri Wangsa assemblyman Mazlan Bujang and several PPBM members and their families.
They were escorted out through the back exit while others distracted the group outside.