Group confronts Karpal outside tower block


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 26 Feb 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of 22 men claiming to be Selangor Umno Youth members confronted DAP chairman Karpal Singh just outside the Parliament tower block on Thursday.

In the 2.45pm incident, the men surrounded the Bukit Gelugor MP, shouting and demanding that he retract the word “celaka” which he had used in reference to Umno Youth during his debate speech on Wednesday.

Unlike other MPs, Karpal Singh – who is wheelchair-bound – uses the ramp at the tower block to enter the Parliament building.

Four other MPs — Lim Lip Eng (DAP – Segambut), Fong Kui Lun (DAP – Bukit Bintang), Chong Chieng Jen (DAP – Bandar Kuching) and N. Gobalakrishnan (PKR – Padang Serai) — went to Karpal Singh’s aid after being informed by security guards.

At the same time, Fong Po Kuan (DAP – Batu Gajah) received a call from Karpal Singh’s aide and went over as well.

By then, Lim’s tie and coat had been pulled by the men in full view of Parliament security.

During the commotion, Fong shouted: “ Where is security ? Where is security?” and a reply was heard: “ We only jaga (look after) inside (Parliament), not outside.”

Soon reporters and others at the Parliament lobby rushed out to the entrance and to the windows to witness the event.

Even after Karpal Singh had entered the Dewan at 3pm, the group of men continued to loiter at the entrance.

At one point, Gobind Singh Deo (DAP – Puchong) came out of the tower block and challenged the men to a “one to one fight”. They moved away after the security guards stepped in.

In the House, Karpal Singh raised the matter immediately.

He said he was blocked by about 15 Umno men who acted like gangsters and who told him to apologise or else he could not go into the House.

“(How) Can such a thing happen in Parliament?” he exclaimed. Karpal Singh said that he called the (in-house) police for help but no one came to his aid except for his party members.

“What protection as a Speaker will you give us?” he asked.

Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia replied that such threats were not condoned in Parliament and that he would ask the police and the relevant Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department to investigate.

Chong Chieng Jen (DAP – Kuching) asked whether investigations could be carried out immediately since the guards were still at the entrance.

During the debate on Wednesday, Karpal Singh had uttered the word “celaka” against Umno Youth and also pointed the finger at the wing for the “bullets and threatening letter” he had received in Penang.

The confrontation was the latest in a “series of threats” leveled against the outspoken MP, who had riled some quarters for his statement that the Sultan of Perak could be taken to court for his role in the Perak crisis. He later received bullets and a threatening letter at his house in Penang.

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