I was headlocked, says Syed Saddiq; it was just a hug, says Papagomo


SEMENYIH: Despite a fast and smooth nomination process, a couple of unfortunate incidents marred an otherwise cordial atmosphere at the Semenyih nomination centre.

Shortly after the four candidates of the Semenyih by-election were announced, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman claimed he was nearly attacked by Barisan Nasional supporters as he left the nomination centre at around 11.05am today (Feb 16).

He later lodged a police report at Sungai Way police station.

He alleged that Umno Youth exco member Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris, better known as Papagomo, cornered him from a different route and put him in a headlock.

"I was walking to my car, along with three others, when the incident occurred.

"At first, the Barisan supporters simply jeered at me, so I did not heed what they said and continued walking," Syed Saddiq said.

The Youth and Sports Minister said nearby policemen managed to stop the situation from turning even more serious during his encounter with Papagomo.

Syed Saddiq said no political party should resort to violence.

The Muar MP said he would now leave the matter to the police and also go for a medical check-up.

Earlier, he posted videos of the incident on social media, expressing his disappointment with the "act of gangsterism".

The videos showed what looked like a group of blue-clad Barisan supporters crowding around Syed Saddiq as his officers and police personnel intervened.

"If you want to curse me by calling me babi (pig), bangsat (rascal), bodoh (fool), or hancing (smelly), I can respect that because its your right.

"But if you want to go to the extent of physical assault, that's too much!" he wrote on his Facebook post.

He also thanked the police and members of PAS's Unit Amal, who came to his aid.

His posting prompted some on social media to allege that Syed Saddiq provoked the fight by deliberately walking past the area where Barisan supporters were gathered.

However, the Barisan camp also had its share of bad luck when one of their own collapsed and died around 9.20am while there to support candidate Zakaria Hanafi.

Mamat Awang, 59, from Kuala Terengganu, was part of the Barisan entourage waiting outside the nomination centre.

He was declared dead by a doctor from nearby healthcare centre before being brought to Hospital Kajang.

Kajang OCPD Asst Comm Ahmad Dzaffir Yussof confirmed the incident and classified it as sudden death.

Zakaria later went to the hospital, accompanied by Barisan deputy chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, to offer their condolences to the family.