Fracas brings Nothing to Hide 2.0 forum to abrupt end

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 13, 2017

Kuala Lumpur: A town hall meeting with former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who now heads an opposition coalition, has been marred by violence, with several people hurling flares, chairs and shoes at the stage.

PPBM Youth (Armada) had organised the forum to allow Dr Mahathir to debate Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on issues surrounding troubled fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Shoes, water bottles and chairs were flung at the stage before two flares were ignited, filling the hall with smoke and turning it bright pink.

Mahathir was safely escorted out of the event and did not suffer any injuries, the former premier's aide told Reuters.

"It is clear it was created to silence Mahathir and the opposition", said Syed Saddiq, the youth chief of Mahathir's recently established Bersatu party.

The New Straits Times reporters who were there saw several members of the audience, including those wearing Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Armada youth wing's t-shirts, assaulted at the parking area.

Fracas brings Nothing to Hide 2.0 forum to abrupt end
Fracas brings Nothing to Hide 2.0 forum to abrupt end

Senior opposition figure Azmin Ali accused Najib of "using gangsterism to silence Mahathir".

There was no immediate comment from the government.

While it was unclear who was behind the fracas, it highlights that Mahathir - Malaysia's prime minister for 22 years before stepping down in 2003 - is seen as a political threat.

Mahathir has been spearheading calls for Najib to resign over a multibillion-dollar financial scandal in indebted state fund 1MDB, which is being investigated in several countries for money laundering. Najib has denied any wrongdoing.

Mahathir was answering a question on the Memali tragedy at the forum, a slipper was suddenly hurled at him.

In its latest court filing on Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department said it was conducting a criminal investigation of 1MDB and asked for a stay on civil lawsuits it had filed to seize assets allegedly bought with money stolen from the fund.

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