Guan Eng felt threatened during anti-Lynas rally

Posted on February 27, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

-The Sun-

GEORGE TOWN (Feb 27, 2012): For the first time in four years since taking over as Penang chief minister, Lim Guan Eng admitted he felt “his life was threatened” during a public rally on Sunday.

A rowdy crowd of around 50 people started heckling and hurling racial abuse at Lim when he spoke at the anti-Lynas rally at the Speaker’s Square in Esplanade.

“One of them was less than a metre away from me and his arm was stretched towards me,” he said.

“If this was done to the prime minister, ‘dia sudah habis’ (he would be finished),” Lim told a press conference today.

Sensing trouble, Lim decided to leave the rally but the group then blocked his official car.

The group kicked and spat at the car as Lim was driven away.

Another car belonging to state executive councillor Lydia Ong Kok Fooi was also damaged in the melee.

Lim said some 2,000 people were at the Speaker’s Corner for a rally organised by Suaram Penang in solidarity with the Himpunan Hijau 2.0 gathering in Kuantan to protest the construction of the Lynas rare earth plant.

“It is your right if you want the (Lynas) project, but it is also the right of the others to reject it,” he said, adding that the rowdy group was rude and only came to provoke the anti-Lynas supporters.

On whether any police report or legal action will be taken, Datuk Keramat assemblyman Jagdeep Singh Deo said they would look into the matter first.

“I call on Penang police chief Datuk Wira Ayub Yaakob to personally look into this matter. This is a threat to the Penang chief minister,” he added.

Jagdeep, who is Lim’s legal adviser, said the case should be investigated for attempted assault and criminal intimidation.

Ayub in a statement said the organisers should have informed and discussed with the district police on security precautions to be taken as provided for under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2011.

Ayub said the organiser should have arranged safety measures because of the presence of a VVIP like the Penang chief minister.

“Why only blame the police when something like this happened when (the safety measure) was not mentioned during the planning stage?” he added.

Ayub said in handling gatherings and riots, the police have methods to break the tension, which takes into consideration the safety and lives of innocent people.

“We have made recordings of the incident and will investigate based on the law,” he added.

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