Several leaders of Malaysia’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) were attacked by a group of people, who is believed to be the party supporters, outside PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya on Sunday afternoon (1 March).
The leaders, which included PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang, Selangor PKR secretary Mohd Razlan Jalaluddin and Seberang Jaya assemblyman Dr Afif Bahardin, were assaulted by party supporters as they stepped out from the headquarters after a central leadership council meeting.
The party supporters were said to be disgruntled with those leaders who support the former deputy party president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali who left PKR in the midst of the recent political turmoil. Mr Chua was reported to be the person who was heckled the most by the supporters.
A video of Mr Chua being heckled by angered supporters who hurled abuses at him has been circulated on social media and received various reactions from netizens.
In the video posted by The Star, a rowdy crowd can be seen surrounding and shouting “pengkhianat” (traitor) at Mr Chua as he stepped out of PKR headquarters.
Meanwhile, when he was escorted to his car, the crowd threw water bottles at him, hitting him on his forehead.
Mr Chua, at a moment, had shouted back to the crowd as his back head was slapped by a man before he got into his car.
Party members respond to the commotions
Concerning the commotion, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim has expressed regret over the violent behaviour of party members.
He said that the supporters have no right to react such ways as the leaders sometimes might have different views.
“I have no choice but to leave the matter with the authorities as well as the party’s disciplinary board to take action. A hardcore supporter must be disciplined and refrain from verbally abusing others and slandering people,” he added, reported by Free Malaysia Today.
At the same time, former deputy president Mr Azmin also made a statement in his Facebook, criticising the attack against Mr Chua while condemning that the party has been infiltrated by the culture of gangsterism and violence.
He said that when the leaders allowed gangsterism within the party to become widespread, it means that the party is “on the verge of collapse”.
Mixed reactions from netizens over assault on party leaders
In the Facebook page of The Star featuring the video of the assault, netizens gave mixed reactions to the incident. Some netizens showed empathy to the PKR vice-president who was attacked as they said Mr Chua was one of the respected leaders that fought together with Anwar Ibrahim through tough times.
Some netizens also condemned the violent behaviours by party supporters as immature and uncivilised. They even said that this is what led the people to reject the party.
On the other hand, the others commented that the supporters have aimed their anger at the wrong person as the biggest “traitor” is the one who led the other PKR members to leave the party.
A few netizens opined that the betrayal of politicians over people’s democracy caused in such turmoil and chaos in Malaysia while the whole world will look at their fighting as a “disgrace” and “laughing stock”.