Malaysian minister climbs fence to escape 'gangsters'

VIDEO: THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK
A screengrab of a video showing dozens of young men whom Malaysia's Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said gatecrashed and interrupted his political party's event last Friday night. PHOTO: TEAMSADDIQ/ TWITTER
A screengrab of a video showing dozens of young men whom Malaysia's Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said gatecrashed and interrupted his political party's event last Friday night. PHOTO: TEAMSADDIQ/ TWITTER

JOHOR BARU • Malaysia's Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman had to climb a fence to escape from dozens of young men who gatecrashed his political party's event in Ulu Tiram, Johor, last Friday night.

Mr Syed Saddiq, 27, wrote on his Facebook account yesterday that his parents were also at the event, along with many women and children, causing him to worry about their safety.

The youths, numbering some 200, he said, were "paid gangsters" who used swear words to tell him to apologise to the Johor Crown Prince, though Mr Syed Saddiq said he does not know what the issue was about.

In videos posted on his Twitter account, the young men were heard shouting to the minister to "go home", and were also heard shouting "Long live Malays".

The Ulu Tiram meeting involved the minister's Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia's (PPBM) youth wing, Armada, and the party's women's wing, Srikandi.

"We were surrounded by a group of 200 uninvited guests dressed in black," he posted on Facebook. "Their actions were violent and dangerous. They also used foul words, insults and chased us out."

Armada lodged a police report over the incident last Friday evening.

"We have video recordings of those involved. We will give full cooperation to the police to conduct an investigation," he said.

Mr Syed Saddiq, Malaysia's youngest-ever Cabinet minister, said he and two other PPBM state leaders climbed a back fence to escape from the rowdy group.

 
 
 

When contacted, Johor police chief Mohd Kamaruddin Md Din said a statement is expected to be issued on the incident, The Star reported yesterday.

Mr Syed Saddiq's Facebook post received 10,000 comments. Many asked police to act against the men for gatecrashing the event, while others railed against Mr Syed Saddiq for running away instead of confronting the group and blamed his PPBM party - led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad - for "selling out" Malay interests.

The minister reminded those responsible for the incident that Malaysia is protected by the law, the police and the courts.

"No one is above the rule of law," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 02, 2020, with the headline 'Malaysian minister climbs fence to escape 'gangsters''. Print Edition | Subscribe