Malaysia's youth minister climbs fence to escape from rowdy crowd at Johor event

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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, and began shouting loudly to interrupt the event on Friday (Jan 31) night.

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

The men numbering some 200 acted "like gangsters", he said, and were using swear words to ask him to apologise to the Johor Crown Prince, though Mr Syed Saddiq said he doesn't know what the issue was about.

The Ulu Tiram meeting involved his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia's (PPBM) youth wing Armada and that of its Srikandi women's wing.

"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 on 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 climbed a fence to escape from the rowdy group.

Police on Saturday evening said they have arrested two individuals believed to be the "masterminds" behind the mob which disrupted the event.

Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador said in a statement: "We view this provocation and threats against the minister seriously.

"The incident was committed by certain irresponsible parties who failed to respect the laws of Malaysia."

He said a special task force has been set up to investigate the incident thoroughly. "I urge all parties to respect the laws and not to react in any way that could cause provocation which could lead to public unrest," Tan Sri Abdul Hamid said.

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

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