Anwar apologises for violent ruckus at PKR Youth Congress

Kenneth Tee And Radzi Razak
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim delivers his opening speech during the PKR National Congress in Melaka December 7, 2019. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

AYER KEROH, Dec 7 — PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today apologised to party members for the violence that broke out on the street outside the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) here where the party is holding its annual congress.

Without elaborating, he said he regretted what happened yesterday and urged party members to keep calm over the matter as it is being investigated by the authorities.

“The matter is now with the police and I hope no one will make any rash decisions about it,” he said during his presidential policy speech for the 14th PKR National Congress today.

The proceeding today in the morning was calm with heavier security than yesterday and scores of black-clad men from PKR Youth Squad spotted acting as security.

Anwar walked into Hall B in MITC accompanied by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also deputy prime minister, PKR Deputy President Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Secretary-General Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail to the tune of traditional Malay music.

About 3,000 delegates, observers and special guests such as Pakatan Harapan Youth Chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, DAP National President Tan Kok Wai as well as representatives from several embassies were also present.

Yesterday, chaos erupted at the congress when certain members attempted to smuggle in sacked permanent chairman Mizan Adli Md Noor amid heavy security.

Scores of PKR Youth security personnel dressed in black were seen clashing with Mizan and others who attempted to force their way into the Classic Ballroom of Melaka International Trade Centre in the morning.

Later, another violence broke out on the street outside MITC as Azmin-linked group clashed with another group.

The all-black mystery group wore a T-shirt with a PKR flag printed on the left breast and comprised youths who looked to be teens. They declined to identify themselves to the media when asked, but were present during each of the altercations.

PKR Youth chief Akmal Nasrullah Md Nasir said he too could not tell where the group was from, saying the congress secretariat might know about it.

The group was referred to as “observers” by the PKR Youth secretariat who aligned them to Anwar.

PKR Youth deputy chief Muhammad Hilman Idham who is also Azmin’s political secretary blamed congress secretariat director, Ahmad Syukri Razab who is also the party’s youth wing's secretary for what transpired.

Hilman, who left the afternoon session along with his team also said he will lodge a police report and also file complaints to the party’s secretary as well as the Registrar of Society (RoS) to annul the 2019 PKR Youth Congress.

He also questioned the presence of another group dressed in black that were involved in street fights with his team.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that two individuals have been arrested in connection with the brawl.

Melaka Tengah OCPD Asst Comm Afnizar Ahmad said the duo were injured as a result of the incident, adding that three police reports were lodged over the case.

He said the case is being investigated under Section 147 of the Penal Code for rioting.

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