Wednesday, 29 February 2012
'I was assaulted by Umno, Perkasa members and video shows police just stood watch"
A victim of the disruption at Sunday's anti-Lynas rally in Penang, Abbey Ong, says she and her boyfriend were attacked by a hostile group before Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng arrived at the scene.
"My boyfriend, who was nearby tried, to protect me but was hit by the men and injured his fingernail and head," she told a press conference held by Lim in his office today.
"I understand that before I arrived, the group had already been harassing the protesters to stop their rally and return home," he told reporters.
"The rioters also hit and tried to stop my car and spat on the vehicle (as I was leaving the protest venue).
The rally was held at the Speakers Square in Esplanade and attended by more than 500 people, in solidarity with the Himpunan Hijau 2.0 gathering in Kuantan opposing the Australian-owned Lynas Advanced Materials Plant in Gebeng, Kuantan.
Ong, 28, said she was helping to carry some boxes at the rally vanue when a few men "roughly shoved" her from the back and pushed her.
Ong said the incident occured before Lim arrived to give his speech at the rally, contrary to Umno's assertion that chaos erupted after the CM provoked the group.
Ong, a personal assistant to state executive councillor Law Heng Kiang, said she believes the men who assaulted her are members of Umno and the Malay rights group Perkasa.
She was not able to say how many men assaulted her as the situation was "extremely chaotic at that point in time".
At the press event, a video clip of how Ong was attacked was shown to the press.
Lim complains to IGP
Meanwhile, Lim said he has written a letter to Inspectopr-General of Police Ismail Omar about the incident during which his speech on the Lynas issue was disrupted and two journalists from the Chinese press were injured by pro-Lynas supporters.
He accused Umno and Perkasa for rioting and disturbing him during the event.
"Many were pushed and beaten until they fell, including women. It is fortunate that the victims did not retaliate," he added.
Lim also related how the pro-Lynas supporters hurled racist and vulgar statements at him and the anti-Lynas protesters.
In his letter to the IGP, he said, he stated that the reporters - Adam Chew and Lee Hong Chun of Kwong Wah Jit Poh - were injured and sent to the Penang Hospital for treatment.
He reminded Ismail that two reporters from the Chinese media were also injured last year, during a rally at Komtar, where Umno and Perkasa members were also involved.
"This is the second time reporters have been hurt and police did not take action against the attackers," Lim said.
"The attack happened in public and arbitrarily, even in front of the police who were standing nearby, but the police did not do anything to control the situation," he added.
'Video shows police just stood watch'
He claimed that from the video evidence, the police also stood watch and did not try to protect him from those who assaulted his vehicle.
He added that he was invited to the event , organised by local human rights NGO Suaram, as the chief minister of the state.
He said he has lodged a police report and the evidence gathered has been submitted to the police.
"We cannot accept the behaviour of the police who did not do anything to control the situation," Lim said.
"We hope stern action will be taken against those involved so that a similar incident does not happen again."