Published: Monday March 18, 2013 MYT 1:25:00 PM
Updated: Monday March 18, 2013 MYT 3:56:22 PM
Man detained over disturbance at Zulkifli Noordin's ceramah
BUKIT MERTAJAM: Police have detained a man in connection with a commotion during a ceramah by Kulim Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Noordin at a school in Penanti here on Sunday.
The suspect, in his 50's, was picked up in the vicinity of the SMK Guar Perahu after he and a group comprising about 60 supporters of several opposition parties gatecrashed the ceramah, and hurled eggs and uttered provocative words at the 500-strong audience.
Permatang Pauh Umno division chief Datuk Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid said the group blocked people from entering or leaving the school after the organisers quickly closed the main gate for security reasons.
He said although policemen arrived shortly and brought the situation under control, the standoff lasted more than two hours till after the ceramah ended at midnight.
He said several people told him that one of the youths threw eggs into the school compound and tried to cut the wires to a speaker. Nobody was injured in the incident.
Abdul Jalil said they also shouted at Zulkifli, a former PKR leader, to stop his talk.
“The 1,000-odd people inside the hall, however, stayed on till the ceramah ended.
“Zulkifli ignored them and continued his speech,” he said when contacted after the incident.
Abdul Jalil said he did not attend the ceramah, adding that none of his division members were involved in its organising.
“It is very disappointing to see the youths behave this way.
“When they organise ceramahs, our supporters do not resort to such unruly behaviour.
“It is so undemocratic and unbecoming of the Opposition to allow such things to happen,” he said.
Seberang Jaya assemblyman Datuk Arif Shah said he believed the youths were not from Penanti.
“I was told that the youths became angry when Zulkifli started talking about Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, including the online video grab photos that purportedly featured a man who resembled Anwar,” he said.
He said their unruly behaviour was unacceptable, adding that Zulkifli should be allowed to speak freely in a democratic manner. Arif Shah said the group also repeatedly shouted, “Takbir” and “Reformasi”, when Zulkifli was delivering his speech.
After the ceramah ended, Zulkifli was whisked out of the school in a car with police assistance. Police later detained a man, believed to be the person who led the mob, for investigations.