Referring to last night’s explosion at a BN rally in Nibong Tebal, state chairman Teng Chang Yeow alleged that Pakatan Rakyat had resorted to violence now to disrupt the coalition’s election programmes and activities.
Teng said the blast had tarnished the spirit of democracy and expressed hope that political campaigns would not be marred by such violence.
He called on all political leaders to control their supporters from getting emotional.
Teng hoped that Pakatan leaders would emulate BN by controlling emotions, adding that BN wanted to win this election by campaigning on policies and not with violence
Although he does not feel that BN was under siege, Teng is worried that “people were out to sabotage our events.”
“Yesterday they sabotaged our ceramah in Nibong Tebal by having explosive materials used to disturb our ceramah.
“We condemn all those violent actions and behaviour of the Pakatan in areas where we are have our programme,” Teng told a press conference.
He said the BN machinery would seek help from local neighbourhood watch and voluntary security groups to tighten security during election programmes.
Teng said he would also talk with the state police chief to deploy more enforcement during election rallies including for both BN and Pakatan.
Opposition using schoolchildren
A security guard sustained injuries in the explosion at 10.15pm, which caused panic among a large crowd during the BN election talk at its Nibong Tebal parliamentary constituency operations centre in Jawi.
Penang Umno liaison chief and BN’s Nibong Tebal candidate Zainal Abidin Osman, MCA Wanita chief and BN’s Jawi candidate Tan Cheng Liang and People’s Progressive Party (PPP) state head Loga Bala Mohan and Penang Gerakan chief Dr Teng Hock Nan were present when the explosion took place.
Penang deputy police chief Abdul Rahim Jaafar said the bomb and forensic unit was investigating the explosion and to determine what was used for the explosion.
Initial probe revealed that the explosion had occurred at the back of a rally stage next to the operations centre.
Witnesses claimed the the blast occurred near a pile of rubbish. The impact of the explosion saw rubbish strewn all over the place.
Teng also slammed Pakatan, particularly DAP, for using people below 18, including schoolchildren, to disrupt BN election activities.
“Some BN candidates have complained that schoolchildren are being used by the DAP especially to disturb their election programmes. They claim to want to have a fair and clean election and yet all these actions are deployed to scare off our supporters,” he said.
Najib regrets explosion in Penang
Meanwhile in KENINGAU, BN chairperson Najib Tun Razak expressed regret over the explosion that occurred in Nibong Tebal last night, saying such an incident should not have happened.
The prime minister said all political parties participating in the 13th general election have been advised to uphold discipline and comply with the rules in the run-up to the election.
“Political parties vying for parliamentary and state seats should compete in a healthy manner in tandem with democratic practices,” he said.
Najib, who viewed the incident seriously, hoped all quarters, particularly political parties, to display political maturity to ensure such mishaps did not recur, Bernama reported
Meanwhile, two petrol bombs were hurled at the BN’s operations room in Sungai Leman, Sekinchan, early today.
Anwar condemns explosions and arson
Pakatan Rakyat leader Anwar Ibrahim also condemned the attacks, saying that the timing of the explosions and location of these devices were highly suspicious and were clearly meant to create fear and provoke disorder.
“PKR and Pakatan Rakyat, categorically condemn the culprits who are responsible for these bombs, explosions and arson.
“We have nothing but contempt for those who would cynically endanger Malaysian lives.
“I appeal to all Malaysians, particularly those from Penang, to be vigilant, stay calm and not be swayed by rumours that may arise,” he said in a statement today.
Anwar also commended the Penang police for their quick response and actions, adding that the investigation should be done without fear and without interference.
“We ae made it clear in no uncertain terms that we stand against political violence in any form. We also send our regrets and sympathy to the security guard who was injured in the Nibong Tebal incident.
“We call for a peaceful and orderly election in Malaysia,” he said.