Jul 28, 2006

Immediate Arrest Order Against 'Spray' Culprit

Excerpt from TheStar
Dr Mahathir described the attack as an attempt to stop him from speaking out.

Describing how he felt, Dr Mahathir said: “It felt something like a sore throat, my eys were stinging, I could not see clearly and removed my glasses.”

Dr Mahathir was on a one-day visit to Kelantan and was scheduled to attend a dialogue and dinner organised by the Kelantan People’s Action Council headed by Datuk Paduka Ibrahim Ali.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he was angry over the incident and ordered the police to conduct an immediate investigation and to take stern action against those responsible for the act.

"I regret and am very angry such an incident has happened," he said, adding that those responsible for the incident should be severely punished.

He said the matter should be immediately resolved to avoid negative implications and misconception among the public.

The Prime Minister also feared that certain quarters would take advantage of the incident by disseminating rumours, especially through the Internet.

Tun Mahathir coughs as he is about to deliver a speech at an airport in the northeastern town of Kota Bharu, July 28, 2006.

Tun Minister Mahathir Mohamad grimaces after he was attacked with pepper spray as he was about to deliver a speech at an airport in the northeastern town of Kota Bharu, July 28, 2006. Mahathir, embroiled in a bitter spat with his successor's administration, was attacked with pepper spray on Friday as he prepared to address a public meeting, an aide said.

** For more pictures, click here (provided by Generasi-M)

Extracted from BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 (Bernama) -- Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said he had ordered an immediate arrest against the culprit who sprayed a form of substance at Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Kota Baharu Friday.

He said police which conducted the investigation, had identified the man who had sprayed at the former prime minister who arrived at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport Friday morning for a one-day visit to Kelantan.

In a statement, Musa said the incident happened following an argument between two groups which organised two events to welcome Dr Mahathir to the state, one led by former Pasir Mas MP Datuk Ibrahim Ali and another by former Kuala Krai Umno deputy chairman Datuk Nik Sapeia Nik Yusoff.

He said while they were accompanying Dr Mahathir to the awaiting car, there was a slight argument between the two groups to usher him to the car belonging to Ibrahim's group.

"Each group tried to usher Dr Mahathir to their car.

"At that time, a man had sprayed some form of substance at Datuk Ibrahim Ali's face, and accidentally splashed onto Tun Dr Mahathir's face and his aide," said Musa.

He said, Dr Mahathir was later ushered by his aide to another car to take him to his hotel.

Musa also denied reports on the Internet that Ibrahim's eyes had been sprayed by men in jackets believed to be from the police special operations force.

He described reports on the net as defaming the police and the government.

Musa warned that the police would take stern action against anyone who spread lies on the Internet and the mass media.

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