SHAH ALAM: The riot at the ‘Nothing To Hide 2.0’ forum on Sunday was started by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) members to prevent further questions being posed to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
This was the claim made by one of the party’s grassroots leader, Wan Mohammad Ashraf Nasjaruddin.
Wan Mohamad, who is Shah Alam PPBM’s logistics and security chief, claimed he, and not Dr Mahathir, was the target of the chairs that were flung at the start of the incident.
This, he claimed, was because he was waiting for his turn to pose questions to the former prime minister. He claimed that this had irked several others.
"I want to refute a claim by Syed Saddiq (Armada chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman) that chairs flung during the riot were aimed at Tun. The chairs were actually aimed at me. You can refer to videos on YouTube.
"It was supposed to be my turn to ask a question after Taufik Abas, who had asked Tun about Memali. But before I got a chance to, a chair was flung towards me and landed right in front of me. Another steel chair was also thrown towards me from an upper floor by an organising committee member.
"The chairs were not aimed at Tun at all, as Tun was seated far away. I believe this was a tactic to prevent me from directing questions to Tun Dr Mahathir," he told reporters outside Shah Alam district police headquarters, here on Wednesday.
Ashraf, who was accompanied by 20 Armada members, were there to lodge two police reports, one on the incident and another on a death threat made against him and his family.
Ashraf said he had previously lodged a report with the authorities regarding the wealth accumulated by Dr Mahathir and his family, and believed that this could be a reason why some people in PPBM wanted to deny him the opportunity to pose questions during the supposedly no-holds-barred talk programme.
"I wanted to ask Tun firstly on PPBM's failure to take care of the grassroots, and also why he had avoided from answering many questions (during the event).
"This (riot) was only an attempt to shut down the critics. They touted is as ‘nothing to hide’, but it appears that there is everything to hide now."
Ashraf, who claimed he had brought some 3,000 youths to join PPBM since its inception, also called on Syed Saddiq to resign as Armada chief.
He claimed Syed Saddiq was unfit to lead Armada as the latter had failed to ensure the security of its members and the programme, as well as the welfare of Armada members.
On the death threat, Ashraf said a PPBM member had issued a threat against him on Facebook, proclaiming that Ashraf “would be dead soon”.
Ashraf said the person who made the threat, whose identity and photo he had given to police, had also posted Ashraf's MyKad number and threatened to find his parents, wife and children.