28 July, 2006

Tear Gas Attack On Dr Mahathir

Tear Gas Spray Forces Dr Mahathir To Cancel Speech

According to the latest report,former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who arrived here this morning for a one-day visit to Kelantan was forced to cancel his speech to an awaiting crowd at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport when an unknown person sprayed tear gas into his face.

He was seen coughing as he stood in a sun-roofed four w
heel-drive to begin his speech using a loudhailer at about 11am.

More than 1,000 people had gathered at the airport to wait for the arrival of the former premier.

Meanwhile, state police chief Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah said police had yet to identify the substance used in the tear gas and that no arrest had been made.

"Investigation will take some time," he told reporters.

Seeing that Dr Mahathir was coughing badly, a few of his assistants led him out of the four-wheel drive to another vehicle and left the airport.

Several journalists, cameramen and photographers from the local and foreign media who were nearby Dr Mahathir also complained of eye irritation after the incident.

Dr Mahathir's special officer, Sufi Yusoff, when contacted, said Dr Mahathir's health was not affected by the incident and that the former prime minister would continue with the programme of his visit as scheduled.

Among those present to greet Dr Mahathir at the airport were former Kelantan Menteri Besar Tan Sri Mohamed Yaacob, former Pasir Mas MP Datuk Ibrahim Ali
and former New Straits Times group editor-in-chief Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad.

Dr Mahathir, who then attended a luncheon at a hotel, would attend an event organised by former Umno elected representatives later in the day before giving a speech at a dinner hosted by the Kelantan People's Action Council led by Ibrahim.


Abdullah Irked By Tear Gas Incident

Expressing regret over the tear gas incident which befell Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Kota Baharu Friday, the Prime Minister ordered the police to cond
uct an immediate investigation and to take stern action against those responsible for the act.

"I regret and am very angry that such an incident happened," Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also Internal Security Minister, told Bernama, noting that he was informed by police on the incident.

"I have directed Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan for the police to immediately probe the incident and to take stern action against those who committed the act," he added.

The former prime minister who arrived in Kota Baharu this morning for a one-day visit to Kelantan, was forced to cancel his speech to an awaiting crowd at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport when an unknown person sprayed tear gas into his face.

Dr Mahathir was seen coughing as he stood in a sun-roofed four wheel-drive to begin his speech using a loudhailer at about 11 am.

More than 1,000 people had gathered at the airport to wait for his arrival.

Abdullah said those responsible for the incident should be severely punished.

He said the matter should be immediately solved 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.

"As such, the police must be fast in tackling the m
atter and take stern action," said Abdullah.

Latest update on the attack on Mahathir

(Malaysia Today)

According to the latest report received by Malaysia Today, Datuk Nik Safia bin Nik Yussof was the ‘unidentified person’ who sprayed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad with either mace or pepper spray.

Datuk Nik Safia, one-time Deputy Chairman of Umno Kuala Kerai, had earlier stormed into the airport with six tough-looking bouncers in boots and leather jackets and confronted Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad (ex-Member of Parliament Kok Lanas). He the
n demanded that he be allowed to ‘take’ Tun Dr Mahathir.

Tan Sri Abdullah would not engage Datuk Nik Safia who then said that he would ‘take’ Mahathir at all costs.

When Mahathir arrived he was ushered into Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s Pajero. Datuk Nik Safia then sprayed mace into the Pajero and grabbed the shocked Mahathir and bundled him into his (Datuk Nik Safia) own car and zoomed off.

KB teargas attack on Mahathir-Despicable a
nd contemptible

The despicable teargas attack on former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Kota Baharu on his arrival this morning must be condemned by all Malaysians in the strongest possible terms as it represents a culture which is completely unacceptable and must not be allowed to take root in Malaysia.

However strongly or even viscerally one disagrees with another, and undoubtedly Mahathir is the object of powerful sentiments of both animosity and support, there can be no excuse for such a physical attack on another person .more....

----Lim Kiat Siang

Botox ban for Malaysian Muslims

Muslims in Malaysia are going to have to learn to live with their wrinkles, after the country's top Islamic body ruled against Botox injections.

The council decided that the serum contained prohibited substances, including those derived from pigs.

At the last meeting of the National Fatwa Council, Malaysia's top Muslim clerics decided to ban black metal music - a kind of heavy metal.

They also ruled that it was alright for Muslims to eat cheese.

But they could not make up their minds about Botox.

Now they have come down against it, amidst fears that it contains pig products.

Amongst Muslim Malays, eating pork or coming into contact with pigs is a greater taboo than drinking or adultery.

The ruling is expected to find its way into Malaysia's Islamic laws.

However, there is little the authorities can do to stop the country's Botox set travelling abroad to get their wrinkles ironed out.
--- By Jonathan Kent
BBC News, Kuala Lumpur

A Article on Mideast by David Hirst
(Guanlian .co.uk-comment is free)

The 'Arab system' is dying in Lebanon

It is has been axiomatic for generations: the Palestine problem is the central issue of Arab politics, and of the so-called "Arab system" which - through its chief institution, the Arab League, embodying the collective will of 22 Arab states - is supposed to guard the higher interests and basic security of the Arab "nation". But the system manifestly does so no more; for Arab commentators the twin crises of Gaza and Lebanon dramatize a tectonic shift in the region's affairs.

"With this Hizbullah operation," said Beirut columnist Hussam Itani, "the collapse of the Arab system has given birth to its alternative." That alternative, anarchic by definition, is one in which non-state actors derive their strength from the very fact that, militant, populist, welling up from below, they have little to do with the system, a system they render yet more impotent and irrelevant as they impose their agenda on it and the world. more....


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