PKR's double-decker campaign bus was splashed with red paint again, for the third time, while party de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim was on his tour to Johor this afternoon.
According to Johor PKR chief Chua Jui Meng, the vehicle was attacked outside a mosque in Tangkak, Johor.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Tangkak PKR operations room, Chua said Anwar was performing his prayers at the mosque at that time.
The bus was first splashed with red paint and its windscreen smashed in Kota Bharu , Kelantan, on the opening day of its nationwide tour on Aug 31.
A week later it was hit again by red paint in Jasin , Malacca, on Sept 8.
A similar spate of attacks on the new Penang DAP headquarters and service centres followed early this morning.
The bus was splashed with red paint on its right side, while the effects of the Malacca episode - paint marks on the windscreen and the left side - are still visible.
Attack carried out by lone motorcyclist
PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution, who followed the entourage, told Malaysiakini when met at Tangkak PKR operations centre that the incident took place when Anwar and other Pakatan leaders were in a mosque performing prayers.
"When we came out of the mosque, we saw paint on the bus and policemen were taking pictures and conducting an inspection.
"We were told (by the police) that there was one youth riding a motorcycle who threw the paint.
"Police gave a chase and took down the plate number, but later found it to be fake," Saifuddin said.
He said the entourage would continue its statewide Johor tour today and that local Tangkak PKR leaders would take the necessary follow-up action.
"We strongly recommended that they lodge a police report," Saifuddin ( left ) added.
Immediately after the Friday's prayer, Anwar addressed some 300 multi-racial Tangkak folk at the PKR operation center located in Tangkak town.
Describing the perpetrators as ' xiao ren ' (despicable villain in Chinese), Anwar stressed that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is scared of debating with him, hence resorted to such tactics.
Even so, Anwar told reporters later that while he can't be sure today’s attack was by Umno men, he said a similar incident in Malacca was clearly committed by Umno and another one in Alor Setar by Perkasa.
‘Big mistake by Najib’
Although local police had been cooperative in handling the incident, he stressed that the cops must adopt a stronger stance against such cases.
"Until the police are tough against those hooligans throwing stones, bringing weapons, and attacking me while I'm attending mosque, I think this will continue”.
In stark contrast, he pointed to the swift and stern action taken by the police against those who stepped on Najib's photograph during ‘ Janji Demokrasi ’ (Promise of Democracy) on Merdeka eve.
“One step on the photo, immediate attack (against them) but the rest, no action,” he said.
"This is the mistake, a big mistake by Najib. Not one statement against hooliganism and unlawful acts from Najib, not one from the home minister and the prime minister...
"If the prime minister appraises an attitude that he does not care about the law, it is bad for the country, it is time for him to go," Anwar added.
Earlier, a group of about 20 people, calling themselves ‘Patriot’, held a short protest at the junction in front of center’s entrance as Anwar was delivering his speech.
The group held up placards and banners declaring their love for Johor and was observed attempting to block people from entering the shoplot to get to Anwar.
They also held a placard with the words “ Anwar Bapak Puaka Segala malapetaka ” (Anwar the father of all disasters).
When approached by Malaysiakini , one of the senior police officers refused to state why the protesters were allowed to stand in the middle of the junction blocking the traffic flow.
The crowd dispersed within 10 minutes after chanting , “long live the people” thrice.