Attack is to undermine state gov't, says CM

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The early morning attack on the DAP headquarters and three service centres in Penang is seen as a systematic effort to subvert, threaten and undermine the state government.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the incident was serious as this was the first time in history that the safety and security of the service centre of a head of  government had been jeopardised.

The DAP secretary-general said the Penang Pakatan Rakyat government was elected by the people.

He urged party members and supporters to remain calm and be prepared.

“We do not know how many more centres will be attacked but we will definitely be stepping up our security measures,” Lim said during his visit to state DAP headquarters on Jalan Rangoon.

“However serious the attack, it will not deter us from serving the people and to continue with state policies and programmes that benefit the people,” he added.

Lim, the Air Putih assemblyperson, was referring to his service centre which was also smeared with four packets of red paint.

Lim’s service centre is yet to install CCTV cameras while that machine at the state DAP’ headquarters captured scenes of two men wearing helmets and red and white T-shirts hurling packets of paint at the building.

Other affected service centres are in Dato Keramat and Pulau Tikus.

Lim urged the police to probe the incidents thoroughly as inaction would encourage similar attacks in the future.

He said similar attacks on the party’s buildings in 2011 had also not yielded any action from the police.

During the press conference at the DAP headquarters, the CCTV recording was screened for  reporters.

In an immediate response, state Gerakan Youth vice-chief Albert Tan condemned the act as “childish”.

Tan said if the attack took place at only one centre, one could conclude that it could have been done by a dissatisfied DAP supporter.

“However, the attack involved three other places, and looks like it was self-directed to gain sympathy,” Tan said in a comment on Malaysiakini 's Chinese Facebook page.

“I cannot see any other motive involved. The paint only costs a few ringgit but the impact is very high,” he added.

'Advise supporters not to act irresponsibly'

Meanwhile, at a press conference called by the state police headquarters, deputy state police chief Abdul Rahim Jaafar attributed the incident to “sabotage involving political elements”.

Abdul Rahim urged parties from both sides of the political divide to advise their supporters not to act irresponsibly towards their opponents.

He said police would investigate the incidents under Section 427 of the Penal Code, which deals with committing mischief and thereby causing damage to the amount of RM25 and above, which carries a jail sentence of up to two years or a fine or both.

The police have so far the police have received eight reports from various parties - DAP (four), PKR (one), Umno (two) and Gerakan (one).

These reports, Abdul Rahim said, involved damages to buildings, banners and vehicles of the parties.

“Police will increase our monitoring. It is not that we are not taking action, we are investigating, and we also need the public to come forward with information if they have any,” said.

“In the incident this morning, we cannot identify anyone yet as the CCTV recording is very blur. So we urge all political parties to act professionally in politics,” Abdul Rahim added.

“There are hints that the general election will be called soon. These cases, if not controlled, can lead to safety and security issues of the state.

“We do not want Penang to become an unpeaceful place,” he stressed.

Abdul Rahim said such attacks were not only directed at DAP or Pakatan Rakyat alone but were also at Gerakan recently, when its war truck was splashed with red paint when parked outside the party’s headquarters on Jalan Macalister.

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