KUALA LUMPUR – August 14, 2017: While most in Pribumi Bersatu bluntly blame Umno for ruining their Nothing to Hide 2.0 forum yesterday, there are also those who suggest that the tossing of shoes and flares could have been self-sabotage.
Those for this theory are adamant that the episode was actually am elaborate plan by Pribumi Bersatu to demean Umno.
The forum in Shah Alam featuring Pribumi Bersatu chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was aborted after a ruckus started when a shoe was flung at him while he was responding to a question from the floor.
Shah Alam Umno member Azrul Asraf, who was there, however pointed out that the first person who had a shoe flung at was not Mahathir.
Instead a shoe was first tossed to the person who had asked Mahathir about the Memali incident in 1985 when Mahathir was the prime minister.
“No matter how hard he tries to spin his facts, Mahathir’s answer to the Memali question will be bad for his image.
“So why would Umno want to interrupt and prevent him from answering?” Azrul questioned at Facebook.
A thirty-second video showing a group of Pribumi Bersatu members blocking some in the crowd from chasing the troublemakers also raised questions among netizen.
“Why are they ‘saving’ those hooligans? Pribumi members stopped others from chasing after them as soon as they managed to exit the hall. Why would they do that? Could it be that the entire thing was staged?” wrote Anuar Manan Abas.
Blogger Zakhir Mohamed also echoed a similar suspicion, stemming from the opening remarks of the forum’s master of ceremony.
He pointed out that it was peculiar for an MC to subtly forewarn attendees about the possibility of a disturbance.
“Has anyone ever seen an MC pay tribute to the security personnel of an event and forewarn attendees about possible trouble?
“The ruling party has nothing to gain by sabotaging this event, especially in this manner,” wrote Zakhir at his blog.
Nonetheless, those who believe otherwise insist that the troublemakers were paid by Umno.
Pribumi Bersatu supreme council member Tariq Ismail deemed that the disclaimer by some Umno members insisting that they have nothing to do with the ruckus suggest the opposite.
“None of us are accusing Umno of anything, so why do they need to deny that it was them who planned the provocation?” he wrote at Facebook.
Unlike Tariq, a Pribumi Bersatu supporter Shukur Mohamad, said also at Facebook that everyone knows that the ruckus was Umno’s doing.
“To Umno and all those who protect the kleptocratic regime of the country, know that your end is nigh. Malaysians are smart, we know what you’re capable of and when the time comes, you will reap what you sow,” he added.
Several other Pakatan Harapan leaders have also condemned the act, with PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Azmin Ali accusing the perpetrators as operatives” of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“Fearing open debates, Najib now resorts to gangsterism and it is a cowardly act. He needs to take full responsibility of the criminality caused by his goons at the forum,” wrote Azmin at Facebook.