KUALA LUMPUR, 18 Aug 2008: The police will soon deploy more police personnel to Permatang Pauh to be on duty during the by-election, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said.
According to a Bernama report, he said the move was meant to maintain law and order during the campaign period, right up to polling day on 26 Aug, following reports of unruly party supporters during nomination on 16 Aug.
He said this at a briefing here, which was also attended by Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.
At present, some 3,000 police personnel have been deployed to the area.
Two press photographers were attacked by unruly mobs dressed in Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) T-shirts on nomination day.
Ismail said that so far, 15 police reports had been lodged and the police were investigating 10 of them.
They include six for holding assemblies without permits while the others pertained to wrongful restraint, causing hurt and criminal intimidation.
PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is one of the contenders in the by-election, has apologised over the incident but also noted that the party would investigate the matter to see if the unruly people were really party supporters.
“I do not condone violence and I am sorry over the incident. We have to investigate the incident,” he was quoted as saying in The Star on 17 Aug.
The report said Siren Nafiz from Berita Harian and Halim Berber from France’s HBL Press News were allegedly attacked by PKR supporters outside the nomination centre at the Tuanku Bainun Teachers Training College in Jalan Penanti-Mengkuang Titi.
According to the report, Anwar urged the police to investigate the incident, and said that although some groups wore PKR T-shirts and carried party banners, it did not necessarily mean they were party members.