Was JB PKR service centre attack done by thugs sent by rival faction? Sources believe so

Ben Tan
The Johor Baru Parliamentary Service Centre had been splashed with red paint and a chicken carcass with a threatening message thrown in front of the door. ― Picture via Facebook/Akmal Nasir

JOHOR BARU, Nov 30 — Thugs hired by a rival faction within PKR was believed to be involved in the death threats and vandalism against Johor Baru MP Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir’s service centre in Larkin here this week, sources have told Malay Mail.

One source within the party claimed the unprovoked threat was initiated from a rival faction within the party’s Youth ranks who were unhappy with Akmal, who also serves as the wing’s chief.

“From information received, we believe that some PKR Youth members were unhappy with Akmal’s stand that did not want party deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali officiating their convention next month.

“This became obvious on Sunday after Akmal warned that wing members will be hauled before the disciplinary board if they continue to insist on Azmin to officiate the PKR Youth congress,” said the source, who wished to remain unnamed.

The same source said the Johor Baru PKR division has also conducted its internal probe, which suggested that they were maybe the work of local gangsters hired by certain quarters within the party.

“The modus operandi is synonymous with thugs hired by illegal money lenders, but in this case we believe that the incident was politically-motivated.

“Whatever the case, the mess has since been cleaned up and we will leave all investigations to the police,” said the source, adding that the possible suspects were still unknown.

Another source claimed the threat was also believed to stem from dissatisfaction that Akmal, as Youth chief, did not act with a “big enough heart” with regards to his deputy chief Muhammad Hilman Idham‘s insistence that Azmin should officiate the wing congress in Melaka as per the party tradition.

“Akmal’s act had in fact brushed away the ‘Cartel’-linked members who wanted party traditions to prevail which he should also acknowledge as part of AMK despite his claims of uniting the wing members.

“This has further angered our members with the widening factionalism within AMK and members taking sides,” said the other source who wished to be anonymous.

AMK is the initials for Angkatan Muda Keadilan, the Malay name of the wing; while the “Cartel” referred to those aligned with Azmin’s camp.

On Wednesday, Akmal revealed that the note left at his service centre in Johor Baru which was vandalised was a death threat.

The 33-year-old Johor Baru MP told reporters at Parliament that he had lodged a police report on the matter.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that police investigations have centred on the items found at the scene, including the chicken carcass and note which has been sent for forensic analysis.

Police are investigating the case as committing mischief and criminal intimidation under Sections 427 and 506 of the Penal Code, but has so far made no mention of hired thugs.

When contacted, Johor PKR deputy chief Jimmy Puah Wee Tse said the party’s state leadership condemns such threats and acts of vandalism on any of its members.

He said Johor PKR is fully behind Akmal on this and will give him the support needed.

However, he declined to comment on claims that the threats were from a rival faction and involved thugs, but added that such negative acts had no place in today’s society.

“At the same time, we believe that this latest incident will not affect next weekend’s PKR National Convention that is scheduled to be held at the Melaka International Trade Centre,” he told Malay Mail, referring to Johor PKR.

Malay Mail could not get Akmal to comment, and is attempting to contact Hilman and Azmin.

Yesterday, PKR officially announced that Azmin will open the national congress of the party’s Women’s wing, while former president and party advisory council Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will open its Youth wing’s congress.

Simmering tensions between the two sides appeared to bubble over after Azmin was unceremoniously dropped from opening the PKR Youth congress on December 6, in a departure from the party’s convention.

The feuding escalated again when the Youth wing sacked its permanent chairman and his deputy, both of whom are seen to be in Azmin’s camp.

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