PONTIAN, Oct 22 — It was like a scene from a movie, where more than 100 violent protestors from two political groups fought with each other and battled the police at Dataran Pontian here today.
Police from the Light Strike Force (LSF), Public Order and Riot Unit (PORU) and the Federal Reserve Unit were quickly deployed to control the situation as smoke bombs and fire were used after the unruly protestors attacked police patrol cars at about 4.30pm.
Within minutes, police managed to contain the situation.
However, another clash between two political party groups was triggered and FRU troopers came in full force with water cannons to contain the protestors, who had used molotov cocktails against the authorities.
The scene above was a one and a half hour by-election simulation exercise by 250 police personnel in preparation for the Tanjung Piai by-election period held in Dataran Pontian today.
Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Kamarudin Md Din said the state police contingent is fully prepared to face any extreme eventualities that may threaten the law and order during the coming Tanjung Piai by-election period.
He said he was confident that all 1,700 police personnel, especially with the various public order and riot elements, are prepared for the duration of the Tanjung Piai by-election period.
“Based on the simulation exercise, (police) have taken the “worst case” scenario approach when it comes to potential threats to public order and peace during the by-election here,” said Mohd Kamarudin at Dataran Pontian hall here today after a simulation exercise.
Earlier, more the 250 police personnel were involved in two simulation exercises at the roads leading to the Dewan Jubli Intan hall.
One was regarding a ballot box that was obstructed by protestors and another a riot scene by two political parties.
Overall, Mohd Kamarudin said he was satisfied with the simulation exercise and it done at the best level possible.
“The various courses attended by police personnel involved today has indeed paid off.
“At such a level, today’s simulation exercise outcome can give confidence to the community here come Nomination Day and also the Polling Day itself,” said Mohd Kamarudin, adding that police ate expecting a more peaceful atmosphere during the coming by-election period.
At present, Mohd Kamarudin said up till today there have not been any police reports lodged related to the Tanjung Piai by-election.
He urged the public to adhere to the law in an effort to maintain law and order.
The EC has set November 2 as Nomination Day and November 16 as polling day for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election.
The by-election was triggered after incumbent, Datuk Dr Md Farid died of heart complications on September 21.
Dr Md Farid, who was from PH’s Bersatu, won the seat in the GE14 after he defeated MCA’s Wee Jeck Seng who represented BN by only 524 votes in a three-cornered contest. The third candidate is Nordin Othman from PAS who had secured 2,962 votes.
The Tanjung Piai constituency is a mixed seat with 57 per cent Malays, 42 per cent Chinese and 1 per cent Indian.
The seat has been traditionally been contested by MCA and DAP since 2004. In 2018, DAP gave the seat to Bersatu to contest under its PH campaign.