Batu Pahat Umno chief denies involvement in flash mob protest

Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi (centre) speaks to his lawyers at the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 12, 2021. — Picture by Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi (centre) speaks to his lawyers at the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 12, 2021. — Picture by Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — Ex-Batu Pahat MP Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi has denied any involvement in the recent flash mob protest in Parit Raja.

He said his name could have been possibly tied to the incident since he is the Batu Pahat Umno chief, and also because he is a vocal critic of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's administration.

“It should be explained that Parit Raja is within the parliamentary area of the Seri Gading seat, not Batu Pahat. Therefore, do not simply hurl accusations.

“What should be considered is why the rakyat are willing to do this on the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, rather than simply catching them,” Puad said in a Facebook post.

He added that there have been people who spend the first day on the highways while holding the banner 'Kerajaan Gagal' aloft.

“May the 8th PM set foot in reality. Congratulations to the people of Parit Raja,” Puad said.

A video of the incident went viral yesterday, showing people in cars and motorcycles blocking a busy intersection while burning flares and holding up a 'Kerajaan Gagal' banner.

Yesterday, Batu Pahat police chief ACP Ismail Dollah said the incident is being investigated under Section 144 of the Penal Code for unlawful assembly, Section 269 of the Penal Code for a negligent act likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life, and Section 8 of the Explosives Act 1957 for the possession of firearms, ammunition or explosives.

The police have also arrested a 21-year-old man for rioting and setting off a flare in two separate incidents.

Preliminary investigations have determined the incident took place between the late hours of Wednesday (May 12) and midnight yesterday at a bridge area in Parit Raja.

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