‘Tear gas gun aimed directly at Anwar’

S Pathmawathy
Jul 12, 11

The police stood prepared with their anti-riot weapons, with one of them aiming his tear gas gun at Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim. That’s what his bodyguard Fayyadh Afiq saw, and he immediately took action.

As he heard the order to fire, Fayyadh said he pulled Anwar away.

Numbed by high dosages of medication, he said his left cheek, on which a metal gas canister landed when the police fired, has not stopped throbbing.

Recalling the incident, he said: “We exited KL Sentral and proceeded marching through the enclosed shelter at the back, where the buses stop.

“Other bodyguards and I were with Anwar and a few other leaders were walking in the front, forming a long column, when I heard a faint sound.

“I am sure it came from an officer using a loudhailer, but with everyone shouting around us, I could hardly hear a thing,” Fayyadh told Malaysiakini.

He then turned towards the riot squad, assembled and ready, and did not need to take a second glance when he spotted the weapon pointed at Anwar.

And then it happened. Fayyadh said he pulled Anwar to the left and immediately felt an excruciating pain as if he was given a heavy blow on his face, followed by a stinging, piercing sensation all over his body from the tear gas.

The 25-year-old, who sustained a broken cheekbone, added that all he could think about was the safety of his boss as they fled the plumes of tear gas.

“We tried to rush Anwar to safety, we ran towards KL Sentral and that’s where he tripped over a pothole and fell.

As they were trapped in the middle, with both exits leading to Jalan Tun Sambanthan sealed off by police, the only way back into the central transit hub was the narrow escalator and staircase, recounted Fayyadh.

Shah Alam MP receives six stitches

After they managed to manoeuvre out of the chaotic situation, he said, they retreated to Anwar’s rented suite at Hilton Hotel, located at another corner of the transportation hub.

“Once up in the suite, we wanted to head to the hospital because a few of us were injured from the melee. But the police guarding the hotel entrance refused to let us out,” he said, muttering profanities under his breath.

After approximately an hour, they managed to wriggle through the police on duty and made their way to a nearby private hospital for treatment.

Fayyadh underwent surgery yesterday, with a titanium plate inserted to stabilise his face bone.

Also injured was Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad of PAS, who said one of the tear gas canisters fired directly at the crowd hit him on the head.

Khalid, who sustained six stitches on his head, said the riot police at KL Sentral’s public bus and airport shuttle route sandwiched him, along with the top leaders of Pakatan and Bersih 2.0, as well as the protesters.

“We stopped when we saw the FRU policemen block our way, and we also noticed the FRU moving in behind us. Without warning, they started shooting tear gas and they were aiming at the demonstrators.

“I turned around to look at the FRU (members) behind us, and suddenly my spectacles flew and there was blood everywhere,” Khalid told a press conference yesterday.

“The doctor who checked me was surprised that the wound was a very clean cut, just like a slice with a knife. This would only happen if tear gas was aimed directly at the people,” Khalid said.

Protesters trapped

These claims were also backed by PKR vice-presidents Nurul Izzah Anwar and N Surendran, who were at the scene and recounted similar descriptions about the police crackdown on the Bersih 2.0 rally participants.

Nurul had said that police trapped the demonstrators within the KL Sentral underpass, on both sides and fired tear gas from both ends.

Aside from Anwar and Khalid, several top Bersih and Pakatan Rakyat leaders were at KL Sentral during the rally on Saturday, including Bersih 2.0 chief Ambiga Sreenevasan, steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah, PAS president Hadi Awang and DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.

They had gathered at the KL Sentral vicinity as they were all among the 91 barred from every other key location for protesters to gather, including, Jalan Syed Putra, Jalan Istana, Jalan Bukit Petaling, Jalan Bellamy and the area surrounding Istana Negara leading towards Stadium Merdeka.

Despite heavy surveillance and a complete lockdown in the capital city, ten of thousands traversed the streets, with a large majority in support of Bersih’s cause for electoral reform, while a small fraction, made up of Umno Youth members, marched in a counter rally.

Bersih 2.0 organisers declared their protest a success, claiming an estimated 50,000 people had marched despite police warnings, and where 1,667 people were arrested.

The government, on the other hand, lauded the rest of Malaysians for not taking part in the street demonstration, and said only 5,000 to 6,000 took part in the Bersih rally.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak rejected the allegations of violence on the part of the police and accused Anwar of masterminding the rally and manipulating rally organisers to bolster his ambition to become prime minister.

“Just hit by a little tear gas … and his photo and video were on YouTube as though he was beaten up, and landed in the hospital,” Najib had ridiculed at an Umno-Malay NGO gathering at the Putra World Trade Centre on Sunday.

  1. #1 by dagen on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 - 11:07 am

    I bet the design was to kill the key opposition people. If so there must be instructions issued on this. I hope raja petra can lay his hands on something juicy to show us.

  2. #2 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 - 11:18 am

    They say at times the best defence is an offensive move, like that cornered mouse deer that attacked the dogs and led to the founding of Malacca.

    Next time under similar circumstances, just overrun the outnumbered police positions but remember to treat them with kindness, love and kisses using ‘minimal force’.

  3. #3 by loveandgratitude on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 - 11:34 am

    “Just hit by a little tear gas … and his photo and video were on YouTube as though he was beaten up, and landed in the hospital,” Najib had ridiculed at an Umno-Malay NGO gathering at the Putra World Trade Centre on Sunday.

    Najis is a Great Liar!

  4. #4 by raven77 on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 - 10:54 pm

    Maybe it was all planned…

    Planned to finish off Anwar….

    That would explain why najib and Muhyuddin were hiding out in Trengganu….

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