Pas mob stops nine buses ferrying voters

NST: 7 March 2008
A mob believed to be Pas supporters stopped nine busloads of voters from entering the state capital at 5am today. In the incident at Kuala Ibai here, the mob assembled at the cross junction near Masjid Terapung to prevent the buses from making its way to the pick-up point at Wisma Darul Iman, the state administrative building. However, none of the 350 passengers were harmed and no arrests were made although two buses had its windows cracked, and parts of it dented after the group threw rocks at the vehicles.
State Police Chief SAC I Datuk Ayub Yakub said police rushed to the scene with the Light Strike Force and Public Order Riot Unit after receiving a distress call. The crowd dispersed later to perform their subuh prayers at 6am although some loitered around after 7am.
Batu Buruk Pas candidate Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi, who was at the scene, helped ease the tension. Some members of the mob tried to to head towards Wisma Darul Iman but police kept them at bay. Police also cordoned off the area.
Ayub said police escorted the buses in stages to Wisma Darul Iman to protect the passengers’ safety.
“We will take stern action against those who attempted to stop the buses. If you have information regarding phantom voters, tell us,” he said. “How can you simply stop these buses. Who do you think you are?”
Those involved will be investigated for unlawful assembly and possession of weapons during a riot and obstructing voters.
Ayub took to task Pas leaders who have no control over their supporters and members. “It seems that provocative statements by party leaders have given supporters the green light to resort to such acts,” he said.
Last week, Pas threatened to stop buses allegedly ferrying phantom voters from entering Kelantan and Terengganu on polling day.
Later, State Pas Election Commissioner Datuk Mustafa Ali claimed that some of the voters ferried in these buses were not locals.
“We also have information that out-of-the-state Indonesian and Myanmar workers will also cast their votes in the state. If we find them at polling stations today, we may resort to public arrest,” he said at the Kuala Terengganu Pas Information headquarters here today.
“The last time we checked, 150 buses, ferrying voters, left Kuala Lumpur for Terengganu and Kelantan on Thursday. However, most of them are local students.”