By-election marred by cries of police brutality

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid, The Malaysian Insider

Padang Serai parliamentarian N Gobalakrishnan is handcuffed and sitting on the ground after scuffling with police during nomination for the Permatang Pasir by-election this morning. – Picture by Jack Ooi

Barely minutes before the by-election here officially kicks off with the nomination of candidates and it's already been marred by physical violence.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders are crying “police brutality” over manhandling and arrest of a PKR lawmaker just outside the nomination centre here.

Padang Serai parliamentarian N Gobalakrishnan claimed he was doing what he was supposed to do – boost the morale of some 2,000 Pakatan Rakyat supporters as they endured the scorching heat while waiting behind the police barricade erected about 300 metres from the nomination centre.

Things turned ugly when the police ordered him to go behind the barricade and the Padang Serai MP argued, then ignored the order and continued to psyche up the crowd with chants of “Reformasi”.

The police then pushed him in an attempt to force him back behind the barricade and this prompted Gobalakrishnan to retaliate, causing a violent ruckus when several policemen tried to pin him down.

Overpowered, Gobalakrishnan was then handcuffed with his face to the road. The scuffle had ripped his pants, he was only in his underwear when the police carried him away on a stretcher.

He was later taken to the Bukit Mertajam Hospital where he is currently seeking treatment after suffering from injuries induced by the scuffle.

It is learnt that the police is planning to arrest the Padang Serai MP and charge him.