Hisham must condemn ‘Kill Tian Chua’ threat, says Ambiga

Boo Su-Lyn, TMI

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan has urged Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to censure Umno supporters for threatening to kill PKR’s Chua Tian Chang, or risk being blacklisted by polls watchdog Bersih 2.0 for condoning political violence.

Party workers shouted “Kill Tian Chua” when the Umno vice-president urged them to rally behind Barisan Nasional (BN) and “eliminate traitors” like PKR vice-president Chua, better known as Tian Chua, whose allies in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) have been accused of instigating the Sulu invasion of Sabah.

“He (Hishammuddin) should come out and make amends and put things right, and confirm that he does not support the crowd’s response,” Ambiga (picture) told The Malaysian Insider today.

“He should come out strongly against political violence of any sort… failing which, he will go on our list of politicians who encourage political violence,” said the Bersih co-chairman.

Ambiga said last Saturday that any Election 2013 candidate deemed responsible for violent incidents during political events would be “named and shamed” by Bersih 2.0 on social media sites like Twitter.

Hishammuddin admitted yesterday that political violence in the country was worsening, but accused PR of exploiting the situation to sow hatred for the government and the police.

He also noted that more incidents of violence might occur during the campaign period of Election 2013, which is expected to be held in weeks, due to the shortage of policemen.

Ambiga said today that Hishammuddin should have stopped the crowd immediately when they threatened Tian Chua, pointing out that the Umno vice-president had control over his party supporters.

“It is intimidation. When it’s a threat to kill, that is an offence under section 503 of the Penal Code that deals with criminal intimidation. He, above all people, should know that,” said the former Bar Council president.

“This goes for all those who are out there campaigning, speaking to their supporters. They have to make it very clear they will not countenance any form of violence or violent behaviour. I expect those who are running for the elections to behave like leaders and to set the right example,” added Ambiga.

The lawyer also called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to condemn the kill threat against Tian Chua, pointing out that Najib had pledged ethical conduct in Election 2013.

“This is all part of ethical conduct in campaigning. It’s important for a statement to be made that all those who are campaigning must do so responsibly and ethically,” said Ambiga.