Bomb squad locked in school as supporters clash at Permatang Pauh by-election

Bomb squad locked in school as supporters clash at Permatang Pauh by-election

PERMATANG PAUH, Malaysia - A blogger was injured and bleeding from his head, a police bomb squad was locked in a school, police cars were vandalised and supporters clashed as chaos reigned during polling here.

Mahathir Mohammad, a blogger and freelance journalist attached with KLXpress, and a policeman were among those injured as rowdy supporters clashed in SK Tanah Liat, where stones and bottles were thrown.

Mahathir sustained injuries to his head while filming the rowdy group at around 11am Thursday.

He was rushed to the Bukit Mertajam district hospital where he received eight stitches to close the gaping wound.

Policeman Kpl Abdul Wahab Nor, who is from the narcotics unit, had stones thrown at him as he tried to pacify the crowd and sustained injuries on his forehead.

Penang police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said three police cars were vandalised on the eve of polling day at SK Bukit Indera Muda.

Unruly supporters also locked the school gate, trapping the bomb squad inside the compound as they were conducting checks there.

In Guar Perahu, unruly supporters were seen attacking their rival's machinery, scaring voters in the area. A video of the incident has gone viral on social media.

Police tightened control in SK Tanah Liat, SK Menanti, SMK Mengkuang and Kampung Pertama, which were regarded as hot spots.

Despite massive traffic congestion leading to polling centres, voters continue to swarm in to cast their ballots.

However, observers said a significant percentage of PAS members and supporters appeared to have boycotted the by-election.

"Not many of them (PAS) went out to vote today," said an observer.

PKR had earlier ignored Permatang Pauh PAS grassroots' members demand for an apology for objecting against the implementation of hudud in Kelantan.

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