Death threats to politicians

Death threats to politicians

PETALING JAYA - At around 3am on September 2008, a motorcyclist rode by the house of Seputeh MP Teresa Kok.

He flung a Molotov cocktail and a bottle containing a letter filled with vulgarities into the compound of the DAP politician's home.

Fortunately, the bottles didn't ignite. No one was hurt during the attacks.

But Kok felt fearful and worried. She believed the attack was to instil fear in her and to frighten her from performing her duties as an MP.

In 2009, Kok received another threat on her blog telling her that she, 'should be taught with blood.'

"Will they come to kill me? It is probable. This is something that nobody can guarantee," said Kok.

When asked if the threats have ever deterred her from carrying out her duties, she replied with a firm, 'No."

A question that pops up during these instances is: How many of the threats actually materialise?

Just two weeks ago, both Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and PKR Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim became the focus of twitter attacks telling them to be careful for their lives.

"To evaluate the seriousness of a death threat, we must assess the context and nature of the case. Politicians should always be alert when it comes to safety, especially high profile figures," said Dr. Tunku Mohar Tunku Mohd. Mokhtar, lecturer of political science at IIUM.

"It has occurred before (deaths) although they are not common. Assassination isn't part of our culture. Nevertheless, threats should not be taken lightly," agreed political analyst Dr Shaharuddin Badaruddin.

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