March 29, 2009
By SA’ODAH ELIAS, TEH ENG HOCK, SYLVIA LOOI and CLARA CHOOI
TAIPING: A small altercation broke out in front of the Taiping Municipal Council building here during the nomination process at 11am Sunday when Barisan Nasional supporters pelted water bottles at a vehicle ferrying DAP chairman Karpal Singh.
The crowd dispersed quickly upon police intervention.
Karpal, who filed a police report later, was unperturbed.
“We will campaign cleanly. Threats like that will not stop us.
“We were elected on record and not sympathy. It is their weakness and our substance that allowed us to lead in five states,” he said.
It will be a three-cornered fight between candidates from Barisan, PAS and a surprise independent candidate for Bukit Gantang.
Returning officer Datuk Mahmod Morsidi announced that Ismail Safian (Barisan), Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin (PAS) and Kamarul Ramizu Idris had all qualified to contest the by-election.
Hundreds of police personnel, including those of the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU), kept a close eye on proceedings.
Newly elected Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar was heckled by PAS supporters when he arrived at the centre.
The crowd got more riled up when Khairy waved at them. They had to be calmed down by PAS leaders as FRU personnel were put on standby.
The Bukit Gantang seat fell vacant following the death of incumbent Roslan Shaharom of PAS on Feb 9.
The constituency -- which is made up of the three state constituencies of Changkat Jering, Trong and Kuala Sapetang -- has 55,562 registered voters. Of that 62% are Malays, 27% Chinese and 19% Indians.