Batu Pahat flare-up – was it funded and planned a week earlier?

PETALING JAYA: The “kerajaan gagal” gathering in Batu Pahat, which took place in the early hours of Hari Raya, is said to have been planned a week ago.

According to a source, the gathering was also funded by a man who police are still tracking down.

The source also confirmed that several of the arrested suspects, including one who supplied the banners used at the gathering, admitted to receiving payment from an unknown individual.

Another suspect had told police that the demonstration was planned over the course of one week.

The viral video shows a group of individuals lighting flares and setting off fireworks in Parit Raja, Batu Pahat, on Thursday.

The source told FMT that the gathering was held on the morning of Hari Raya and flares were set off in order for the incident to become viral.

According to the source, this was done on the instructions of an unidentified man who distributed Raya payments or “duit raya” to the suspects.

One of the suspects had also admitted to receiving a set of flares from a supplier in Johor, sold at RM25 each.

Preliminary investigations found that the gathering, which involved around 40 people, was organised to show their dissatisfaction with the government, and that the incident could threaten public order.

The source said that one suspect had created a banner for the demonstration to protest against the third nationwide movement control order.

It was previously reported that police had arrested 20 people believed to be involved in a gathering in Parit Raja, Batu Pahat, Johor, which saw a group of people lighting flares and hanging up a banner with the words “kerajaan gagal” (failed government) on it.

Batu Pahat police chief Ismail Dollah said those arrested were Parit Raja residents aged between 16 and 28.

He said investigations are being conducted under Section 144, Section 269 and Section 505(b) of the Penal Code, Section 8 of the Explosives Act, Rule 17(1) of the Prevention and Control of Infections Diseases Ordinance 2021 (Act 342) and Section 48 of the Road Transport Act.

Earlier today, Umno supreme council member Puad Zarkashi had denied any links to the gathering, clarifying that Parit Raya was under the parliamentary constituency of Sri Gading and not Batu Pahat.

He said some people were blaming him because he was Batu Pahat Umno chief and had consistently criticised the Perikatan Nasional government as a failed one.

FMT

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