Malaysia elections: Cops find second device at blast site of BN ceramah

A bomb squad officer sifting through rubbish looking for explosive devices at Taman Jawi Jaya, Nibong Tebal.

NIBONG TEBAL, Malaysia - Police found another explosive device at the site of a Barisan Nasional ceramah here where a late night blast on Tuesday injured a party worker.

Penang police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said the device was found after police closed off the area for investigation.

"The bomb squad managed to detonate it from afar using a bomb disposal robot some five hours later. The device had no shrapnel but it was designed to create a loud bang meant to frighten the crowd," he said at the scene of the blast in Taman Jawi Jaya here yesterday.

He said the first blast was due to an improvised explosive device (IED) and not firecrackers as originally thought.

"We believe that the culprit behind this wanted to set off a second explosion after the first blast. We have set up a task force to investigate the incident," he said, adding that it had so far recorded statements from seven witnesses in the case, which is being probed under Section 6 of the Explosives Act.

DCP Abdul Rahim said CCTV cameras installed near the site were not functioning.

During the incident, a Barisan worker was walking past a rubbish dump near the ceramah site when the explosion occurred, injuring him with a piece of plastic.

At the same time, Penang Gerakan chairman Datuk Teng Hock Nan was speaking at the ceramah which was attended by about 3,000 people.

Meanwhile, Zaidi Ramli, 35, who was injured in the first explosion, said he was determined to help Barisan despite being badly shaken up by the incident.

The Lima Kongsi Umno Youth chairman said he was thrown back by the blast and felt a sharp pain in his right calf.

"Blood started oozing out from my leg," he said, adding that doctors at the Sungai Bakap Hospital later removed plastic shrapnel the size of a 20 sen coin from his leg.

"I was given seven stitches for my wounds. However, it won't deter me from helping Barisan win in the general election," he said.

In IPOH, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said he had directed state police chiefs to increase security at ceramah and asked all political parties to inform the authorities of their venues.

"This is to ensure that the authorities can take early preventive measures by checking out the premises before the event. I assure the public that we have everything under control and are using all elements within the police force to apprehend the culprit.

"I'm issuing a stern warning to the individual or group behind this irresponsible and unacceptable act to surrender before we catch you," he said after visiting the Perak contingent headquarters yesterday.

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