DAP’s golden chariot critic assaulted by thugs in Penang

 |Jan 12, 2017
Rajendran at Bukit Mertajam Hospital in Seberang Perai mainland, Penang.
Rajendran at Bukit Mertajam Hospital in Seberang Perai mainland, Penang.

The DAP’s golden chariot fiasco in Penang has reared its ugly head.

On Tuesday afternoon, a group three men has allegedly abducted and assaulted prominent social activist P. Rajendran.

He went through a nearly four-hour violent ordeal in the hands of the three strangers.

Apparently Rajendran was told that he was assaulted for opposing the golden chariot planned by the DAP-led state government during this year’s annual Taipusam festival in George Town City, Penang.

“They told me ‘who the hell are you to condemn the golden chariot and our leader'”, said Rajendran, 55, who is a mediator community of the National Integration and Unity Department under the Prime Minister’s Department.

He was abducted while he was waiting for a friend outside a MacDonald outlet in Permatang Pauh, mainland Seberang Perai, at about 12.30pm.

The three strangers assaulted him outside the outlet before whisking him away in a car, a Proton Waja.

They then took him on a ride along the road to the nearby Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) headquarters in Bandar Baru Perda.

Along the way, Rajendran was assaulted repeatedly and warned not to talk bad about a certain DAP state government leader and not to talk about the golden chariot.

At MPSP, Rajendran said the three men let him sit on a bench and recorded a video to stage a drama as if they assaulted him for allegedly cheating some people of their money.

“They captured the video to show as if I had cheated some people and they have assaulted me for that.

“The allegations were all lies.

“Truth is they beat me up because I had voiced out my opposition against the golden chariot and because I had blasted a certain DAP leader,” said Rajendran, whose violent ordeal did not end at MPSP.

“The three men then took me to a nearby open space and continue to assault.

“They hit on my head, neck and shoulder, and stepped on me repeatedly,” said Rajendran from his hospital bed in Bukit Mertajam Hospital.

He had sustained a swollen head and neck.

The trio then took Rajendran in the car to a shopping mall in Bukit Mertajam where the social acvitist was first assaulted at a car park then at a KFC outlet.

Escape

Then he was being driven in the car along Bukit Tengah when Rajendran opened the car door, jumped out and escaped.

“They gave me a chase but I somehow managed to flee from the place,” said Rajendran, formerly the Hindu Youth Organisation (HYO) Penang chairman and national deputy president.

He then admitted himself at the Bukit Mertajam Hospital to seek medical treatment. He had been discharged on Wednesday evening.

Rajendran, who was also previously the Malaysian Youth Organisation (MYC) treasurer, believed that two of his assailants were from Kuala Lumpur area while one was from Penang.

He has lodged police report at central Seberang Perai police headquarters in Bandar Baru Perda, Bukit Mertajam.

Prior to the attack, Rajendran had received threatening Whatsapp audio messages after he had posted an audio message, in which he had vehemently opposed the golden chariot, a week ago.

Golden Chariot

The golden chariot procession is scheduled to be organised by the DAP-dominated Penang government via Penang Hindu Endowment Board (PHEB).

The unprecedented and unwarranted golden chariot was apparently to rival the traditional silver chariot procession conducted by the Tamil Hindu sub-community Chettiars.

However, critics have argued that the state-sponsored DAP’s golden chariot was unconstitutional as Hindu religious activities, like other non-Islamic religions, shall be managed by the respective communities in accordance to Article 11.3(a) of the Federal Constitution.

For past few months, DAP leaders and supporters have stirred up Hindu sentiments in Penang to garner support for their golden chariot by playing up caste politics.

Video clip

Meanwhile today, a recorded video clip showing the assault on Rajendran by the men at MPSP had gone viral in the social media.

In Whatsapp groups dominated by pro-DAP supporters, certain group members were heard condemning, insulting and cynically joking about Rajendran in reference to the video.

DAP backers were clearly using the video to glorify and justify the attack as appropriate to punish a “fraudulent” Rajendran, who insisted that those allegations were untrue.

“I was assaulted because I opposed the golden chariot and condemned certain leaders in PHEB,” said Rajendran.

Asoghan (insert) wants police to speed up probe and nab the assailants of social activist Rajendran.
Asoghan (insert) wants police to speed up probe and nab the assailants of social activist Rajendran.

Rowdy politics

It’s learnt that the police had collected CCTV evidence on the incident from the McDonald outlet.

The People’s Alternative Party (PAP) national publicity secretary G. Asoghan, who visited Rajendran at the hospital, called on the police to expedite their investigation to nab the culprits.

“We cannot condone violence and rowdy politics,” he said.

Thuggery politics is not a stranger to Penang since 2008.

On Aug 17, 2014, a social activist Ong Eu Soon was assaulted by a group of men from the state-sponsored Voluntary Patrol Squad (PPS).

The assault led to the Home Ministry’s ban on PPS.

Over the years, journalists and critics have also received threatening phone calls from strangers for being critical against the DAP government or certain leaders.

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Athi Shankar has been a journalist for past 30 years. He believes that democratic rights come with responsibility.