AYER HITAM, Johor: Riot police were mobilised outside a results centre in Ayer Hitam, Johor on Wednesday evening (May 9) after crowds were seen stopping unmarked cars from entering.
The crowd – with numbers estimated to be in the hundreds – was seen gathered around cars, chanting “Bersih” and gesturing at the vehicles. Comments among the crowd suggested that there were concerns that results in the opposition’s favour were not being signed off by officials.
After the riot police arrived, they formed a protective formation for the cars, pushing the crowd back. Shortly after the intervention, which resulted in scuffles between the police and the crowd, the situation calmed down.
Following the scuffles, Chew Peck Choo, the DAP’s candidate for the Yong Peng state seat, appeared and appealed for calm. The crowd cheered after she urged everyone to disperse and go home, with many apparently heeding her advice.
One eyewitness voiced concerns about the vehicles entering the centre.
“I’ve been here since evening, we’ve been watching every car that enters and leaves,” voter Ah Siong told Channel NewsAsia. “We don’t understand how some cars were let in just like that and don’t know what’s happening.
“We want this to be a fair election with no hanky-panky.”
Another eyewitness, Azman, said he “never expected to see such scenes”.
The Yong Peng voter, who said he had gone to the centre to wait for the election results, said the police were “a bit rude” when addressing the crowd, but praised the professionalism of the riot police.
“The riot police (Federal Reserve Unit) when they arrived were very professional, they managed to push back the crowd to clear a path for the vehicles and regained control here,” he said.
“I’m just worried that the results announcement will be delayed,” he added.
The unrest came as vote-counting was underway across Malaysia for the country’s general election.
All 222 parliamentary seats are being contested in this general election, along with 505 state seats. Nearly 14.5 million Malaysians were eligible to vote between 8am and 5pm, at the country’s 8,253 polling stations.