COMMENT | The bottom line of every democratic contest is that there must be no violence. If there are no clear limits to an electoral contest, then competition would lose its meaning.
Reports and videos showed that a PKR Subang candidate assaulted PKR deputy presidential candidate Rafizi Ramli yesterday in Keningau, Sabah. It is common knowledge among PKR members that Keningau is Rafizi’s stronghold, with his close ally Raymond Ahuar commanding substantial Murut support.
With a party election going down to the wire, one division like Keningau would make a huge difference. The reason for the assault is yet to be fully disclosed, but video evidence had shown that the PKR Subang candidate shouted insults at Rafizi and threatened to attack him.
Although there is no video evidence to prove that Rafizi was physically punched, eyewitness accounts suggest this too had taken place.
Even if we assume that no punches landed on Rafizi, the video evidence showing the shouting of insults and threats to attack is sufficient to constitute a criminal act, deserving of investigation, arrest, and prosecution.
This is because, in law, assault doesn’t require physical touch. Section 351 of the Penal Code states that assault requires only words and gestures that could give rise to the apprehension that the person will use criminal force.
Therefore, since the video shows the PKR Subang candidate shouted insults directly at Rafizi while approaching him aggressively to the point of necessitating Rafizi to be protected, then this is a criminal act of assault...