05 June 2004

Cameraman assaulted during fracas in silat venue

SEREMBAN, June 5 (Bernama) -- A cameraman from a private television station, covering the 10th Sukma's pencak silat events, was assaulted during a fracas at the Seremban Municipal Hall here today.

Mohd Raes Rajab, 27, a cameraman with Silversports Sdn Bhd alleged that he was assaulted twice, first inside the competition hall and later outside the hall.

Mohd Raes said he suffered injuries to his lips during the attack while his camera was snatched away by a group of spectators, believed to be family members of a Kedah silat exponent, who lost his earlier bout. He was filming a commotion that broke out at the venue.

He said while filming a bout between Perak and Labuan, a number of spectators interrupted the match by throwing chairs into the competition area, believed to be an act of protest against an earlier decision by the judges to award the match to Sarawak.

"I focused on the incident and continued rolling my camera when the group turned on me," said Mohd Raes.

He added that during the commotion, he was punched in the face and his camera taken away and when he came out of the hall, the same man had assaulted him.

"I lost my camera and when an official managed to find it later, I found that it was already damaged," said Mohd Raes who received outpatient treatment at Hospital Seremban.

He later made a police report at the Rahang Police station, Seremban.

The Malaysian Pencak Silat Association secretary Megat Zulkarnain Omar Din who confirmed the incident said the commotion started after the men's 45-50kg (Silat Olaraga) category, quarter-final match which featured Kedah's Mohd Khoharullah Abdul Majid and Sarawak's Mohammad Zuraidi Abu Bakar.

"The match was a 50-50 encounter but Mohammad Zuraidi was declared the winner by a 3-2 score. The action of the camareman to film the incident must have upset them," said Megat.

He added that no officials, athletes, coaches or judges were involved.

"The association views the incident very seriously as it is shameful. We have asked Kedah to submit a report immediately. For now we will allow the police to handle the matter," he said.

Meanwhile, the Sportswriters Association of Malaysia's deputy president Abu Bakar Atan referred to the incident as shameful and an act of irresponsible people.

"Nobody should obstruct the media from carrying out their duties. They are not looking for trouble but merely doing their job," he said.

He urged the organisers and the police to take immediate action against the culprits.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-21574916_ITM

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