• Thugs at my doorstep

    At approx 4.45pm [yesterday] (July 10), three thugs, in their early to late twenties, tried to break into my house in Petaling Jaya.

    Thankfully, they were unsuccessful. Thankfully, I am not hurt. I am immensely grateful at the outpouring of support shown by my friends and family. I am thankful to the police for their quick response in sending three squad cars to my house five minutes after I reported the incident and their follow up on this case.

    Many are probably wondering why I think it was politically motivated rather than just a simple attempted break in. I cannot be 100 per cent sure that it was politically motivated but I’m quite sure of it. And here’s why:

    The thugs came in a car and they parked directly in front of my house, which is about 200m from the community guard house. It is a simple and spartan double story terrace house. It is not a flashy house. I drive a Toyota Vios.

    There are other houses along the same row with Mercedes-Benz and other nicer cars. Some of my neighbours were not at home. It would have been much easier to break into their homes instead of mine (not that I am recommending that they do this). Or a house that is more secluded. Or a house which seems to have more stuff to steal.

    My car was in the driveway. The thugs must have considered the possibility that someone was at home. They broke the automatic gates, which create a huge noise, rather than scaling over the gate, which would have been easy to do and much more discreet.

    I was in the living room when they broke the automatic gate. I got up immediately and shouted at them, screaming “Police! Police!” They didn’t even break their stride after I got up but kept on coming, which indicated to me that they knew I was at home.

    They proceeded to try and kick the door down while I kept on shouting. If it was an opportunistic break in, they would have left knowing that there was someone at home.

    They then left even though they could have kicked the door down. On the way out, one of them pointed his finger at me as if to give me a warning. He then used a screwdriver or some metal instrument to make a puncture in the bonnet of my car. If they had really wanted to break in even knowing that there was someone at home, they could have kicked the door down and easily overpowered me.

    They were in and out of the place in less than three minutes. Not long enough for the police to come and catch them but long enough to send a message.

    I don’t think it is a coincidence this happened a few days before a Bersih event in Malacca on Friday and three Bersih events in Kedah and Penang on Saturday and Sunday, at which I will be speaking. I don’t think it is a coincidence that Ambiga has been targeted as well as Wong Chin Huat.

    I am no Ambiga or Chin Huat but I have been publishing a series of highly damaging articles regarding the many problems in the electoral roll that I know that the Election Commission, National Registration Department and even some members of the Cabinet have read and are aware of.

    Initially, I said to a Malaysiakini reporter that I thought that this attempted break in could be due to my critique against MCA on the Talam issue, the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and other government policies.

    After giving it some thought, I think that it is much more likely that it was due to my Bersih-related activities given the record of how thugs have been deployed to harass and intimidate various people related to the Bersih movement.

    Regardless, I won’t allow this incident (if it was indeed an intimidation tactic) to cow me into fear or submission. I will continue to publish my findings on the problems with the electoral roll and share these findings with members of the public.

    I will continue to write my critiques as a contributor to Refsa on the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). I will continue to write political commentaries. I will continue to play my own very small part in trying to make this country a better place.

    * Ong Kian Ming is an analyst for Research for Social Advancement (Refsa).

    This piece was also published at Dr. Ong’s Facebook page.

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