A DAP function in a coffeeshop in Masai, Johor was attacked by a group of thugs who wanted to prevent DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang from speaking.

Shortly after the event began at 2pm, the group of about 50 people stormed the venue and began hurling projectiles - cups, plastic bowls and even a broom - towards Lim.

According to eye-witnesses, Lim was unhurt, but those who formed a shield to protect him were.

"They were shouting 'Balik Kit Siang (Kit Siang must leave)', 'Babi (Pig)', 'Communist chauvinist' and 'Mampus (Go die)'," an eye-witness told Malaysiakini.

A small number of police personnel were present but were unable to contain the situation.

The one-sided melee only died down 30-minutes later after organisers escorted Lim away from the venue.

Calculated attack

The event was part of Johor DAP's ongoing 'Kopitiam Dialogue' series. Similar events in the past have went on without any untoward incidents.

This particular event was aimed at allowing Lim to address the indigenous people from Sabah and Sarawak who are working in neighbouring Pasir Gudang, which hosts many industrial zones.

Kluang MP Liew Ching Tong (photo, brown shirt, on the right), who was among those present, claimed that he could recognise some of the mob members as Pasir Gudang Umno division office bearers.

"I was speaking at the time when they attacked. They broke some tables and threw water bottles and bowls," he said.

He added that he was informed that there was a phone text message being circulated recently, urging the public to gather at a mosque in Taman Megah Ria to stop the event.

Police commended

Liew urged Johor Menteri Besar and Pasir Gudang Umno head Khaled Nordin to take responsibility for the incident.

"He must take responsibility for what happened because it involved his own division members," he said.

He added that the police personnel who were present made a commendable effort to stop the mob.

"I urge the Johor police chief to arrest the perpetrators. We will lodge a police report on the matter.