Monday January 12, 2009
KAJANG: What started out as a happy event turned chaotic at the New Era College convocation.
A man went up to the stage as college senate chairman Dr Yap Sin Tian was giving a speech and punched him in the face in front of 500 people, including students, parents and guests.
However, the attacker managed to flee the scene.
Dr Yap, who is Dong Zong (the United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia) president, was ushered to a seat with a fractured cheekbone and nose. An ambulance arrived later to send him to the Kajang Specialist Hospital.
College principal Mok Soon Choong took over the podium to continue the speech and calmed the situation.
Witnesses said the attacker wore a shirt used by members of a fund-raising event in the college. The man has been identified as a former college graduate.
Dong Jiao Zong Education Centre directors, who were seated near the stage, tried to catch him but he managed to escape.
It is unclear if the attack is linked to an ongoing squabble between Dr Yap and the college’s former principal Dr Kua Kia Soong.
Dr Yap had supported Dong Zong when it did not extend Dr Kua’s contract which expired in December.
The Dong Jiao Zong has made a police report on the attack.
College officials said they would conduct their own investigation.
In Penang, MCA vice-president Datuk Liow Tiong Lai expressed regret over the attack.
“It is sad to see such an incident happening in an educational body. Any problem should be settled without the use of violence,” he said.