Monday, November 10, 2008

Royal Police the real threat to public order?

Police detained PJ Utara MP Tony Pua and Kampung Tunku state assemblyman Lau Weng San at a rally in PJ New Town tonight to mark the first anniversary of the Bersih movement, which started in November last year. [The Malaysian Insider, 9/11/08]

MP Tony Pua and others were arrested for gathering at the PJ Civic Centre after they were earlier told not to hold a candlelight vigil in a nearby field. [Malaysiakini, 9/11/08]

The only thing the Royal Malaysian Police deserve a gold medal for is their inability to recognise priorities as a body that has the royal mandate to serve and protect the public. When police officers should be roaming the streets to flush out crooks and vices, precious manpower was senselessly put to waste when a peaceful rally for peace and justice was considered a menace to public order.

The gathering was initially planned at a field near Amcorp Mall, Petaling Jaya to mark the first anniversary of the BERSIH (Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections) movement, which started in November last year. The crowd was closely watched by two truckloads of policemen who decided to 'sit and wait' before taking any further action. Among those present were PJ Utara MP Tony Pua and blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin who was recently released from detention under the Internal Security Act. However, the assembly was soon called off as the police obstructed the proceedings and demanded that the crowd return immediately to their homes.

The lot, numbering hundreds, ignored the orders from the police and marched towards the nearby Petaling Jaya City Council to hold a candlelight vigil there instead. The police, along with anti-riot personnels decided to get ugly with the crowd as the people sang the national anthem, Negaraku before being dismissed.

It was understood that the anti-riot officers were fully equipped with shields and accompanied by a water canon truck. A videographer from Malaysiakini, Shukri Mohamad who decided to record the commotion was confronted by the police and was subsequently arrested for simply videotaping potential police hostility.

"I was recording the water canon truck when a police officer ordered me to stop videotaping. He also ordered to surrender my camera and the tape. I turned around and tried to leave but I was arrested there and then," Shukri Mohamad said. [Malaysiakini, 9/11/08]

Also arrested was PJ Utara MP Tony Pua who, according to witnesses, was harshly detained and chucked into a Black Maria, a vehicle used by the police to ferry prisoners. Police officers were also seen chasing people into restaurants in the area where many have taken refuge to avoid arrest.

The police have made 24 arrests so far.

The question now is with the police and the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar as to where their priorities lie in carrying out their duties. Cracking down on peaceful rallies seemed to be more of a bigger concern for Syed Hamid and his men than the rising crime rates around the country. Why the need for riot policemen when there wasn't a riot in the first place?

The latest nonsensicality of an incompetent police force had clearly shown what was more of a threat to national security and public order - candlelight vigils for peace or truckloads of anti-riot policemen using excessive force to disperse a non-existent mob.


  1. Anonymous said...

    Can the Parliament pls pass laws to forbid the followings:-

    - giving flowers to VVIP;
    - giving teddy bear to VVIP;
    - holding lighted candle in public; and
    - singing Negaraku in public.

    The list would be expanded later. Those who does the above will be treated as terrorist.

    Definition of VVIP - BN leaders.

  2. Luciferius said...

    I can understand the police have their orders. And this is an action to suppress any unforeseen chaos and maintain stability, which any country wishes.

    But instead the police might have been unclear and resorted to physical intimidation to early.

    Heck, even China's police force are more reasonable these days.

    If interested, read the last paragraph.

  3. KITAS said...

    ini lah polis BN, tak guna betul, kalau org umno buat perhimpunan semua nya ok siap bagi perlindungan lagi. i rasa utk perhimpunan mcm ini tidak perlu ambil permit, ini utk menunjukan ketidakpuasan kita, itu adalah hak kita, undang2 kepala otak depa BN, syed hamid alibaba botak tak serik lagi, dah tak lama da dia itu, mesti kena baling selipar dan penyapu dari public..i tgk macam mana polis halau mereka yg berkumpul secara aman, mcm anjing, kalau org umno demostrasi mcm mana ok..ini bukan polis tapi anjing BN dan umno.... i rasa polis yg serang public mcm ini mesti kena buang kerja...kalau polis adil i nak tgk apa mereka buat bila org umno buat perhimpunan halal (konon)..