Friday, August 12, 2011

#Bersih London riots: Hishammuddin - it is not the question of whether we dare or dare not...

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin said to me, "it is not the question of whether we dare or dare not detain the organisers (of illegal assembly). The most important consideration should be the security of the nation and the people; whether any action that we take would improve the situation or making it worse. Second, whatever action that we have to take, it should be taken in accordance with the law."

Malaysian Insider

Hisham: Be thankful Bersih not like London riots

August 11, 2011

Hishammuddin passing gifts to orphans and disabled children at the buka puasa event at Penjara Kajang August 11 2011. — Picture by Choo Choy May
KAJANG, Aug 11 — Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today that Malaysians should be thankful that the Bersih rally did not end up becoming violent like the current London riots.

The Home Minister praised the police for its handling of the July 9 rally, and told Malaysians to be appreciative of the police’s efforts in maintaining peace in the country.

“We should be thankful what happened in UK did not happen in our country. We cannot take these sorts of things lightly...what more in a multiracial and multireligious society like ours,” he told reporters today.

Hishammuddin said that police action during the Bersih rally “avoided” it from turning violent.

“The police have been under tremendous pressure...but they do their best to ensure stability and peace,” said the Umno vice-president.

He however added that it was up to the public to decide whether the police had handled the Bersih rally well. He also said the government will be closely monitoring the latest developments in UK.

Hishamuddin’s remarks come after Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said on his Facebook page yesterday that the ongoing riots in London and other major cities in Britain are evidence of the “nightmares” that can be prevented by avoiding street protests.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers have attacked Khalid for his views, saying that DIGP Khalid was comparing “apples not just to oranges, but to spaceships.”

The violence in Britain has appalled many Britons, who have been transfixed by images of rioters attacking individuals and raiding family-owned stores as well as targeting big business.

Community leaders said the violence in London, the worst for decades in the multi-ethnic capital of 7.8 million people, was rooted in growing disparities in wealth and opportunity.

Hishammuddin speaks to inmates at the buka puasa event at Penjara Kajang August 11 2011. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Many Londoners have been stunned by the looting in which gangs ransacked shops, carting off clothes, shoes and electronic goods, torched cars and defied the police.

But after the first three nights, London alone saw just 450 arrests, and arrests nationwide have just breached 1,000 after five days despite police launching a murder inquiry after three Muslim men were run over by a car in Birmingham.

In Malaysia, opposition leaders and human rights activists have accused police of using excessive force to clamp down on the Bersih march for free and fair elections, claiming that police fired tear gas directly at demonstrators, acts they termed “attempted murder.”

The electoral reform movement had initially accepted the Najib administration’s offer to move its street rally to a stadium but it was denied its choice of Stadium Merdeka.

The coalition of 62 NGOs took to the streets to march to the historic venue anyway, defying warnings of police action, which finally resulted in nearly 1,700 arrests, scores injured and one ex-soldier dead.

The London riots are said to have sparked off after last week’s fatal shooting of Mark Duggan, said by some to have had his “head blown off” by a police sharpshooter despite not opening fire at officers.

Since then, violent clashes between groups of young people and the police have dominated the British domestic news. The clashes were soon followed by the looting of shops as well as the torching of vehicles and buildings, and lately a few attacks on civilians have also been reported

No comments:

Popular Posts