Police intensify clampdown on pre-rally roadshow

by Regina Lee
Jun 25, 11

The police have intensified its efforts to clamp down on polls watchdog Bersih’s pre-rally roadshow as it kicked off nationwide yesterday.

Supposed to begin in Uptown market in Shah Alam last night with a series of speeches, the police had cordoned off the commercial centre as early as 5pm as well as erecting roadblocks around the city.

The law enforcers made their presence felt by bringing along three police trucks and 50 police personnel together with scores of other plainclothes police officers.

One of the speakers, PKR Youth deputy chief Khairul Anuar Ahmad Zainuddin, was quickly arrested and whisked off by the police 10 minutes after he arrived, even though he was “doing nothing” in the area, according to him.

“I was having tea alone at the food court area, which was not very near the cordoned place when three plainclothes police approached me,” he told Malaysiakini.

He said that the three took him near the stage before 10 policemen surrounded him and handcuffed him before taking him to the Shah Alam district police headquarters.

While he said that the police never told him why he was arrested, Khairul reckoned that it was because of the Bersih T-shirt that he was wearing at time.

He was later released at close to 2 in the morning.

Khairul also said that other invited speakers including former Malaysian Trade Unions Congress president Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud – also a PKR division leader – were milling around the area but they were not arrested.

“(The police) barricaded the stage and cordoned off the entire Uptown market. There was really nothing anyone can do,” decried Khairul.

Apart from that, it was also reported that two other people were arrested yesterday but released later for wearing the Bersih’s distinctive yellow T-shirt.

According to Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s official Twitter account @bersih2, seven people were arrested yesterday in Kluang, Johor, while they were out distributing leaflets about the rally.

Kit Siang: Stop the madness

Despite the early flexing of muscles by the police, Bersih 2.0 still vowed to trudge on with their roadshow ahead of the massive rally, planned in two weeks.

Slamming the arrests earlier as ‘ridiculous’, Bersih 2.0 steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah (right) said that the roadshow comprising eight stops still yet to be carried out, including the ones later today in Johor Baru and Kuala Selangor.

“I hope that the police won’t abuse their power because all our roadshows are meant to be peaceful.

“All we want to do is just explain our list of eight demands to the people,” she said.

Meanwhile, DAP politician Lim Kit Siang urged Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to “stop the madness where a person can be detained by the police for wearing the Bersih T-shirt as if he/she is more dangerous than Osama bin Laden”.

Bersih 2.0 is planning to hold a massive rally on July 9 to push for electoral reforms and to hand over a petition of demands to the Istana Negara.

At the same time, Umno Youth as well as Malay rights NGO Perkasa have announced their plans to organise counter-rallies on the same day.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Sunday, 26 June 2011 - 8:16 am

    The government should learn from events that happened in the Middle-East where repression of civil rights would eventually lead to uncontrollable mass anti-government protests.

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 26 June 2011 - 8:19 am

    There is still two more weeks and the hammer and fist is being taken out already. Its still too early. It will only make the event an EVEN BIGGER success.

    It only goes to show how you have brain-washed mediocrity running our top institutions that can’t see the larger trend, issues and solutions. From the top to the bottom, they are all screwing it up..

  3. #3 by Winston on Sunday, 26 June 2011 - 8:52 am

    At the same time, Umno Youth as well as Malay rights NGO Perkasa have announced their plans to organise counter-rallies on the same day. – End of quote
    Why can’t these organisation hold their rallies on other days?
    Why must the government let them be the spoilers?

  4. #4 by wanderer on Sunday, 26 June 2011 - 9:20 am

    “Police detain busload of PSM activists”… for their protect mah!
    Why are the tax-payers’ money wasted on these so called Royal Police. They insult the King and a disgrace to the nation. The
    problem lies with this racist corrupted govt, engaged only sub-par clods to do a dirty job for them…Malaysia boleh, UMNO bangsat lagi boleh!!

  5. #5 by best4rakyat on Sunday, 26 June 2011 - 12:26 pm

    As kid like many we always frightened by parents ‘mata-mata lai’ don’t cry for sweets etc.
    But not for today, as I grow up merely stare at them to see whether they are still fit as one. Don’t regret us as my old daddy also an old retired policeman said. You never hinder any who really go all out for right!

  6. #6 by johnnyboy on Sunday, 26 June 2011 - 5:26 pm

    Police in Malaysia are arresting citizens that are demanding for fair election. Why?

  7. #7 by tak tahan on Monday, 27 June 2011 - 12:27 am

    Because police themselves are not demanding for fair election and that’s why.They’re also under and between Umnoputra’ crotch to do some necessary service of blowing and polishing in order to be awarded rewards like snacks and some pats on their shoulders.

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