Police appeared to have bad faith, says Pak Samad

By Nigel Aw | 1:48PM May 25, 2012

INTERVIEW Observations made by a number of Bersih 3.0 participants during the April 28 rally are that many of the policemen on duty that day were somehow different from the usual courteous officers and men patrolling neighbourhoods.

Their uniforms did not have the shinny numbers and name tags, which spruce up the men in blue. And it was many of these officers, the protesters said, who had beaten them up.

The widespread occurrence of this, Bersih co-chairperson A Samad Said said, seemed to concur with the belief that the actions were endorsed by higher powers.

“They had no name tags, they wore no identification serial numbers… many were like that. My interpretation is that if the police did not want to show their names and ID numbers, then it meant that they already had ill intentions.

“Since so many were like that, certainly their move must have been endorsed by a higher power, possibly the inspector-general of police (IGP). And if the IGP knows, then the home minister should should know too,” Samad said in an interview with Malaysiakini earlier this week.

The police, he said, had a right to arrest protesters who refused to go home after the 4pm deadline but when 10 or so policemen beat up one person, it could be so severe that “even a buffalo will die”.

Despite widespread allegations of brutality on the part of the police, fortunately there was no death during the protest.

Pak Samad’s solo ‘duduk bantah’

Samad, who is fondly referred to as Pak Samad, too had his brush with police on his way from his Bangsar Utama home to Masjid Negara.

“When I got down from the LRT at Pasar Seni, I wanted to cross the bridge that I have always used to get to Masjid Negara. However, there were dozens policemen blocking the route on that day.

“I explained to them that I’ve used this path for years to go to Masjid Negara for prayers and as Muslims, they should not prevent another Muslim from praying… but they refused to let me pass,” he said.

This, he said, led to his one-man ‘duduk bantah’ on the bridge near Pasar Seni to protest the police action.

Police later left the scene, without reason, and Samad was then accompanied by other members of the public who sat alongside him.

“We chatted and I also recited some poems. Later, I advised them to head for Dataran Merdeka,” said Samad, who proceeded to Masjid Negara and remained there to do his prayers and keep and eye on the situation.

Asked to respond to claims by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and several former inspector-generals of police that the Bersih 3.0 protest was intended to topple the government, he laughed and described these individuals as “remnants of power”.

‘All we had were water bottles’

“To overthrow power, there must be weapons… we only had water bottles,” he said, laughing.

While he admitted that it “may be right” not to allow politicians to speak in a future Bersih rally, Pak Samad denied allegations that the movement had been hijacked by Pakatan Rakyat politicians.

“We invited Pakatan and BN but they (BN) chose to distance themselves. Perhaps they felt that since they are in power, this movement would bite them,” he said.

Contrary to the allegations of hijack, he said support from political parties would strengthen any people’s movement.

“In any movement, be it in Myanmar, in Russia, in India, in Eastern Europe or anywhere, there will always be leaders with a political background,” he said.

The authorities in Malaysia could have felt that their power was being threatened and therefore embarked on a campaign to smear Bersih as a violent movement.

“May be the attention will be on those being charged (with taking part in Bersih 3.0), but do not forget, every time you talk about them, it will be linked back to Bersih and to our eight demands (for electoral reform),” he said.

Despite the controversy, Samad said, he was heartened by the turnout for Bersih 3.0 as it was also more racially balanced, unlike previous Bersih rallies that were dominated by the Malay community.

“If there is a Bersih 4.0 – and I am not saying there will be one – I think even more non-Malays will turn up because the system is in such a bad shape now, with the use of gangsters by a power that is coming to its tail end,” he said.

Part 1: ‘Then there was Hang Tuah, now Hang Samseng’

Part 2: Ambiga a victim of race and religion, says Pak Samad

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Saturday, 26 May 2012 - 10:45 am

    Polis with NO name tags, NO identification serial numbers – CAN meh?
    Y not, CAN 1, cos blessed by IGP n home minister lah 2 whack n injure rakyat! PREMEDITATED violence n crime against defenceless rakyat without fear of identification
    Injured rakyat pls seek help fr lawyers 2 SUE d polis, IGP n home minister 4 their bad intent and d injuries caused by violent polis

  2. #2 by Loh on Saturday, 26 May 2012 - 11:26 am

    ///Umno did not issue any order to disrupt opposition ceramah programmes, says the Umno Youth chief///–Malaysiakini

    OK. But has UMNO stopped its members from becoming thugs?

  3. #3 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Saturday, 26 May 2012 - 11:41 am

    Umno painted Bersih as a violent movement to overthrow the gobermen.

    Oh come on. Of course we would like to overthrow umno. It is long overdue. But we are sensible and law abiding and so we would like to do it lawfully and constitutionally. That is to say, we would go through the ballot box and not any other way. And we know that overthrowing umno is possible only if GE is truly fair and free; and not just fair and free from umno’s perverse perspective. And look carefully, you stupid (i.e. umno). The fact that umno is still in putrajaya today despite 3 hugely successful rallies is evidence that tunisia or egypt or libya like movement to topple umno forcibly is never our objective. So really umno has nothing to fear in the event it loses in the next GE.

    Violent? Bersih, a violent movement? Bollock! Lampar! The libyans, tunisians and egyptians were violent in their effort to overthrow the corrupt and greedy leaders of the respective country. Can you imagine mubarak or gaddafi monkeying about with the people’s demand for change? If the bersih rally was really violent as umno has suggested, jib and gang would be in hiding today somewhere instead of showing backsides and flipping burgers.

    So wake umno. Stop fooling yourself. 300,000 people showed up during bersih 3.0. For each and everyone of them, there could well be another 2 or 3 who are pro-Bersih and who for some reason could not participate. So get real umno and be prepared for the real possibility of having to vacate putrajaya after GE13. Do it for the king, the country and people. I say you would do well (i.e. better) to give us your assurance that the transition would be a smooth one (when the change over became a reality after GE13).


  4. #4 by yhsiew on Saturday, 26 May 2012 - 12:11 pm

    In bolehland, everybody knows police have to follow instructions from their political masters. There is little surprise that they had no name tags and wore no identification serial numbers.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Saturday, 26 May 2012 - 3:48 pm

    Policemen are trained not to follow orders.
    Most do what they are told to do…and I do not believe all are happy for what they did.
    Then come retaliations….and it become…a fight to defend.
    I still have great faith that when Najib goes beyond and situations cannot be controlled…many policemen will not follow blind orders…even from IGP.
    I have said months ago…Najib is working towards a pattern to create fear and want voters to stay away or vote for no change…for so call…peace and harmony.
    He must have surveyed….winning is not guaranteed…even with his millions ghost voters.
    Therefore….Emergency Rule is his best option.
    Check out all these 3 years….why such a long long time …no 13th GE date announced.
    This is more than saving UMNO b party.
    If the lost of 13th GE means only he becomes an Opposition Leader…Najib will not hesitate one more day to announce 13th GE date.
    It is saving himself and wife and family circles…his friends…

  6. #6 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 26 May 2012 - 8:39 pm

    I thought the ‘bad faith’ thing began way back during toon’s day, the days of yore when looney tunes swayed.

    They even had the ‘black eyed peas’ then; only thing it was 2 black eyes or was it only one? Still, it was black-eyed toon.

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