PUTRAJAYA, 7 May 2009: Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said he was glad that there were no incidents that jeopardised public order in the vicinity of the state government buildings in Ipoh during the first day of the Perak State Legislative Assembly sitting for the second term today.
He said the situation could have been worse today if there had been no enforcement by members of the security forces.
“It was my responsibility to ensure there was no chaos on the streets which could threaten public safety. So in this context, I am happy with the action taken,” he told reporters here today.
The Perak State Assembly sitting today proceeded in disarray, which resulted in the official opening ceremony by the Regent of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah being delayed until 3.15 pm.
Outside the building, several individuals including elected representatives from the opposition were arrested for assembling in the vicinity of the building although there was a court order prohibiting any gathering within a radius of 500 metres of the building.
Asked whether the arrest of a number of people outside the building was warranted, Hishammuddin said it was not a matter of whether it was warranted or not.
“What is wrong remains wrong. If we violate the law, we, including myself, will certainly be prosecuted and I believe the police and the authorities had already taken this into consideration,” he said.
Hishammuddin, who was earlier given a briefing on Ikatan Relawan Rakyat Malaysia (Rela), said he would strive to get more non-Malay Malaysians to be involved in the voluntary movement.
Currently, he said, there were 340,000 Malay Malaysians, 85,000 Chinese Malaysians and 26,000 Indian Malaysians in Rela besides the other ethnic groups such as the Kadazans, Dayaks, Melanaus, Ibans and Bajaus.
At the same time, he said the ministry would ensure there was greater interaction between the volunteers regardless of race, religion and culture in line with the 1Malaysia concept. — Bernama