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Perak police slammed

PETALING JAYA, 7 May 2009: The police’s forceful ejection of Perak speaker V Sivakumar from the state assembly today has been slammed by the Malaysian Bar Council and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

“The police acted in an unjustifiable and unacceptable manner,” said Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan in a statement.

Ragunath also condemned the arrests of those gathered around the state assembly building.

According to an e-mail alert by rights group Suaram, police arrested more than 50 MPs, state assemblypersons and members of the public today.

The Star later confirmed that there were 64 arrests in total, and 13 have already been released.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Selangor information chief Datin Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew said, “The police, who acted like gangsters, were obviously used by the Barisan Nasional (BN) to wrestle power in Perak.

“The police, as civil servants, should not have interfered in the sitting of the Perak state assembly,” she said.

Ragunath said, “It is obvious that the conflicts currently being played out arise from the lack of clarity and certainty about which political coalition commands the majority in the [assembly].”

He said issues such as whether certain assemblypersons should be permitted to attend the sitting, who the speaker should be, and the seating arrangements within the assembly, were “mere side issues”.

“As such, the only solution must be to go back to the people,” he said.

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3 Responses to “Perak police slammed”

  1. tangkup says:

    Let the people decide. BN, do not rob the people of this right! If not, BN will be ousted in the 13th GE.

  2. maat says:

    Seems like the circus drama may be pre-planned with excessive police action without journalists’ proper coverage. Ours has become police state. Why is it former DAP assemblyperson Hee suddenly wielded power though she failed to serve the rakyat or rather the rakyat lost confidence in her since Chinese New Year? It was indeed an ugly drama performed by ugly gangsterlike actors from a pasar malam. I thought we backslid to the early 19th century where force is might, where secret societies set their own laws in lawless society.

    How could the PM command respect after ugly incidents one after another? That shows PM also cannot control his supporters – how can he implement nice-sounding concepts at all?

  3. Kamal says:

    The police are not just civil servants but also citizens. As individuals is this what they signed up for? Aren’t there any conscientious objectors to the events? This isn’t just an issue over BN or PR. At the root of it is whether our government and government servants even want to pay lip-service to a semblance of democracy.

    Today, we achieve another low in our spiral downwards. Remember, even the fall of Myanmar to the state it is in today, had to start from somewhere. It was purported to have had a good colonial government; yet after several decades of Junta rule, to say the least, the government has not been able to make the most of ‘strong’ leadership.

    Everything has history. Is this the direction we want for our future? Do we want our children to live in an environment where the streets are not safe and politics dominated without voice from civil society? Or where only being ‘connected’ ensures our well-being? Haven’t we learnt from recent history that absolute authority in one hand is not the answer?

    We need strong leadership, yes, but not at the cost of public voice and representation. Democracy is not a reflection of poor leadership, rather it is the strong who dare open themselves to public scrutiny. Neither should we look upon democracy as just a slogan. It is a process that recognises all of us as equals. Do we want to place ourselves back under the yoke of subjugation?

    Malaysia is a modern nation state whereby the people are citizens and not subjects. This is a distinction that differentiates us from a feudal society. All of us, regardless of party affiliation or work description, need to appreciate this. We are at a crossroads, can’t we see that?

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