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regarding the anti ISA protest (or supposedly to be) where 4 people were arrested, i was mentioning about a group of people linked to umno instigating people. see for yourself, watch this video taken by my CJ mate, jimmy leow. see how noisy they were, see how they behaved like samseng? (thugs) and yet none of them were arrested! after watching the video, i remember now one of them was shouting “balik tiong san!” (go back to china!). and he get away with it. and they all get away with it… because they have umno backing. that’s najib’s 1malaysia for you.
i remember reading in one of the report in malaysiakini, someone was arrested for wearing the anti isa t-shirt and badge. gee… is that so? when i wanted to go to the vigil that sunday night i had wanted to wear the red and white anti isa t-shirt too but couldn’t find it, so i wore my SABM t-shirt instead but i had the big red anti isa badge on the t-shirt. then i also pin the small black anti isa badge on my backpack! and i was walking around past policemen here and there. guess the police at that time were not interested in badges! or they think i’m a harmless old lady – so let this old lady alone with her 2 badges. haha.
oh, after watching the video, don’t forget to read the 2 articles by my fellow church friend, susan loone. ‘umno agitators harass penang vigil attendees’ and ‘why police let off pro ISA hecklers’.
note: suaram penang has posted lots of pictures here.
Umno agitators harass Penang vigil attendees
Aug 2, 10
The highly tense atmosphere of last night’s aborted anti-ISA vigil at the Penang Speaker’s Square saw at least two peripheral incidents by provocateurs, which fortunately stopped short of escalating.
In the first incident, well-known local activist Ong Boon Keong claimed he was bullied by a group of young men (right) who wanted to “impose their ways (on him) through brute force” while he was waiting to participate in the vigil.
Ong said he arrived at the event about half an hour before the scheduled vigil at 9pm, but noticed that a large group of police had cordoned off the entrance to the Esplanade, a popular tourist spot.
He claimed he witnessed a group of “fierce looking and foul-mouthed people” in their 30s or 40s marching towards the scattered crowd at the field.
“They didn’t look like the anti-ISA civil society type. I could not resist taking a photo of them (below). That (drew their attention) in my direction,” he said.
“I sat down on a part of the concrete fencing at the edge of the field, pretending to adjust my camera. Some members of the group spoke in Bahasa Malaysia and instigated one another to do something about me,” he added.
“Then one of them emboldened himself and came to sit next to me. He pretended to speak on his handphone but moved his elbow until it touched my face and muttered ‘Mau cari pasal? Mau cari pasal?’ (Are you looking for a fight?).”
Ong believes the man was trying to pick a fight with him, instigated by a few others from the “fierce-looking” group.
When Ong slowly moved away from the man, avoiding eye contact with him, the latter “declared his victory” by laughing with his friends and threatened further to pull Ong’s beard.
Ong, who is currently involved in an election watchdog group and conducts new voter registration exercises in rural Sarawak, questioned why none of the group, who then pushed their way into the peaceful anti-ISA crowd, had been apprehended by the police.
Special rights for thugs?
“Why did the police act against peaceful citizens but allow those who openly and blatantly instigate violence to go free?” asked Ong.
“Didn’t the police understand Bahasa Malaysia (and understand the groups’ taunts)? Or had they been given a different set of instructions when it comes to upholding law and order on this special class of people?” he quipped.
In another incident, a similar group had reportedly tried to cause trouble with the anti-ISA protestors before the police dispersed the 100-odd crowd waiting for the vigil to begin.
The group, who claimed to be pro-ISA supporters, was identified by several participants to be linked to Umno.
But Georgetown district police chief Gan Kong Meng, who admitted knowledge of the presence of the troublemakers, said they were not arrested as they had complied with orders and did not put up a fight when the police told them to disperse.
Gan instead ordered the arrests of activist Kris Khaira and his father, lawyer Darshan Singh Khaira, Suaram coordinator Ong Jing Cheng (left) and PSM central committee member Choo Chon Kai under the pretext of an illegal gathering.
They have been released under police bail after giving their statements at the Jelutong police station, and are to report back on Aug 14.
Whither the YBs?
Meanwhile, Gerakan member Dalbinder Singh questioned why several local politicians did not take the lead in the anti-ISA protest.
Dalbinder, a law student who frequents the Speakers Square on a weekly basis, said he had approached the YBs after the arrests, to ask them why they were allegedly not present earlier when the vigil was about to start.
He complained that the assemblypersons, among them Liew Chin Tong (Bukit Bendera), Ng Wei Aik (Komtar), Koid Teng Guan (Sungai Pinang) and Koay Teng Hai (Ayer Itam), should have fronted the vigil instead of allowing the protestors to risk police arrest.
Dalbinder is upset that one of them, Komtar assemblyperson Ng (right), had ticked him off for raising the matter telling him, “Don’t make trouble, behave yourself.”
“I felt he shouldn’t have said that. He could have explained to me in a better way. After all, how often do I get to meet a people’s representative like Ng?” he said.
“I just needed to express myself, and I felt my question was valid,” he added.
The YBs were earlier spotted in the field mingling with many NGO activists who had gathered to participate in the vigil, although several had arrived later to join the crowd.
The latecomers had explained that there were several other events they had to attend before heading for the vigil at the Speaker’s Square.
Why did police let pro ISA hecklers.
Aug 2, 10
Three activists and a lawyer arrested last night for protesting against the Internal Security Act have levelled a charge of ‘double standards’ against the Penang police.
They want to know why the police did not act against a group of ‘troublemakers’ – who are allegedly linked to Umno – at the Penang Speaker’s Square last night.
PSM central committee member Choo Chon Kai, speaking to reporters outside the Jelutong police station about 12.30am today after his release, said the group – which claimed to be ‘pro-ISA supporters’ (right) – had been “very rough” and had tried to incite the crowd to violence.
Instead of acting against them, said Choo, the police arrested him and fellow-protestors.
“This is the real face of the people who support the ISA. They have a very fascist face; this is their real colour. It shows their mentality, that they are still trapped in the colonial past,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the police have also acted in the same manner as they cracked down on activists in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.”
The quartet was arrested last night after failing to comply with a police order to disperse within five minutes, issued at 8.50pm by Georgetown district police chief Gan Kong Meng. He warned the protestors that they would be arrested if they did not comply.
However, about 10 individuals, claiming to be members of a pro-ISA group, were let off. Just before the rally was due to start, they shouted the ‘1Malaysia’ slogan – ‘People First, Performance Now’ – and told the activists not to disturb the public.
At one point, while the activists were negotiating with the authorities about their intention to rally, the group was seen pushing Choo towards the police, causing a commotion.
Kris Khaira (left), an activist, said it was obvious what the ISA stands for – to arrest those with whose views the government does not agree.
“For example, during the incident at the Speaker’s Square, there were more people in the group of ISA supporters but they were allowed to be provocative,” he claimed.
“They were there to instigate a fight, to turn the situation into violence. Although they were louder than us and had arrived earlier, why were they not arrested? Why arrest only us?”
His father, lawyer Darshan Singh Khaira, who was also arrested last night, expressed surprise over police action.
“In the last few years, they had allowed activities like this. The police used to give us 40 minutes and then tell us to disperse. I do not know why they (have acted) like this (now),” he said.
‘Police have my shirt’
Suaram coordinator Ong Jing Cheng, who had been dragged off by the police and pushed into a truck as he was speaking to reporters, complained that he had been stripped of his black shirt with the anti-ISA logo while giving his statement at the police station.
“My shirt is now with the police for investigation,” quipped Ong (in truck), when released together with Choo.
He condemned Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s 1Malaysia slogan, questioning its sincerity when people are arrested for protesting against an archaic law.
“We want to repeal the law, not just amend it, which is why we had planned to rally to express our views,” he said.
Pantai Jerejak PKR assemblyperson Sim Tze Tsin, who was at the police station when the activists were released, condemned the ‘high-handed’ approach of the police and said it was an indication of BN’s fear.
“The police may have arrested four people tonight, but there are thousands out there who condemn the ISA. We hope after tonight, there will be another wave of people’s power to protest the ISA,” he said.
Gan said the police had taken action after receiving information about potential trouble and agitation by certain groups.
He justified the arrests under the Police Act and Section 143 of the Penal Code, which allows the police to act against those deemed to be part of an ‘illegal assembly’.
Asked why the police had not arrest the pro-ISA group, Gan replied that they had complied with the order to disperse.
Those arrested have been released on police bail after their statements were recorded. They will have to report to the Jelutong station on Aug 14.