spending almost the whole night at the police station

yes i mean me but ok ok it is not inside the police station but outside the police station. how come? long story ahead.

those of you who had read anil netto’s blog, would have read about the live update I provided anil with, though many updates he didn’t mention my names (like the presence of MPs and what they said. oh and when he did mentioned my name, he did not link me!). yes, i’m talking about this news on the anti ISA/bersih vigil ln PJ on 9 nov., where 24 people were arrested. two of them were my friends whom we traveled together in a car PG-PJ-PG. thus you see the reason for me to stay at the police station until so late?  if among  those arrested were not my friends, i would have stay but not until so late. 

ok let me start from the beginning er… where else to start from eh. lol. anyway, "let me start from the beginning" is a sign of a long story from me!

a group of us RPK/malaysia today supporters, who are in the organising committee of this saturday nlght’s anti-ISA vigil in penang, decided that we should attend the PJ anti-ISA to support them. after all, some of them kl bloggers would be attending our vigil.

four of us, ong, george, howie and i left penang in a car on 9 nov. at 3.00pm. we were joined by howie’s university-going son, andrew, in kelana jaya.

we were told the PJ vigil started at 9.30pm but we reached the venue at 10.00pm because we waited almost 1/2 an hour for ong’s video camera to be ready after repair at KLCC.

actually, as early as 8.00pm, ong had received sms from a kl friend that all access road to amcorp mall (the venue of the vigil) had been blocked by the police. so we were prepared when we set out for the venue.

when we reached somewhere near the venue (around 10.00pm), we saw a group of BERSIH members standing around, so we asked them about the vigil, and we were told that the vigil had shifted to civic centrel. so we quickly made our way there.

after we parked our car, ong, armed with the video camera, and andrew, armed with the camera quickly rushed into the field. the 3 of us slowly take our time to walk in. we ran into a BERSIH member, carrying a loud hailer, who said to us, "jangan masuk. polis telah amok, tangkap orang." (don’t go in. police are running wild, arresting people)

so we stayed at a restaurant nearby and look at the entrance where people enter and exit. while george refused to budge, saying we better not take any risks, howie said we should enter, since we came all the way from penang for the vigil, so he started to make his way there. 

then i too decided that i should go too, and said to george, why not we go over there, when suddenly there was a commotion, and lots of people rushed out from the entrance, running. i knew then they were running away from the police, and i would be a fool to enter.

at that moment, howie came to join us, and the 3 of us sat inside the restaurant. suddenly howie received a call from his son, andrew, where he told him, he was arrested!  we were shocked and then wondered what happened to ong. well, 5 mins later, ong called and
gave us the bad news that he was arrested too!

oh dear, this is no good. two of us in the group had been arrested. what are we going to do now? well, we’ll have to wait till they were brought to the police station, then we go over to the police station too to find out what’s going to happen. we decided to have our dinner first before we went over.

when we were at the police station, it was about 11.00pm. there were already many people there, standing in front of the police station, all eager to find out what happened and what will happen to those who were arrested. the first picture you see here where FRU police stood guard – it was at the entrance of the police station itself! looked ridiculous to me, they standing there, as if we were terrorists or what, that any moment, we will want to rush into the police station.

when we reached the police station, i realised MPs teresa kok, gobinda singh and dr. jeyakumar were already there. of course lots of reporters were there too. later on, some other MPs from DAP, PAS dropped by too and some of them made press statements. (see anil netto’s for the brief update of what they said).

it was good to see so many people gathered outside the police station in solidarity to find out what’s going to happen to those arrested. at some stages, some people lighted candles, and at some stages, people were chanting some slogans. once, we all sang the negara ku.

this picture show some of the people gathered outside the police station.

howie and i posed for a photo with BERSIH members. they were friendly and helpful in updating us what happened at the vigil. one of them, said to be the secretary, later on got hold of the list of the names of all those who were arrested, and read it out to the crowd.

whenever a MP made a statement, of course, the reporters crowded round her/him and also the people present will crowd round the MP to listen to what she/he had to say. however, there was one non MP who suddenly attracted so much attention – she was one of those who attended the vigil and she talked to reporters about how she was attacked and in the process, injured her head which require 4 stitches! she came directly from the nearby assunta hospital, of which she was admitted, all dressed in the hospital gown.

she said she was standing with her son, singing the negara ku when suddenly someone grabbed her from behind and she fell, htting her head on the ground. she realised the person who grabbed her was a plain-clothes policeman. her 24 years old son also fell, then she heard the policemen shouting "biarkan dia! tangkap budak ini." (leave her, arrest this boy).
phew! to think not only the police were brutal but they attacked innocent people from the back! what cowards!

this is the picture of her injured head (taken from penangwatch). i learned that her name is dian abdullah and her 24 years old son, khairul who was arrested, was injured too.

i notice many reporters were interested in her story and many photographers took photo of her stitched head too, like the above. i haven’t seen it online or the MSM though her account. maybe it is in the chinese press, as the chinese press, i notice, had lots of pictures and reports.  

one of those arrested, was a catholic priest, fr. paulino, who was dressed in his priest robe come to think of it, it is kind of ridiculous to arrest a priest. what harm can the priest possibly do? it seems that fr. paulino has lots of supporters. i notice a group of about 20 supporters from the church standing around outside the police station. at one time, they formed a circle, and said some prayers. later on, i saw fr. o.c. lim (from church of st francis xavier in PJ) appearing.

a couple of kind-hearted men, whom i later on learned, were from the bar council, bought KFC and drinks for the detainees. of course they were not allowed in but the food was passed to the police to pass to them.

all the detainees were not put in a lock up inside the police station but they were outside at the car park, where there is a shade with chairs (see the picture, at the backround in the centre). we can get to see them from afar, if we went to the building next to the police station, standing at the elevated drive-way. the picture below was taken from there, and the 2 figures there in the foreground were ong and andrew.

as the hours ticked by, more people were seen leaving the police station. most who stayed back were those with family or friends who were arrested. luckily, ong and andrew are allowed to use thier handphone, thus ong updated us on what’s happening at their side. at one stage, around 1.00am, ong said, their statement might be taken soon, then they’ll be released. howie and i were so relieved to hear that but we waited and waited, no they were not released. later on, i found out, from heresay, that, yes they were about to be release but a ‘higher hand’ authority suddenly directed the police not to release them yet.

at one time, the press were allowed to enter and at one time, a group of lawyers were allowed to enter. at about 3.00am, one of the lawyer who entered, came out and update us on the situation. he said that, the detainees will be questioned/interviewed soon but most probably they will be released only early morning. he advised us to go back home and come only during the morning. well, we had booked the PJ inn, which is just a stone’s throw away from the police station, so i went there to check in. before i hit the bed, i decided to blog a little about my experience. use my PDA and handphone as modem to get connected. very frustrating that my blog ‘write’ page appears out of focus, with only a tiny narrow window – which made it difficult for me to blog, so all i managed was just to point readers to anil netto’s blog for reading of my experiences.

well, at 4.00am, i try to sleep but i just can’t get to sleep. maybe it was due to the excitement that keep me awake! i lay on the bed, tossing and turning and only managed to get 10 mins of shut-eyes now and then. i woke at 6.00am and refresh myself… and just 10 mins after i woke, howie came to call me to go to the police station as we have to bail out ong and andrew.

when we reached the police station, we found out somebody had already bailed ong. it seems that anyone could bail anyone! i gave my IC to bail 3 persons, whom i do not know… but i get to meet them and talked to them later. it was here that i saw fr. paulino and introduced myself to him that i am also a catholic. picture below, you can see fr. paulino on the right… and poor tony pua sleeping on the left. earlier, i already saw tony sleeping somewhere else. he looked very tired indeed. i was surprise he could still remember me (met him before once, before he became a MP).

after the forms/papers were processed (which took quite a long time), when the bailier and bailee (got such word?) signed on the forms, then we were allowed to leave the police station.

ong had his video camera confiscated, and together with a malaysiakini camera-man, who aslo had his video camera confiscated, were trying to get back their cameras. he spent 1/2 an hour, rushing here and there to get it back but did not manage to get it back. poor him. and to think, he just got back the video camera from the shop after repair! ong worried that this will be a trend – the police seizing videos and camera so as to cover up their brutality or wrong doings! he said he managed to capture the police throwing people into the black maria… like they were throwing cattles! oh, for sure, this shot, the police wants to make sure not available to public. see ong’s blog for pictures he had taken while he was inside the police station.

we quickly get to the hotel to put our bags as we had to fast made our way to the court hourse for RPK’s sedition trial at 9.00am. thought we were late, but seemed that we were quite early. saw RPK and his wife, marina, outside at the waiting area, and immediately went up to greet them. i personally told RPK about our vigil this saturday and hope he will come but he said that he had been advised by his lawyers not to attend too many vigils (he had attended the seremban one, and of course this PJ vigil), as there is a possibility that the police (or our bodoh home minister) might detained him during one of these vigils. well i can understand that. this is a photo i took showing RPK and his wife, marina, chatting and joking with his lawyers and others who gathered there to join in the trial (including ronnie liu). he was very jovial and jokes a lot.

RPK’s trial was the seditious trial on his article "let’s send the murderer of altantuya to hell." this was my first time going inside a court house. really! i was surprise to see the room is quite small. and we can’t hear what the lawyers and judge had to say – too far away. it was disappointing to note that the trial had to stop twice. first time it was because the lawyers had to discuss some new charges or what. while they were out, the judge continue with other case. when RPK and his lawyers were ready, 2 cased haven’t finish, thus we had to wait and wait. then the trial went into only 1/2 hour i think, when it had to be stop again and to continue in 2 hrs time. when RPK left the court-room and went out, wow! lots of reporters and photographers swarmed round him. he was like a star – with photographers following him wherever he went and the cameras clicking away non stop.

since we had to made our way back to penang, and all of us (except george) did not have enough sleep, we decided not to wait for the trial to resume. so we said goodbye to RPK and marina and left. we left the hotel at 12.30pm. ong had to stop for some business and by the time we left KL, it was 4.00pm. reached home at 8.45pm.

well, the weekend of 9 and 10 nov. was certainly a most exciting, exhilirating, exceptionally memorable for me!


from malaysia today:

I arrived late after a media function around 10pm I decided not to join the crowd in the singing of Negaraku. I was in fact standing next to the platoon of armed policemen readying for the charge when I heard the commander issue the order to charge and arrest. I called my friend who was in the crowd to tell him to run for his life and to tell the others too. But they continued singing the national anthem and as they were on the last one or two bars of the Negaraku, the platoon moved in, a sight so fearsome that it would not fail to intimidate even the most seasoned of protesters. What followed was sheer madness. Wholly brutal, wholly unnecessary.

A well dressed young Indonesian lady kept screaming at me: "Oh My God, oh my God! I have seen all this on TV but how can this happen in Malaysia?"

my say:  yes, as i stated above, when i arrived at the civic centre but did not entered but was at the restaurant, i can hear the police shouting so fiercely – it was as though they were attacking a group of terrorists or what!!

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