Why Do Malaysian Cops Move in On Only Certain Protests?

From The Star 7 Sept 2009:

Koh: Cops need to be fair and consistent

PETALING JAYA: Police should have a standard procedure to deal with public protests to show it is consistent and fair in its actions, said minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.

He proposed that police do not immediately arrest those protesting peacefully, but to record the demonstrations instead, to identify the perpetrators to take action later.

“If the police act harshly even before there are signs of aggression, not only would this bring displeasure to the group demonstrating but also to the public who will view this as being unfair,” said the Gerakan president after opening the Selangor Gerakan AGM yesterday.

Speaking to reporters on the recent cow head protest in Shah Alam, Dr Koh said the incident had raised many doubts and unhappiness.

In his speech earlier, he said the police must be sensitive to public perception and not just carry out their duty as the image of the police is a reflection of the Government.

Dr Koh pointed out that people have started questioning why the cow head protesters were not arrested on the spot during the demonstration but 16 people were arrested at Dataran Merdeka on Saturday for carrying out a candlelight vigil.

“People who carry out candlelight vigils and people who are sitting in mamak shops wearing black clothes are arrested. I think that is not correct,” he said drawing laughter from the delegates.

Dr Koh asks: Why are peaceful protestors arrested, while a mob vehemently insulting the Hindu religion (and collaterally insulting Guan Yin followers) is let off?

Answer: Look at the subtext in the poster below, which I’ll keep bringing up:


Why weren’t they arrested either, when the Bersih protests were met with chemical-water cannon, tear gas and shield bashes?


Answer: Look at the subtext in the first poster again.

All posters from Malaysian Politics Motivational Poster.

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2 Responses to “Why Do Malaysian Cops Move in On Only Certain Protests?”

  1. mccann105 Says:

    bail rm 200 n these guys be next flight out to join p i bala …

  2. ruyom Says:

    A tragic yet hilarious court proceeding took place in the Ipoh high court on September 8 when the judge blatantly contradicts himself in dismissing a suit brought by Perak PR speaker against the state BN speaker.

    Judge Azahar rejected Sivakumar suit to seek damages from Ganesan for assault and false imprisonment during the chaotic and violent state assembly sitting on May 7. He said the court had no jurisdiction to hear the case due to Federal Constitution Article 72 stipulating that – the validity of any proceeding in any state assembly cannot be questioned in any court.

    And yet in the same breath he declared that – the decision of the legislative assembly to remove the plaintiff as speaker and to appoint the defendant was conclusive and had been fairly determined by the state assembly on May 7, 2009.

    Now, the crux of the entire contention between the two speakers is: who is on the right side of law in the violent tussle for the speaker chair on May 7?

    By declaring Ganesan as the rightful speaker, Judge Azahar is in fact making a legal judgment. Is that not a breach of Article 72? How come he has no jurisdiction to hear Sivakumar grievances but has jurisdiction to judge Ganesan as legal speaker? Is that not a contradiction of the highest order?

    Apart from this atrocious double standard applied by the judge, the main flaw of the judgment is the inability to differentiate between assembly proceeding and criminal behaviour. What Sivakumar is seeking is redress for the unlawful physical violence inflicted on him. And Article 72 covers only businesses conducted in the assembly – not unlawful and criminal act.

    Judge Azahar has therefore wrongly used Article 72 to come to his judgment. To make it very clear that this is the case, I will quote in full the relevant clauses in Article 72 (Clauses 1 & 2) and explain the reasons why.

    Clause 1: The validity of any proceedings in the Legislative Assembly of any State shall not be questioned in any court.

    Clause 2: No body shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or vote given by him when taking part in proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of any State or of any committee thereof.

    Note the operative words “proceedings” in Clause 1 and “anything said or any vote given” in Clause 2.

    It is abundantly clear what Article 72 refers to are the speeches and resolutions made in the assembly, not any criminal or unlawful act.

    But what happened on May 7 was complete pandemonium and chaos in the assembly hall. There was no chance to conduct any business at all, least of all any resolution passed. In fact the only business done on that day was the address by the Perak Regent Raja Nazrin Shah.

    And how was Sivakumar replaced by Ganesan during that pandemonium?

    While Sivakumar was sitting in the speaker chair, hordes of police personnel entered the assembly hall, allegedly on Ganesan order, and physically lifted, carried, dragged and moved speaker Sivakumar into a room where he was forcibly detained until the assembly sitting was over.

    And as soon as Sivakumar was removed from the hall, police personnel escorted Ganesan into the hall and ushered him to the speaker chair, with police personnel making a line to stand guard in front of Ganesan to prevent any assemblymen from reaching the speaker chair.

    The entire tragedy-comedy was stage managed by the police, and it is therefore more appropriate to say that while Sivakumar was elected by the assembly through a reolution, Ganesan was physically planted into the speaker chair by the police. And that about sums up what happened on that tragic hilarious day.

    And since Judge Azahar appears to be so respectful of the constitutional principle of separation of power as demonstrated by his professed adherence to Article 72, is it not puzzling that he should have chosen to ignore completely the heinous violation of the doctrine of separation of power when hordes of police personnel invaded the assembly to physically replace one speaker with another?

    Is it not another shining example of double standard in the Malaysia Boleh tradition?

    After the series of judicial decisions that appear to wantonly trample the constitution and the law following the shameful power grab in Perak, the latest low represented by Azahar decision makes us wonder how much lower our judiciary can sink into, as many more judicial decisions in the same series are still pending.

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