The Star: Obey the law and avoid chaos

Monday September 10, 2007
KUALA LUMPUR: Follow the law or else the country will plunge into chaos – this stern warning came from Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“Groups, organisations and members of the public, regardless of their political leanings, must respect the law or there will be chaos,” he said when asked to comment on the riot in Terengganu on Saturday night.
Najib added that any party, even members of Barisan Nasional, must obey the law.
“If they hold public gatherings, they must first obtain permission from the police.
“If any law is broken, the police are empowered to act. That is their duty. They do not have to refer to the Government first,” he said after playing in the Business Times Golf Tournament 2007 at the Saujana Golf and Country Club in Petaling Jaya yesterday.
In Jitra, Internal Security Deputy Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum said the Government would not allow any open-air ceramah to be held before the general election.
He said no ceramah can be organised without a police permit and any gathering without a permit was deemed an illegal assembly.
“Some people were hurt in the incident. This might not have happened if the ceramah had been held in a building where the organiser could control the crowd.”
Mohd Johari said a permit was not given because the ceramah was being held near the Sultan’s palace and government quarters. He said police would be more stringent in issuing ceramah permits so that the Batu Burok incident would not recur elsewhere.
An organiser must ensure that the event would be held in an enclosed area otherwise the permit would not be issued, he added.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat secretary-general Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has asked for an inquiry into the rioting especially the shooting incident. The ceramah was organised by Bersih, a coalition of 60 NGOs pushing for electoral reform.
Terengganu PAS commissioner Datuk Mustafa Ali said the opposition coalition would hold a press conference at 3pm today in Kuala Lumpur to clarify the issue.