The Star: Opposition can’t take the heat

Wednesday September 12, 2007
KUCHING: Opposition parties must be finding it hard to cope with the pressure if they have to resort to rioting to hit out at the police, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

“It’s a common tactic to cause a commotion which will lead to police taking action, and when the police take action they will use the incident to attack the police for being heavy-handed,” he said, when commenting on Saturday night’s riot in Kuala Terengganu.
The Prime Minister also said those who burnt the national flag during the riot were irresponsible.
“The Jalur Gemilang is our country’s flag. Do they not know how to respect a symbol of our nation?”
Abdullah said he would leave it to police to take action against those involved, adding that no action would be taken under the Internal Security Act for now.
“I hope Malaysians will appreciate the peace and security in our country. Everyone has opportunities to enjoy the fruits of development and to contribute to the country’s growth.
“Unfortunately, some people choose the wrong way of contributing due to their political beliefs,” he said.
On another matter, Abdullah said there was no plan to bring Umno to Sarawak.
In Kuala Lumpur, backbenchers in Parliament called for tough punishment for the rioting and the burning of the national flag.
“The authorities must take action against the culprits regardless of party or race,” Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar (BN – Larut) said while debating the Budget at Parliament House.
Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (BN – Jasin) said such people should be kicked out of the country for not caring about the country’s dignity.
“It is not our loss if we kick such ungrateful people out,” he said, while interjecting Raja Ahmad Zainuddin’s speech.
Datuk Tan Lian Hoe (BN – Bukit Gantang) said the cases showed that people failed to differentiate between the country and its ruler.
“The ruler is the Government and if people are not happy with the Government, they should decide during elections instead of insulting the country,” she said.