CRACKDOWN: Action will be taken against demonstrators

NST: 10 December, 2007
By Eileen Ng

POLICE yesterday began a crackdown on those who had organised and participated in recent illegal rallies. Two leaders of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) — Pas vice-president Mohamad Sabu and Parti Keadilan Rakyat information chief Tian Chua — were arrested.

In Kuala Lumpur, nine demonstrators were detained for illegal assembly after ignoring police instructions to disperse while staging the ‘People’s Freedom Walk’, which had been called off by the Bar Council. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said action would be taken against anyone who violated the law. “We do not discriminate. There are no double standards in enforcing the law,” he said.
SUBANG: No one, including lawyers, is above the law, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Commenting on the illegal march by activists that saw the arrest of nine people, including four lawyers, Abdullah said police would act against anyone who violated the country’s laws.
“Although they are lawyers, if they violate the law, we will take action against them. We do not discriminate on this matter,” he said after receiving cheques totalling RM500,000 from the MasterCard-ntv7 Platinum Golf Masters 2007 tournament.
The money will be donated to Rumah Kanak-Kanak Taman Bakti in Kepala Batas and Persatuan Kebajikan Kanak-Kanak Terencat Akal, Seberang Prai Tengah.
Abdullah, who is also the internal security minister, said those who continued to ignore the country’s laws and proceeded with their protests could expect a response from the authorities.
“The police will enforce the law and take action.”
He hoped the trend of holding illegal protests and rallies would stop.
“It will not bring any benefit to the country and the people. Such action is not our culture and is not something we should emulate.”
On the move by New Delhi to deny a hearing to Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P. Waytha Moorthy, Abdullah said he appreciated the stand of the Indian government.
“We have a good, firm relationship with them, a relationship based on mutual respect and understanding.
“Both countries have their own laws and sovereignty.
“Any issue that crops up should be solved within the country itself, based on its own laws,” he said.
On another matter, he said he was happy with the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition (Lima ’07) for sealing RM13.2 billion in deals.
“This is very good. Lima’s success is even bigger and better compared with two years ago.”