Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Come On, It's Just Cheer and Support, Not a Mob Fight!

Police warn against illegal gathering today

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 — Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Wira Muhammad Sabtu Osman today warned groups against holding any illegal gathering here to show support for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is facing a sodomy charge.

He said police received information last week through SMS sent by irresponsible individuals asking people to gather and listen to the hearing of the case involving the opposition leader at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

“So far, police have not received any application from any quarters for a permit to hold a mass gathering...if it takes place tomorrow, it is deemed an illegal gathering under Section 27 of the Police Act 1967,” he told reporters at his office here.

Muhammad Sabtu urged the people not to be taken in by the SMS to attend the gathering as it would cause traffic congestion and could threaten public order and safety.

He said such a gathering could also prevent the smooth process of the law. He added that police would not hesitate to act against those taking part in such an illegal gathering.

“Please listen and work with us (the police). Don’t get involved tomorrow (in the planned illegal gathering) as it is an unwise move and will cause incovenience to others,” he said.

National News Agency

I don't really know who the hell from the agency wrote this but it is more of a propaganda in tone. (feeling is like there's a government directive to write that). Go deeper and, it's like in the night before Batu Caves in Thaipusam where people would wait and gather to greet people like Najib who are like celebrities. For some, it's a once a lifetime event thing there to cheer and support someone like a fans supporting their favorite teams and players.

But to call an event where people who wants show support and perhaps meet / greet Anwar as an illegal assembly is somewhat inconsistent to what was in at the night at Batu Caves. Though I am no fan of the man himself, I somewhat think that every side should get the same chance and not a game of monopoly of one side, right?

I do note that the KL police chief Mohd. Sabtu Osman was mentioned prominently in media in regards to some 'illegal' gatherings in KL like the Bersih, anti-ISA, anti-hike petrol fuel price, and so forth. Of course it's according to the Police Act which is starting to become unfit in the current age and scenario, as what Khalid Samad said about the Selangor state religious enactment thing.

But thankfully, at least you have some police people helping to jaga things in order, thankfully nothing happens throughout the day. But again, come on, the crowd control methods thing is like making a public place a school , reminds people of school days. But a public place is not a school, by definition, and environment, so you can't expect to use 'school' style rules outside, right?

And then, people want to come and hear the trial live at the scene, so why not put that live feed outside the courtroom and in some places there so that people can watch it. It's public interest really. I too had the same thing and excitement of covering the Lingamtape inquiry 2 years ago.

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