The Minister seemed slightly at a loss for a moment before finally answering that as he had been travelling extensively recently he was not completely up-to-date with the events surrounding last weeks crackdown, but that he himself “remained in favour of free speech, having been a student activist during my university days in the UK”. At this point however, the Foreign Minister couldn’t seem to make his mind up as to whether or not he thought Malaysia being compared to the UK was a good thing. - Aliran
LONDON, Aug 9 — Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman yesterday moved to quell concerns that the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) was clamping down on civil protests, saying that he would quit the Cabinet if this were true.
On the back of police action against anti-Internal Security Act (ISA) gatherings last week and a recent clampdown on opposition newspapers, he told Malaysians at a meet-and-greet session at the Malaysian High Commission here that the police had acted on information that there were agent provocateurs who intended to subvert the rallies for their own purposes.
The Kimanis MP also admitted that as BN could not be sure of staying in power after the next general election, he would not support a draconian administration as he would not want to be similarly victimised.
“There is no conspiracy. I would not be a member of Cabinet if I thought so because tomorrow, I may not be a minister... in a few years, we may not be in power,” he said to just under 100 attendees.
“What happens if we do things we should not have done? It can happen to us as well. There must not be any discrimination or victimisation. I promise not just to you but to myself, I will not remain in Cabinet one day longer if I find there is hanky-panky going on in the government. It is not right morally,” Anifah said.
Anifah, who was known as a maverick and outspoken backbencher, also insisted that when “40 to 50 people gather, the issue is not about being afraid to lose power” nor was it the case that “we do not allow certain individuals to campaign” as the results of Election 2008, which saw BN cede their customary two-thirds parliamentary majority and five state governments, was proof that “democracy exists.” - M.I
Anifah Aman said that in Britain when faced a group of anti-ISA protesters in London. He said that police acted on information that there could be agent saboteurs. But the agent saboteurs were only found in Penang, and not in other parts of town. But still there are groups who will not accept his same stand of having ISA amended. Instead they want the ISA to be tear down and replaced with an Anti-Terrorism bill.
The above excerpt from an account by Aliran of what transpired there should be given as a head start for Anifah. Since Anifah said that he was not completely up-to-date to last week, let me be generous in providing a comment on that. You see, even ministers and management people are also "not given" additional information by their own mainstream media. In other words, being blinded and kept in the blue by your own creation. Or perhaps another reason is that the "managers" are being mislead or ill-advised by those who were on the ground.
And therefore, there is a question mark on whether the police or the government officials are being ill-advised over half-baked intelligence reports on the ground. For example, the "agent provocateurs" factor only happened and reported in Penang only.
Since Anifah said that he's not completely up-to-date over the events leading to the arrest, perhaps this piece below should be the start of lesson 1 of him to wake up and see if that is matching his statement.
He should start now really. Look at today, 3 people just arrested by Brickfields police branch for PROTES?
How's that to begin with, Mr. A?