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Friday, 10 January 2014 | MYT 9:41 PM

IGP: No such thing as peaceful protest, someone bound to get hurt

Khalid Abu Bakar

Khalid Abu Bakar

KUALA LUMPUR: There is no such thing as a peaceful demonstration as someone is bound to "get beaten or have bottles thrown at them," said Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

However, he said, police are prepared for more protests this year in view of the price hikes.

“We have received criticisms for not allowing peaceful demonstrations from proceeding.

“However, a ‘peaceful’ demonstration is unheard of. At the very least, someone might get beaten or have bottles thrown at them,” Khalid told a press conference at Bukit Aman on Friday.

He said as law enforcers, police viewed public safety as "too important to leave to chance."

“The Peaceful Assembly Act was introduced to provide the public with space to voice their views through proper channels.

“The job of the police is to facilitate such gatherings and to ensure that things don’t get out of hand,” he said.

Khalid clarified that the police had never said that the New Year's Eve protest by several non-governmental organisations at Dataran Merdeka was to overthrow the government.

He explained that investigations were conducted based on information disseminated on alternative media, which pegged the rally as an effort to overthrow the government.

“This was a serious call, should we not take action against the perpetrator? Any attempt to overthrow the government is dangerous and considered a seriouse offence,” he said.

“Any form of demonstration that fails to abide by the Peaceful Assembly Act will be investigated as an offence,” he added.

He also said that anyone making statements deemed detrimental to national security would be investigated.

“We have called Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria regarding his controversial statement on the New Year’s illegal rally,” he said.

Harussani reportedly said on Jan 3 that it was permissible to "shed the blood" of participants of New Year's Eve rally.


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