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Tuesday July 15, 2008

Minister: Police action justified

KUALA LUMPUR: The police action of putting up roadblocks in the city for three days is justifiable based on the intelligence gathered, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Albar.

He told a press conference at his office in Parliament yesterday that the information included blog postings and the SMS sent out inviting people to gather at Parliament yesterday.

“The blogs calling for people to turn up were 1426.blogspot.com and zul4kulim.blogspot.com,” he revealed.

Syed Hamid said intelligence was also gathered from a July 9 meeting chaired by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. at the PKR headquarters.

“Anwar said at the meeting that some BN MPs would give support to PKR (on the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister) and he would then lead the demonstration at Parliament,” he added.

Syed Hamid said the meeting was attended by various leaders, including DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, DAP vice-chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw and PAS treasurer Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli.

“This proves that the threat was very real. The intention was clear, we had to take some action to prevent bigger things from happening.”

Earlier in the Dewan, the Home Minister was challenged by Azmin Ali (PKR - Gombak) to reveal who the organiser of the demonstration was.

Syed Hamid said he did not answer in the Dewan as it would be against the rules laid down by the Speaker.

“You also can’t be asking how the police got their intelligence – the information also came from their own people. If you ask us outright to tell you who said all this, we can’t tell you.

“They send out all the invites but when they are in Parliament, they say things differently. We acted because of what they did and I think we were right.”

Pakatan Rakyat leaders hit out at the police.

“Today is a day we have never seen in history. Parliament became a war zone,” PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said, referring to the massive police presence and barbwires along the road leading to Parliament.

“The reaction from the police is unbelievable. I regret that this has to happen,” she said.

Kit Siang said the police action had caused a lot of inconvenience to the public.

PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa said Pakatan Rakyat had never issued any instruction for a demonstration to be held.

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