KUALA LUMPUR: The Inspector-General of Police has had enough of the #KitaLawan rallies, saying the pro-Opposition movement is no longer allowed to assemble anywhere.
Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar (pic) issued a stern warning to rally goers for today’s (Saturday) gathering at various points in the city, primarily KLCC.
This comes after police arrested Perak state assemblymen Tan Kar Hing (Simpang Pulai) and Chan Lih Kang (Teja) and four others for allegedly assaulting a KL City Hall (DBKL) officer who was supposedly trying to remove a “Pecat IGP” (Sack IGP) banner during a sit-in protest in Dataran Merdeka yesterday.
Police claim they stepped in after protesters kicked and punched an officer, though witnesses and a video on social media suggest that the officers instigated the fight.
“It looks like they (KitaLawan) have become violent – beating up an officer. I want to say now, that the KitaLawan group is no longer permitted to stage protests anywhere.
“See, when we allow them to asssemble, they become violent. Because they can’t control themselves and threaten public peace, we will not allow them to assemble at their usual spots anymore.
“Like Saturday’s rally, I am reminding people not to take part. If they continue, we are going to arrest all involved,” the top cop said during a press conference at the Concorde Hotel yesterday.
Khalid said police were not against assembly or protests, but said the group had “crossed the line” and was disrupting the peace and surrounding businesses.
“These rallies need to be stopped. This country has laws. If they choose not to follow it . . . then they will see for themselves,” he said.
Khalid added that the police had also arrested PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli over a circular he issued to supporters to “mobilise” for the rally.
He said Rafizi would be questioned for sedition, likening his circular to an “order for supporters to break Anwar out of prison”.
This is just the latest in a string of Opposition leaders and human rights activists who have been arrested over the #KitaLawan rally. The protest has been staged weekly since February, after Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sentenced to five years in jail by the Federal Court for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
PKR vice-president Tian Chua said the latest warning by the top cop would not deter rally goers.
“He doesn’t understand that we have the right to assemble. He is still living in an old regime, which suggests that he is not fit for his job,” he said.
Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Zainol Samah said the group had been staging a “sit in” rally near the field since last Saturday and refused to move when ordered by DBKL.
The group was there to protest the jailing of Anwar, and to demand that Khalid be sacked.
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