PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has defended the police for setting up roadblocks around the city in anticipation of a public demonstration, causing massive traffic jams.
The police, meanwhile, said the roadblocks would continue as they have been “successful”.
The Prime Minister blamed the situation on those who planned to hold demonstrations and said the police were only doing their job of maintaining order and public safety.
“The police are trying to reduce hindrances and traffic jams (that would be caused if the demonstration go on) too,” he said, adding that businesses and shops expected the police to ensure disturbances do not occur.
“But at the same time the demonstrators say police have no business disturbing them. The police have a responsibility in ensuring there is no trouble,” he said.
Abdullah reminded the demonstrators that they could hold their rallies at stadiums where “they can scream at the top of their voice and “not at these places (in the streets) because people have the right to go about their business in peace”.
The rally that was anticipated to take place at Parliament House by Pakatan Rakyat supporters did not materialise yesterday.
Police said they would continue to set up roadblocks at several major roads if needed.
“We have no choice as our main concern is to maintain law and order,” said City police chief Datuk Muhammad Sabtu Osman.
The roadblocks proved to be “successful” although it caused inconvenience to many people, he told a press conference at his office yesterday, adding that 1,600 policemen were deployed for yesterday’s operation.
It is learnt that PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin and a few supporters tried to hold a gathering at Central Market at about 1.30pm. They left when asked to do so by police.
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