KUALA LUMPUR: The police have dealt with rowdy illegal protesters professionally despite provocations, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
He commended the police for being unfazed despite being tormented by the protesters.
“I am saddened over what happened today. The organisers had promised that the demonstration would be peaceful, but it turned unruly although the Government had given its best to allow them to gather peacefully.
“They were adamant and forced their way to Dataran Merdeka,” he told reporters here yesterday.
The police foiled attempts by protesters to break through a barricade and barbed wires laid around the square, which was declared a restricted area till Tuesday by a court order.
Hishammuddin said he regretted that the organisers and protesters had put public safety at stake in the interest of a minority.
He said they would have to “pay the price” for putting the safety of the majority of the public at risk just to champion their basic rights.
“I am saddened that even though the Government has embarked on transformation efforts like abolishing the Internal Security Act and introduced the Peaceful Assembly Act, it has been exploited by irresponsible parties to invite people to join street demonstrations and endanger public safety.
“What the public needs to see clearly is that what the organisers claimed would be a peaceful gathering was not the case,” he said.
He said it was not easy for the Government to uphold fundamental human rights and maintain public order and national security at the same time and that yesterday's assembly did not affect either because of the police's ability to strike a balance.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the time had come for the silent majority to come forward and show their dissatisfaction of activities that could lead to chaos and uncertainty in the country.
Ahmad, who is also the Umno information chief, said the majority of Malaysians who loved peace, harmony, security, safety and prosperity formed the silent group. - Bernama
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