KUALA LUMPUR: DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang wants to know what Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar had done in the past three days to protect the rights of civil society organizations to assemble peacefully.
“More than 72 hours have passed since the hooliganism and thuggery exhibited by the Red Shirts in Teluk Intan,” noted Lim in a statement. “There’s not a squeak either from the IGP or the other top police officers.”
Lim, who is also Gelang Patah MP and DAP Parliamentary Leader, wants the IGP to explain the division in the police ranks.
The Johor Baru police could act in full regard for their law and order responsibilities with the Bersih 5 convoy, he pointed out. “The police in Teluk Intan failed dismally in the discharge of their basic duties.”
The DAP veteran urged the IGP to commend the police in Johor Baru and castigate his men in Teluk Intan.
What would have happened if Bersih 5 supporters had been as unruly, provocative and violent as the Red Shirts in Teluk Intan on Saturday? asked Lim.
Undoubtedly, he said, the IGP would have tweeted for the whole world to know. He would have tweeted his “instant” directive to police officers to bring the offenders to book or hunt them down if they do not surrender within 24 hours, alleged Lim.
What was even more ignominious and infamous was the Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders using the Red Shirts hooliganism and thuggery in Teluk Intan as an excuse, he said. “They are issuing seemingly even-handed calls to organizers of the Bersih 5 and Red Shirts rallies to call off their demonstrations.”
He stressed they were publicly exhibiting the continuing loss of their moral compass. “They are unable to distinguish right from wrong.”
As human rights lawyer Eric Paulsen has aptly said, it’s absurd to compare the peaceful Bersih 5 convoys with the hooliganism and thuggery of the Red Shirts in Teluk Intan, said Lim.
Ten civil society organizations, through spokesman Samad Said, had condemned the Red Shirts’ violent attacks on the Bersih 5 convoy team in Teluk Intan. They urged the IGP to arrest the perpetrators.
Umno/BN Secretary-General and Federal Territories Minister, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, urged Bersih 5 and Red Shirts to be “sensible and work things out as Malaysians to preserve the harmony and unity within the country”.