Malaysia

ABU to file report with Suhakam over police ‘inaction’

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 — Asalkan Bukan Umno (ABU) will lodge a complaint with the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) tomorrow, claiming police had worked with a gang of men to disrupt its gathering at the weekend.

The anti-Umno coalition’s ceramah on Saturday at the MBSA Hall in Jalan Kebun, Shah Alam was cancelled after the men, allegedly armed with steel rods, kicked over tables and chairs and asked the attendees to leave.

ABU coalition leaders Badrul Hisham (left), Haris Ibrahim (second from left), Sambulingam (fourth from left) and Arutchelvan (right) speaking to reporters after lodging the police report. — Picture by Yow Hong ChiehABU coalition leaders Badrul Hisham (left), Haris Ibrahim (second from left), Sambulingam (fourth from left) and Arutchelvan (right) speaking to reporters after lodging the police report. — Picture by Yow Hong ChiehEyewitness accounts claimed the gang sported Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) T-shirts.

PKR leader Badrul Hisham Shaharin alleged that the “attack” was witnessed by plainclothes policemen who failed to step in despite the danger posed to the crowd by the group.

He pointed out that one attendee was sent to hospital for injuries sustained after the gang of men allegedly attacked him.

Badrul Hisham claimed that uniformed policemen who arrived on the scene soon after also did not any take action against the gang, and were even seen “chatting” with one of them.

“We will go to Suhakam tomorrow and present the video that we submitted (to police) as evidence,” he told reporters at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters here after lodging a report on behalf of ABU.

Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S. Arutchelvan said the police should have acted more “efficiently” to prevent any harm from coming to the ceramah crowd instead of standing idly by.

One attendee, known only as Krishnan, was reported to have been sent to hospital for injuries sustained after the gang of men allegedly set upon him.

But Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) national co-ordinator W. Sambulingam said he was “not surprised” the police allegedly failed to act as he had witnessed similar attempts to break up previous events.

“This is not new... Every time we have a programme, there is intimidation either from plainclothes police, uniformed police or agent provocateurs,” he alleged.

Badrul Hisham said ABU remained undeterred by the incident and would carry out its next ceramah in Senawang, Negri Sembilan on Saturday as planned.

“We place our safety in the hands of the Royal Malaysian Police. We hope that if anything happens, they can act swiftly,” he said.

Electoral reform group Bersih has condemned the alleged attack on ABU and called on police to investigate the matter urgently.

ABU, comprising Saya Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM), the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM), Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) and PSM, was launched in December to educate Malaysians on “the evils of Umno”.

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