Malaysia

Cops deny aiding ‘school kids’ to disrupt ABU ceramah

By Shannon Teoh
January 25, 2012

SHAH ALAM, Jan 25 — Police said today they could not have aided a group of locals to disrupt an Anything But Umno (ABU) ceramah here last Saturday as officers only arrived after the two groups had clashed.

Shah Alam police chief Zahedi Ayob told reporters “police were only told (of the ceramah) after the disturbance but calmed the situation down as soon as we arrived.”

“We were not informed of the event. Why did they not tell us? Only they know,” he said.

ABU said yesterday it would lodge a complaint with the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) claiming police had worked with a gang of men to disrupt the gathering in a hall on Jalan Kebun here.

Rembau PKR chief 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.

But Zahedi said today “even if a plainclothes officer had arrived earlier, he would not have been able to take action as he would have been alone and likely would have been whacked.”

“Even if you had been there, you would have had to wait for uniformed personnel. But as I said earlier, we did not know about the event at all and only arrived after the incident,” he said.

He also said allegations that the ceramah was disrupted by “30 to 40 men in Umno shirts are not true and only stories.”

“All six whom we detained for investigations are between 16 and 19 years old. School kids. Are they party members? Unlikely,” he said.

Zahedi added the six were identified as intruders during the ceramah through video and photographic evidence which showed “nobody there was in an Umno uniform.”

The anti-Umno coalition had claimed that the ceramah was cancelled after men in Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) T-shirts, allegedly armed with steel rods, kicked over tables and chairs and asked the attendees to leave.

Police also said they did not find any weapons at the scene but admitted there were unused flagpoles strewn about the venue.

Zahedi said organisers of public events should inform the police of their occurence as “we don’t want to obstruct, we want to protect.”

“If you do it in the hornet’s nest, then we will tell you not to and suggest another place. But if you say you like to get stung, then we will let you proceed,” he added.

He also said the six detained were not remanded and released on police bail after their statements were taken.

Police also said they were waiting to interview a 27-year-old who sustained injuries to his shoulder, back and eye in the clash and was hospitalised.