‘Gangster’ attacks won’t deter campaign, say student activists
KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 – Student activists camped at Dataran Merdeka said today they are not deterred by this morning’s attack by unknown people, vowing they will continue their stake out there till the Bersih rally next Saturday.
The varsity activists lobbying for an end of the controversial National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) loan scheme added that they are ready to face any possibilities that may happen.
Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM)’s chairman, Muhamad Safwan Anang @ Talib told a press conference this afternoon that the mob incident about 2.45am today will not weaken the undergraduates’ resolve to get an answer from the Najib administration.
“We consider what happened this morning as out of our expectations, if we are not allowed to gather, we would be arrested by the police… why did the thugs disturb us? That is what makes us perplexed and disappointed.
“We did not do anything wrong, if we did wrong we would be caught, the police and also DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Hall) did not take any action against us,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
He added that the campaign which has entered its sixth day will continue until April 28, when civil rights movement Bersih 2.0 plans to take to the city centre again in a reprise of their widely-reported mammoth rally last year on July 9 to draw attention to their claims of electoral discrepancies.
Early this morning, a group calling itself “Occupy Dataran” said student activists at Dataran Merdeka was attacked by around 60 to 70 unidentified individuals dressed in black.
News regarding the attack was spread through the social networks Facebook and Twitter.
Video footage of the incident was uploaded to YouTube’s website, showing “gangster” groups loitering around the square.
“However, the use of thugs have greatly disappointed us, we are willing to hold on for the country’s future, we are willing to endure and suffer injuries for a better future for the coming generation,” says Safwan.
He also described Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as not giving weight to the students’ demands.
“We consider that the government has already set aside this matter, we will still go on and if a concert will be held on April 28, we will give way… we have no problem, what we only want is for the responsible parties, especially the prime minister to care.”
“What is the resolution from the government? So far there is still no action,” he said.
The student group has filed a police report.
The Malaysian Insider understands that PAS’ Unit Amal will help control the campaign organised by the students.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Bangkit’s chairman Mohd Syahid Mohd Zaini says that the government needs to quickly give a positive answer to demands for the scrapping of PTPTN.
“We will wait and continue gathering, we ask for a positive response from the government,” he says.