Hisham says Bar Council prejudiced
PETALING JAYA, May 12 — Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein dismissed today the Malaysian Bar’s resolution demanding he and the police chief apologise for alleged police brutality at the April 28 Bersih rally, saying the Bar Council is prejudiced in calling for the vote.
The home minister said the Bar Council “damaged its credibility and integrity” by rushing its interim report and yesterday’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) where it resolved to condemn the police for “excessive” and “indiscriminate” violence when dispersing tens of thousands at the rally.
“They can ask but it is very clear even before the EGM, they were very prejudiced. It has only been a few days. It is unlikely they know exactly what happened,” Hishammuddin (picture) told reporters.
He also told students at the Gradmalaysia career fair here he will “reveal to the Malaysian public next week exactly what happened on that day,” dismissing any finalised report or decision as premature.
The Malaysian Bar approved the resolution yesterday after only 16 out of 1,270 lawyers opposed the resolution, which contained findings of alleged police brutality against protesters and members of the media.
A total of 939 votes were recorded in support of the resolution. There are some 14,000 members in the Malaysian Bar.
The April 28 rally, which saw tens of thousands gather at six different locations before heading to Dataran Merdeka, was peaceful until about 2.30pm when Bersih chief Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan asked the crowd to disperse.
But her call was not heard by most of the crowd who persisted around the historic square which the court had already barred to the public over the weekend.
Just before 3pm, some protestors breached the barricade surrounding the landmark, leading police to disperse the crowd with tear gas and water cannons.
Police then continued to pursue the rally-goers down several streets amid chaotic scenes which saw violence from both sides over the next four hours.
Several dozen demonstrators have claimed that they were assaulted by groups of over 10 policemen at a time and visual evidence appears to back their claim but police also point to violence from rally-goers who also attacked a police car.
The police car then crashed into a building before some protestors flipped it on its side.