Monday, 14 January 2013

Kudos to cops and #KL112 rally

The incident-free gathering at the Merdeka Stadium here on Saturday shows there is a transformation towards greater freedom of expression.

The police’s handling of the gathering was commendable, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The police deployed only about 200 men and no Federal Reserve Unit personnel were used.

“Many appreciate the role of the police in facing the gathering. Good job and congratulations to all police members!” Najib tweeted yesterday. It has since been re-tweeted 560 times and received 129 favourites at press time.

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam noted the spirit of goodwill and accommodation among the parties concerned.

“We are hopeful the positive development can lead to further relaxation of existing restrictions,” he said in a statement.

Malaysian Bar president Lim Chee Wee said the KL112 gathering showed the rakyat was able to assemble peacefully with police help.

Meanwhile, Barisan Nasional leaders said the gathering was peaceful due to the transformation programmes initiated by Najib.

“The peaceful city rally shows the prime minister’s and the Government’s sincerity in allowing greater civil freedom,” Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said.

MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said: “It showed peaceful gatherings can take place in stadiums under the Peaceful Assembly Act.”

MIC Youth chief T. Mohan said the minimal presence of Indians at the gathering was a sign the community was happy with the positive changes under Najib’s stewardship.

Kota Belud MP Datuk Rahman Dahlan said if not for Najib’s sweeping reforms the gathering would not have been possible.

He regretted, however, that the organisers of the KL112 rally had flouted conditions they had earlier agreed to.

Meanwhile, Dang Wangi police chief Asst Comm Zainuddin Ahmad said they have started investigations into allegations that the organisers had violated three of the 27 conditions agreed to.

The alleged violations were bringing children under 15 to the rally; carrying placards, posters and banners with words of a seditious nature; and allowing the number of participants to exceed the agreed 30,000.


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