Yesterday, around 20 or so people were arrested (including an eight-year old “terrorist”) for participating in a May Day March.
According to reports received, 17 or 18 were arrested in the march, while another three were arrested at night when they went to the police station to send the detainees their dinner – certainly an act detrimental to the security of the nation.
It seems,1st May, which is a public holiday in Malaysia, may not be celebrated in any public way other than by staying at home and watching Walt Disney movies on TV.
In a press statement issued by SUARAM, a Malaysian NGO, “The march came to a startling halt when police officers from the Dang Wangi Police District assaulted leaders and workers halfway through their peace walk.”
“An estimated 150 people started their May Day Peace Walk from Chow Kit at towards the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCCTwinTowers) for their gathering,” said SUARAM. “After walking for 1.5 km, they were confronted by a group of police officers who charged the crowd without warning or provocation.”
”Officer in Charge of Police District (OCPD) Dang Wangi, BakriZinin, led the attack, personally shoving and assaulting negotiators at the front. Many workers were hurt when police officers grabbed banners, clothes and leaflets.”
BakriZinin is a well-known Reformasi-hater. In March last year, BakriZinin arrested the Director of the Free Anwar Campaign, Raja Petra, together with his wife, Marina, in a candlelight vigil. The following day, the police raided Raja Petra’s house and confiscated his personal computer and the “evidence” obtained from this computer resulted in Raja Petra’s arrest a month later under the Internal Security Act.
Raja Petra’s March 2001 arrest was most interesting to say the least.
Initially, the police had arrested Marina and another seven people that included an old lady who was limping due to a knee injury and could not run away when commanded to do so. She was arrested for “disobeying the order to disperse quickly”. Marina, who was propping her up when it appeared she was going to collapse, was also arrested for not dispersing fast enough.
Raja Petra then followed the two unfortunate ladies into the police station. A few minutes later, Bakri walked in, saw Raja Petra, and charged towards him. Bakri gave Raja Petra a karate chop that sent him reeling. Why Bakri attacked Raja Petrais not known to this very day.
Raja Petra immediately got up to face his assailant but was surrounded by about seven police officers. Marina, who was more worried that Raja Petra may beat up the OCPD than the other way around, held him back and begged him to sit down again.
Raja Petra stood there pointing his finger at Bakri and shouted, “I will never forget you. I will always remember this incident.”
Bakri went into a rage and tried to attack Raja Petra again but the other police officers held him back. “I am the OCPD here!” Bakri shouted.
“So what?” shouted Raja Petra in reply. “That still does not give you the right to attack me.” The police officers quickly shoved Bakri out the door before the shouting match could turn to bloodshed.
Bakri then told one of the police officers to arrest and handcuff Raja Petra. When asked what the charge was, the police officer said, “We will think of something later.” Raja Petrawas made to sit the rest of the night with his hands uncomfortably handcuffed behind his back.
Raja Petrawas eventually not charged for any crime but was put through the humiliation of spending the night sleeping on the dirty lockup floor in the company of a cell-full of drug addicts and one person facing a murder charge.
When Raja Petra was arrested under the ISA a month later, this incident was raised during the two-month long interrogation. Raja Petra told the police officers he is prepared to face Bakri one-on-one anytime.
“If Bakri is such a fighter, then ask him to come and face me one-to-one,” said Raja Petra to the bemused officers. “He is such a hero when it comes to ten beating up one. Is he prepared to go one-on-one with me?”
“Oh, so you think you can take him just because you are a black belt holder is it?” the interrogators remarked.
“Maybe you are more suited to Azalina (Puteri UMNO). She too is a black belt,” quipped the officer. “I am sure she and you can get along well.”
“No! I don’t think so,” said another officer. “Azalina would probably prefer your wife to you.”
“That’s okay with me,” replied Raja Petra cheekily. “After all, I am into group sex.”
The police officers probably thought they could shock Raja Petra with all the sex talk (which, if you read the Affidavits of the ten ISA detainees, was what was discussed most of the time) but the tables had been turned and they immediately changed the subject.
A friend of Raja Petra, a newspaper distributor, also faced the same fate one day when Bakri gave him a karate chop. This chap, however, retaliated and gave Bakri a hard kick on his groin. Bakri limped away clutching his balls and never troubled the chap again.
The newspaper distributor was detained for two weeks for this episode and is still awaiting trial.
It looks like Bakri is only brave if he has a dozen police officers to help him assault you. And I am sure Raja Petra is now going to be on Bakri’s “hit list” for this revelation.
I am a Malaysian, I love this country and I am non-partisan.
Oppressors, You can blindfold me, you can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.
Let us not let our society fall victim to oppression, and lose forever all that Malaysia holds dear.
Let it never be said that when tyranny reared its ugly head, that you and I sat idly by and watched our integrity disappear in front of our eyes.
Let us all do our part, however little, to fight oppression and not let all semblance of democracy, human rights, or basic decency and rights to life disappear by our oppressors.
Let us not be mere spectators in this great river of destiny as life's journey was never meant to be a bed of roses.
Through out history, good men and women have resisted tyranny................
Let us stand forward and speak our mind to strive against injustice and oppression, as the ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.