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Cops admit firing into hospital, but not sorry

 | July 21, 2011

The police admit that their water cannon was fired into the compund but denied that they had shot tear gas cannisters into the area.

UPDATED

KUALA LUMPUR:  The police admitted firing their water cannon into the Tung Shin hospital compound during the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9.

Internal Security and Public Order director Salleh Mat Rashid said that some tear gas might have trailed into the compound as well.

However, he maintained that no tear gas canisters were shot directly into the compound, where a group of protesters had sought refuge.

“We did fire water into the hospital, we admit,” Salleh said while showing a video of a water cannon firing into the hospital compound.

The video was one of many shown during a presentation at Bukit Aman to reveal the police’s side of the incident.

As the water cannon was seen firing into the compound, Salleh, in referrence to one of the hospital’s buildings, said: “This is empty.”

Salleh also showed a Malaysiakini video that showed the police firing near the hospital.

Using this video as evidence, he said that the tear gas canisters were not aimed at the hospital, but towards protesters.

No apology

Neither Salleh nor any of the senior police officers present apologised for the incident.

“Investigations are underway, and what action taken by the police at the time was according to standard operating procedure that was in place,” said the director.

The Tung Shin incident had been one of the focal points of the rally, with Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai and the hospital board initially denying that tear gas and water cannons were fired into the compound.

However, 11 of the hospital’s doctors claimed otherwise.

The 11 doctors, who released a signed statement, were Dr Ng Kwee Boon, Dr Low Paik See, Dr Musa Mohd Nordin, Dr Mazeni Alwi, Dr David Quek, Dr Sheikh Johari Bux, Dr Steve Wong, Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa, Dr Ng Swee Choon, Dr Mary Cardosa and Dr Jeffrey Abu Hassan.

Many of the 11 were said to have been on duty at the Tung Shin and Chinese Maternity Hospital during the rally. They were also willing to give sworn affidavits to back their assertions.

In their statement, the doctors said they were outraged that tear gas and water cannons were fired into the Tung Shin and Chinese Maternity Hospital compounds with scant regard for the safety of patients, staff and the general public who were in the buildings.

Also read:

Police give their side of the Bersih rally

‘Video shows PAS No 2 lied’


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