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Tung Shin incident: ‘Making mountain out of molehill’

 | October 5, 2011

The Home Ministry downplays the firing of tear gas and water cannons into the hospital during the July 9 rally.

KUALA LUMPUR: Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein downplayed the heavy-handed police action at the Tung Shin Hospital during the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally.

According to the minister, the matter was just one out of six or seven incidents that took place on that day.

“There is a spin that it looks as though the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the police… are at fault. This is just one incident,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.

“The fact is that they are looking at one particular incident, relating to internal disciplinary action based on SOP, to me, is like making a mountain out of a molehill.”

He was asked to comment on a Health Ministry probe which found that the police have overstepped their SOP boundaries by firing tear gas and water cannons at protesters in the hospital compound.

In the days following the July 9 protests, the ministry set up a committee to investigate the allegations. Yesterday, it concluded that the hospital was not targeted by the police.

The ministry’s secretary-general Kamarul Zaman Md Isa said that the tear gas fired at the protesters that day took place at a public carpark outside the hospital.

He said that the gas was fired not into the Tung Shin compound, but outside the Chinese Maternity Hospital.

Nevertheless, Kamarul intends to bring the matter up to the ministry for action to be taken against the police personnel responsible.

Hishammuddin said that those concerned would be charged “according to the law”.

He also confirmed that investigations into the Bersih demonstrations, including the incident where PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu was allegedly knocked down by a police vehicle, were still ongoing.

Also read:

Report: No tear gas fired into Tung Shin Hospital compound


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