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26 arrested outside Parliament

 | June 24, 2013

They were detained outside the Parliament building for trying to breach a police cordon


KUALA LUMPUR: Some 26 people have been arrested outside Parliament an hour ago after they tried to breach a police cordon stopping them from entering the building.

The group, which had camped at Padang Merbok since Saturday’s Black 505 rally, marched to the Parliament building which is about 1km from the field.

They had their camps dismantled by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall at about 4.30am this morning.

They had camped in Padang Merbok demanding that the resignation of the Election Commission top officials, claiming that the Commission had failed to conduct a fair and free general election.

They marched from Padang Merbok and demanded entry into Parliament grounds which was refused by the police.

They then lied-down on the road leading towards the Parliament building to show their protest. The police numbering about 300 personal had set up a human barricade some 800 metres from parliament gates.

Among those detained are student activists Adam Adli Abdul Halim and Mohd Safwan Anang. The 26 include eight protesters who surrendered themselves.

Meanwhile those who surrendered today are ‘Aunty Bersih’ Annie Foo, who shot to fame after the Bersih 2 rally in the federal capital in 2011 and  Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia founder Badrul Hisham Shaharin.

All those arrested were taken to the Dang Wangi district police station before being transferred to the Jinjang detention centre.

Earlier PAS’ Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad received a memorandum from the protesters outside the Parliament gates and urged them to disperse peacefully.

The remaining 50 people in the group dispersed at 12.20pm on police orders.They headed back to Padang Merbok and are awaiting further instructions from their leaders, especially Asalkan Bukan Umno (ABU) head Haris Ibrahim.

Obstructing traffic

When asked to comment on the matter, Rural and Regional Development Minister Shafie Apdal criticised the protesters for obstructing the traffic by lying down on the road heading to the Parliament.

“What will happen if you get run over by a vehicle? The car driver will have to take the blame for it,” said the Semporna MP, who is also an Umno vice president.

Bumburing MP Bung Mokhtar Radin commended the police action in arresting the protesters.

“If the protesters want to sleep so much, they can do that in the lockup,” quipped the vocal BN leader.

“The protesters have lost their mind. There are many cars here, it’s dusty, they could endanger people. They are free to protest, but don’t lie down on the road.”

But he blamed the protest on Pakatan Rakyat for “masterminding” the rally this morning and “misleading” their followers.

“Pakatan is playing with people’s sentiments. The people outside aren’t even aware that the Pakatan MPs have already been sworn in while they were busy lying on the road,” he said.

However, Bukit Katil MP Shamsul Iskandar Akin defended the protesters, saying they were merely voicing their objection in a peaceful manner, as enshrined under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA).

“The government might as well repeal the PAA if Malaysians can’t even hold a peaceful rally,” said the PKR youth chief.


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