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Home Minister and political disruptions

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Aliran is both disappointed and concerned by the apparent helplessness – or is it indifference? – displayed by the Home Minister in the face of increasing number of cases of political violence in the run-up to the 13th general election. 

A mob disrupts the Abu-Hindraf forum in Jalan Kebun, Klang
File photograph: A mob disrupts an Abu-Hindraf forum in Jalan Kebun, Klang

What we and the general public expect is a firm commitment by the Minister concerned to combat future disruptions at ceramah and other political gatherings. 
One way to show this commitment is for Hishammuddin Hussein to instruct the police force to haul up those who have been found causing trouble and violence at political gatherings and deal with them severely and sternly. That would definitely serve as a deterrent for future disruptions. 
We would argue that the disruptions, of which many were violent, have increased over the years particularly because the powers that be seemed to have refused to punish many of those who had incited and caused political violence. This perhaps has encouraged unruly and thuggish behaviour.  
To employ the services of Rela and the Malaysian Civil Defence Department (JPAM) personnel would involve possible complications as this involves people who aren’t trained professionally enough to handle crowd control. 
We are convinced that a police force that is professional and not subjected to political intervention would be able to deter future disruptions at the hustings. 
Malaysians should not be deterred from exercising their democratic right to attend political ceramah so that they can listen to the discourses put forward by contesting parties before they make an informed choice. 
Aliran Executive Committee
25 March 2013

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