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Are we heading for an emergency? Is Jamal paving the way for this eventuality?

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The conduct of the Red Shirts is alarmingly provocative and threatening the peace of the nation and the lives of its citizens.

No one, no group can claim any area or road as their territory and deny access to Malaysians. No one, no group has authority to declare any place out of bounds to others. No one, no group has any right to blockade or harass others passing through.

The Red Shirts have wantonly acted aggressively and violently to oppose the peaceful Bersih 5 convoy. In certain instances, they resorted to assault and stubbornly got in the way of Bersih 5’s peaceful convoy by snatching their flags and banners in utter disregard for the right of the Bersih supporters and their freedom of movement.

Their gross behaviour has the potential to explode out of control and create havoc and unrest and will certainly disturb the peace and harmony that we all crave for. This must not be allowed to take place. This is totally unacceptable.

Red Shirts leader Jamal Md Yunos defiantly and blatantly declared that “there will be more aggressive response to the next Bersih convoy”.

To a question on what he would do next time, the Sungai Besar Umno chief brazenly said, “Next time I’ll vault my car on top of theirs” and added that the Red Shirts would be on stand-by to “chase away” Bersih. He did not mince his words as to what they intended to do. They are all geared up for a fight and an open confrontation. There is no doubt about it.

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Today, 9 October 2016, at Sabak Bernam, they pelted two men wearing Bersih T-shirts with eggs and one of them was sent sprawling to the ground with a flying kick. While the police officer was calling for calm, the same Bersih supporter was again kicked by another Red Shirts supporter in the presence of the police officer. All this brutal behaviour was captured on video.

According to the police, these two Bersih supporters “wanted to go home and decided to go through the road controlled by the Red Shirts”.

But isn’t it strange for the police even to say that that road was “controlled by the Red Shirts”? Can they really control any road as they wish? Can they take possession of any place as their territory and deny a passage way to motorists?

To add further confusion, Sabak Bernam district police chief Nor Azmi Isa said there was no need to probe the egg pelting as no one was hurt.

Whether anyone was hurt or not is another matter. But were the Red Shirts not disturbing the peace and behaving in an utterly unruly manner in a public place? In simple language, they were assaulting these two Bersih supporters with eggs.

Are we to understand that if these unruly Red Shirt members had used stones to pelt the Bersih supporters that would be wrong because people can get hurt – but it is all right if eggs are used?

If the police had been pelted with eggs, would they be as tolerant and lenient?

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The IGP and the police must declare whether what the Red Shirts are doing is a threat to peace or not.

Will the IGP and the police tell Jamal and his unruly gangs of goons to stop confronting and clashing with the Bersih 5 convoy in the name of law and order?

Will the IGP and the police openly acknowledge that the present conduct of the Red Shirts is not acceptable and has the potential to cause mischief and threaten our fragile peace?

If this is not forthcoming from the police, then Malaysians may conclude that what some Red Shirt members are doing is a deliberate attempt by Umno to pave the way for the prime minister to declare an emergency in certain parts of the country, especially in Selangor under the newly approved National Security Council Act.

Since there is some talk that Selangor may call for early elections to forestall the negative impact of the proposed delineation, a declaration of emergency would effectively prevent any attempt to hold early elections in Selangor.

It all boils down to retaining power and defeating the opposition – which is posing a real challenge to the BN. Under BN rule, there can be no democracy, no rule of law and no liberty.

This reminds us of the saying that “the contest for ages has been to rescue Liberty from the grasp of executive power”.

This is what all peace-loving and law-abiding Malaysians must bear in mind and come together collectively to throw out the corrupt and the greedy, the insolent and the arrogant so that we can have a change and a new government.

READ MORE:  Myanmar’s brave protesters display remarkable resolve in silent strike

P Ramakrishnan
Aliran executive committee member
9 October 2016

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