CORRECT RESPONSE: Police dealt with rowdy protestors professionally, says Hishammuddin
KUALA LUMPUR: THE police dealt with rowdy protestors professionally despite provocation, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
He commended the police for being professional despite being tormented by 20,000 protestors.
"I am saddened by what happened today (yesterday).
"The organisers had promised that the demonstration would be a peaceful one, but it turned unruly although the government had given its best to allow them to gather peacefully.
"They were adamant and forced their way into Dataran Merdeka," he said here yesterday.
The police foiled attempts by protestors to break through a barricade and barbed wires laid around Dataran Merdeka, which was declared a restricted area until Tuesday by a court order.
Hishammuddin said he regretted that the organisers and protestors had put public safety at stake in the interest of a minority group.
He said they would have to "pay the price" for putting the safety of the public at risk just to champion their cause.
"I am saddened that even though the government has embarked on transformation efforts, such as abolishing the Internal Security Act and introducing the Peaceful Assemblies Act, it has been exploited by irresponsible parties to invite people to join street demonstrations and endangering public safety in the process.
"What the public needs to see clearly is that what the organisers claimed would be a peaceful gathering was not the case."
He said it was not easy for the government to uphold fundamental human rights and maintain public order and national security at the same time and that the assembly did not affect either because of the police's ability to strike a balance.
According to Bukit Aman, as of 8pm, police had detained 388 participants of the illegal gathering and that they were brought to the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) here.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the time had come for the silent majority to come forward and voice out their dissatisfaction with activities that could lead to chaos and uncertainty in the country.
Ahmad, who is also Umno information chief, said the majority of Malaysians who loved peace, harmony, security, safety and prosperity formed the silent group.
"We don't want chaos and disorderly conduct to continue to be the culture of the vocal minority like the one led by the illegal assembly groups and the opposition today.
"Such activities should cease.
Ahmad said the future of the country should not be left in the hands of any irresponsible movement who only represented the minority and only knew how tospeak aloud.
"Malaysia should be peaceful and we hope this peace and tranquillity would be the pillar of our country's stability. If we ask the foreign investors why they come here, they will say it is because of our political stability.
"If we ask the tourists, they will say it is because of our security," he said after launching the Rapat 1Malaysia programme with the Selangor Ex-Police Association of Malaysia, here, yesterday. Bernama