In early August, Cheras Division of Gerakan passed certain resolutions which can be viewed here. The resolutions were sent to every top leader of the party via email, and to the mainstream media as well as electronic media, and certain Chinese papers had carried it.
I am glad that yesterday, Dr Koh TK , president of parti Gerakan, spoke about the need for police to change their way of handling public demonstration especially the peaceful ones.
In a speech given at the Selangor State Delegates’ meeting, he mentioned that police must be fair and consistent, and must act fairly consistently especially in the handling of public demonstration. He mentioned that police cannot act against some and not against others, and he refered specifically to the cow head demonstrators and the candle light vigils the next day.
This was what he said, as reported in MalaysianInsider:
His remarks also come a day after police arrested 16 people in a peaceful candlelight vigil, a little more than a week after standing by while a group of Malay-Muslims threatened violence and stamped and spat on a sow’s head to protest the relocation of a Hindu temple to their neighbourhood.
Koh said the public was questioning why the cow-head protestors were not arrested.
His words appeared to be at odds with that of his Cabinet colleague Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, the Home Minister, who had defended the police last week.
“Current public perception towards the police is that they are more effective in catching demonstrators than criminals,” said Koh today.
“People who carry out candlelight vigils and people who are sitting in mamak shops wearing black clothes are arrested. I think that is not correct,” he said.
Cheras Division, of which I am a member, was the first division to voice out ina resolution asking Police Act to be amended and peaceful gatherings of more than 5 people be allowed.
I am glad that finally, grassroots voices are being voiced out publicly , not by small flies by me, but by a big shot like Dr Koh. This shows that grassroots members indeed can exert influence on their leaders, if only they voice out without fear and favour. If every division voices out the same things, then leaders will have little choice but to voice out too.
I have been so critical of the policies of the government and our leadership at meetings that I have a feeling that sometimes, the leadership might have wished that I am not around. But this time , where credit is due, we must give credit for Dr Koh for criticising police action and their double standard,, in the cow head incident as well as the candlelight vigil.
The archaic police act must be amended and certain standard operating prodecures be adopted so that for the officers at the lower levels, there is no ambiguity regarding actiona gainst demonstrators.
Similarly, other government enforcement agencies such as MACC must be fair and consistent in carrying out their duties.
They must understand that government servants have their allegiance not to the government of the day but rather to the people, and they should be reminded that they are in the Majesty’s service , meaning that they should act in the best interest of the country and the people. They are supposed to carry out their duties along the spirits of our Federal Constitution, and it is up to them to advice the politicians to act according to the COnstitution.