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Water cannon and teargas are becoming our national iconic symbol


Malaysian police had tried to suppress democratic demonstrations with water cannon and teargas since Anwar was ousted by Mahathir in late 90s.

BN seems still cannot learn from the past lessons and believe that high-handed tactic will work. More water cannon and teargas used against demonstrators, more seats lost to opposition parties.

Do you know to have a public gathering, the organizer has to apply for a police permit at least 14 days before the event, otherwise you can be charged for unlawful assembly under Section 27 of the Police Act or under Section 141 of the Penal Code.

Some people blamed opposition parties for having unlawful assemblies, but if you scrutinize carefully, those pro-government assemblies always approved promptly by the Police or at worst no action is taken against them if they held unlawful assemblies under the nose of police.

Malaysian police fire tear gas on opposition protest

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian police on Sunday fired tear gas and water cannons to break up an opposition-backed protest focused on public utilities after some 5,000 defied a ban on the rally.

Human rights lawyer Latifah Koya said about 60 people were arrested and were being held at a police camp outside the capital Kuala Lumpur.

“Lawyers are on the way to the camp to secure their freedom,” she told AFP.

Earlier, opposition legislators had gathered near the National Mosque to address the crowd over the privatisation of water management in Selangor state which surrounds the capital.

“There was total mayhem. Police fired tear gas and water cannons to stop protesters from marching to the king’s palace to hand over a memorandum on the water issue,” opposition lawmaker Charles Santiago told AFP.

“Many people including myself ran into the mosque compound. I was kicked and beaten. There were children and women and some were crying.”

Despite being hit by the tear gas many withdrew only to side roads around the mosque and held up posters denouncing water management firm Syabas and the national government.

Selangor — Malaysia’s richest state — is ruled by the opposition alliance led by Anwar Ibrahim, one of five states which it snatched during 2008 elections.

In 2005, the federal government privatised water management in Selangor to Syabas but the opposition says it has fallen into financial problems and may need to be bailed out.

Santiago said Selangor wants to take back water management in the state but is being blocked by the federal government and Syabas.

A 38-year-old female protester who gave her name as Mariel said she was hit by the tear gas.

“I am angry. It was a peaceful gathering. This country seems to be a police state,” she said as she held a protest saying: “Prices of goods increases, water price increases, do not be cruel to the people.”

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