Friday, March 14, 2008

Will there be freedom of assembly expression in Opposition States?

So, will there freedom of expression and assembly in the Opposition-governed states or NOT....

What are they protesting about .....some Barisan Nasional policy - the New Economic Policy (NEP) what do you want? You want the Opposition - Barisan Alternative to follow and continue with ALL BN policies and Wawasans....

MYT 6:06:00 PM

Police disperse protestors in Penang (update 2)

PENANG: A big group of protesters, mostly Umno members and supporters, took to the streets around Komtar after Friday prayers to protest against Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's remarks on the New Economic Policy.

Chanting “Hidup Melayu” (long-live the Malays) and “Allahuakbar” (God is great), the protesters marched towards Komtar in Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong at about 2.30pm.

They held banners with messages such as “Kami Penduduk Pulau Pinang Menyokong Penuh Kepimpinan Pak Lah” (We fully support Pak Lah’s leadership), “Anwar Ibrahim Pengkhianat Bangsa” (Anwar Ibrahim, traitor of the Malay race), “Tak akan Melayu Hilang di Pulau Pinang” (Malays will not be sidelined in Penang) and "Kepimpinan DAP dibantah oleh Melayu Pulau Pinang” (Penang Malays Protest Against the DAP-led goverment).

Among those who participated in the hour-long street protest were Penang Umno secretary and state opposition leader Datuk Azhar Ibrahim, former deputy Chief Minister Datuk Abdul Rashid Abdullah, Kepala Batas Umno Youth deputy chief Reezal Merican Naina Merican, Bukit Mertajam Umno division chief Senator Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir, Tanjung Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ibnihajar and former Penanti assemblyman Datuk Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid.

The protest was held in response to Lim's statement that DAP and PKR would run the government "free from the New Economic Policy (NEP) that breeds cronyism, corruption and systemic inefficiency".

Speaking to reporters, Musa said the state Umno would hand over a four-point memorandum to Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas next week in protest of Guan Eng’s statement.

“We do not want to hand the memorandum to the Chief Minister as we believe he will not protect the rights of the Malays. We want Tun (Abdul Rahman) to advise him after we hand over the memorandum,” he said.

Ahmad Ibnihajar denied that the protest was led by the state Umno but claimed that the Malays had gathered in response to an SMS circulated on Friday.

He said the DAP-led government had not respected the rights of the Malays and that the Penang Malays “wanted them out”.

At 3.30pm, George Town OCPD Asst Comm Azam Abd Hamid advised the protesters to disperse, using a loud hailer but they continued to hang around the area.

Thirty minutes later, the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) on stand-by nearby was called in to disperse the protesters. Only then did they leave.

Roadblocks were put up along Jalan Tunku Kudin near the Penang Bridge to prevent protesters from neighbouring states from joining the protest.

Police had received a tip-off about the protest on Thursday afternoon. Acting state police chief Senior Asst Comm (I) Datuk Salleh Mat Rasid said no untoward incidents were reported but two men were brought back for questioning.

"They were subsequently released after their statements were taken down. It was a relatively peaceful protest.

"Rumours of water cannons being used on protesters and bricks thrown into the shops in Komtar are all unfounded," he said.

Businesses such as jewellery shops and travel agencies located on the ground floor of the two nearby shopping complexes closed for business, but re-opened at 5pm.

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