About a year ago, former PM Tun Dr. Mahathir claimed that Malaysia is a 'police state', a charge vehemently denied by the Inspector-General of Police himself. But on Sunday, it took about 500 men-in-blue to police about 100 marchers celebrating UN World Human Rights Day in KL. The peaceful morning march was stopped and several lawyers and human rights activists were arrested. Malaysia not a police state? Then why the overkill?
The battle lines have now indeed been drawn. It is quite clear to all and sundry that the Pak Lah government have begun a crackdown on dissent. Charges are being framed against organisers of protests and demonstrations that have rocked the country in recent weeks and they include some leaders of the opposition parties. There is also the dark threat of the ISA. Obviously, this is a move to cow the general populace in a run up to general elections expected to be called anytime soon in the next few months.
Malaysiakini has quoted the prime minister as saying that he will not "shirk his sense of accountability to the greater public, especially in the face of 'police intelligence' about planned violence by the rally organisers." Police 'intelligence'? Thats a classic oxymoron* for sure.
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