Black Thursday: Being terrorised by mad dogs all day

By Nat Tan

What a horrible 48 hours it has been for Malaysia.

Today, I’d like to write mostly about experiences with the police.

I know how Chin Huat must have felt, when almost ten policemen descended on one him on Tuesday, starting this whole mess.

That night, those same policemen who once held me rudely denied even the President of the Bar Council from something as simple as allowing him access to see a detainee.

The next day, a group of young men trying to commemorate the birthday of the slain Altantuya, in parallel with her father’s wishes that Najib not let this incident merely fade away.

They and the cake they were carrying were deemed threats to national security and hauled away by the Putrajaya police.

This of course was followed by another violent police arrest – Mat Sabu in a scuffle outside a restaurant.

Then that night, the police took in 14 people at Brickfields, who had gathered in solidarity with Chin Huat.


After this point, my experiences with the cops got even more personal.

“Democracy by barbed wire,” was one of my first thoughts on arriving at the Perak State Assembly. This is what we had come to, the People’s House had to resort to barbed wire to keep those same People out.

We were allowed the tiniest bit of leeway for a little while, before the police decided to show ’strength’ and come down hard on us.

This was the first of many times that single Thursday I felt as if I was being set upon by mad dogs.

I can’t stress this enough, I think it’s an extremely apt description of my experience.

I know there are good cops, and there are bad cops. The ones burnt into my memory are the bad ones. The ones I swear you couldn’t differentiate from a common thug (or Umno Youth sponsored ruffian perhaps?)

Every time the paranoid and idiotic guy in charge ordered an advance on us peaceful, defenceless citizens, a few of these guys would get this glint in their eyes.

Thinking about it reminds me of the soldiers that committed the very worst atrocities imaginable across Africa in the cases I used to study.

These cops looked to me…. well, eager to beat the shit out of us.

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