Scuffles during demo outside MACC office

(The Star) – More than 300 members of political parties and non-governmental organisations gathered outside Plaza Masalam here yesterday where the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s office is situated on the 14th floor.

Several FRU trucks, one water cannon, FRU Land Rovers and close to 350 policemen, including plainclothes personnel, were also on standby around the plaza.

Chants of “reformasi, siasat (investigate)” and “we want justice” reverberated through the area as people, angered over the death of Teoh Beng Hock, carried banners and placards and marched to the entrance of the plaza before FRU officials pushed them back.

Scuffles ensued with people shoving the police and FRU personnel, who were armed with shields and batons, trying to keep them at bay. Those who defied warnings to disperse were arrested.

Seven of those arrested include Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam and state exco member Dr Xavier Jayakumar, who was addressing the crowd and urging them to march from the plaza to Dataran Kemerdekaan next to the Bluewave Hotel about a kilometre away.

State exco member Elizabeth Wong’s press secretary Chong Boon fainted during the commotion, which saw Shah Alam police chief Asst Comm Mohd Nor Azam Jamaluddin booed by the public when he advised them to disperse.

Before dispersing, the crowd placed white roses and chrysanthemums outside the plaza entrance.

All those arrested were released later in the evening.

In George Town, more than 50 state DAP leaders and members staged a peaceful protest outside the Penang MACC building in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah.