Anti-ISA protests: ‘VIPs’ to be hauled up

(The Star) – Police will be calling in 11 political leaders or “VIPs” suspected of being behind the protests against the Internal Security Act (ISA) last Saturday, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said on Tuesday.

More than 20,000 people gathered to protest the ISA on Saturday, but were dispersed by police deploying watercannons aned teargas.

Nearly 600 people arrested, including Subang Member of Parliament R. Sivarasa, although all but 30 were later released.

Sivarasa was freed on police bail on Monday, while 16 were charged at the by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court with “illegal assembly with the intention to create a public disturbance” under Section 143 of the Penal Code.

The remaining 13 — including a 16-year-old boy — were charged under the Societies Act.

Their trial has been set for Sept 4.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has directed the police to investigate and take action against those responsible for organising and instigating the ISA rallies.

Meanwhile, Musa said police would recommend to the Attorney-General that parents who “exploited” their children by allowing them to participate in the rallies be charged as well.

Two other underaged boys, aged 16 and 13, were released over the weekend after a magistrate refused to allow them to be remanded.

Women, Children and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil had earlier said that 44 children under the age of 18 were detained on Saturday.

She said that those who intentionally exposed children to dangerous situations under the Child Act, 2001, risk being jailed 10 years or fined RM20,000 or both.

More to come