Hisham: Street protests will only increase crime rate

(The Star) LANGKAWI: More street protests may result in more crimes because there will be fewer police to combat crime as thousands of them would have to be deployed to handle the demonstrations.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said during each demonstration, police have to deploy between 3,000 and 15,000 personnel to secure the area.

“We have a total of 150,000 policemen and if street demonstrations become a part of our culture, we will not have enough men to act against other crime,” he told newsmen after closing the Terengganu Wanita Umno machinery course here yesterday.

Hishammuddin was asked to comment on Kampung Buah Pala villagers in Penang who formed human barricades to stop the demolition of their houses by a developer yesterday.

The villagers had also held several demonstrations at the state government secretariat in Komtar over the past one month.

Street demonstrations will wreck the unity of the country’s multiracial population, he added.

He said there would be more problems if the demonstrations were due to racial or religious reasons.

Hishammuddin said resorting to demonstrations was a negative culture promoted by certain quarters who were eager to gain political mileage without using democratic channels.

“The unity that we have in this country has come about after 52 years of independence. It is still fragile and could split if we do not protect it.

“It is up to the people to decide if they want street demonstrations to be a part of the country’s culture,” he said.