Assembly masterminded by various parties, includng Communists, says Hanif


(Bernama) – The gathering in the federal capital which turned violent last Saturday could have been masterminded by various parties, including several individuals who tried to spread the communist ideology. 

“If it is not contained, these groups could create disturbance in the country, as was seen in the early 1970s.

“We need to be alert and should not take lightly, these individual pro-communists as we do not know their agenda now,” said former inspector-general of police Tun Hanif Omar.

He said these dangerous groups were taking part in the assembly, solely to create a riot, with the intention of turning the people against the police.   

“Pro-communist individuals were the same individuals who created disturbance in the 1970s, when I was the inspector-general of police, and I know the individuals involved.

“The assembly organisers, whether they are aware or not, had been used by the group to achieve their ambitions,” he said after attending a Presentation of Contributions under Dekad Kecemerlangan Anak-Anak Polis (Dakap) programme by Yayasan 1Malaysia Development Berhad here. 

Hanif, who was appointed inspector-general of police in June 1974, and remained in the post for two decades, said the number of pro-communist masterminds were not many. 

“They were good at throwing stones and hiding their hands,” he said, adding that the group also used children to obtain sympathy from the people, like the demonstrators of 70s. 

He said, participants of Saturday’s assembly were also in contempt of the court by breaching its order to prevent any activity and assembly in Dataran Merdeka and the surrounding streets, from Saturday to tomorrow.

He also denied allegations of certain parties that all provocations witnessed during the assembly were due to police action, and hoped the mass media would play its role in giving a clear and accurate picture.

Meanwhile in KOTA MARUDU (Sabah), Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the demonstration had nothing to do with electoral reform but merely a political challenge to test the government’s political will to enforce law and order in the country.

The chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reform also pointed out that all submissions and concerns expressed by the group had been addressed by the committee.  

“The 32 recommendations (10 in the interim report and 22 in the final report) generated by the PSC to effect electoral reform in Malaysia have incorporated proposals to address their concerns. 

“If the PSC has been unsuccessful in addressing the issues they raised, then they have the three senior members of the Opposition in the PSC to blame for failing to represent their respective parties or other issues.

“But as is publicly known, 28 out of the 32 recommendations (or 90 per cent) were unanimously agreed upon by the nine PSC members, including the opposition representatives,” he said when opening the Mukim Bongon Kaamatan festival at Kampung Radu here today. 

Ongkili also held the organisers of the demonstration fully responsible for the eventuality that had taken place during Saturday’s illegal gathering.  

The Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) deputy president urged Malaysians to hold fast to the spirit of moderation, unity and Mitatabang (solidarity) as espoused by the founders of the Federation.  

“We must never allow this country to be governed from the streets. May we renew friendships, enhance unity and the spirit of cooperation in this land, and above all, have sound political sense,” he said.

Meanwhile in KUALA LUMPUR, former unionist A. Ragunathan said the Registrar of Societies should investigate all non-governmental organisations (NGO) which were affiliated to the assembly as they might have breached the law by participating in the demonstration. 

The former Cuepacs president told Bernama that from his experience, many NGOs were not allowed by their own constitution to carry out such activities. 

Ragunathan, who was one of Malaysia’s leading trade unionists in the 60s to 90s, had led numerous picketing, strikes and rallies for civil servants.

Meanwhile in BANGI, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the organisers of the gathering should be held responsible for all the incidents on Saturday.

The rural and regional development minister said, tough action had to be taken against groups which disrupted public order.

He was speaking to reporters after presenting the 2011 Orang Asli Excellent Student Award here today.