Who owns the police?


(TMI) – Various parties have criticised the police for continuing to use Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA), a law that the Appeals Court have deemed unconstitutional to arrest participants of #KitaLawan rallies.

Last Saturday, police secured a three-day remand order for activists Adam Adli and Mandeep Singh for participating in the weekly #KitaLawan rally to free jailed opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The remand order was given because both Adam and Mandeep were considered a “flight risk”.

Since the #KitaLawan March 7 rally, nine protesters have been arrested. Apart from Adam and Mandeep, others who were arrested previously are DAP Youth chief Teo Kok Seong, PKR Youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli, Kelana Jaya PKR youth leader Saifullah Zulkifli, PAS youth treasurer Mohd Fakhrul Razi and Jingga 13’s Fariz Musa.

The recent arrests of protesters open up another debate – what is the inter-relation between political protest and protest policing?

Police had earlier allowed the #KitaLawan rally on March 7 to carry on smoothly, but began their “arrest spree” the next day.

The approach in which how the police handle political demonstrations is always controversial in this country.

A significant police presence, normally with intense visibility, has been observed at numerous protests at different occasions in Malaysia whenever the protests are anti-government in nature. In most of the cases, Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) police personnel with their shields were deployed along with huge intimidating trucks lining up.

That brings up to another question – the selectivity of police intervention.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/khoo-ying-hooi/article/who-owns-the-police