Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has praised the police for its action in Perak, saying he was proud and grateful that there were no untoward incidents happening on the road involving the innocent public.
He said it does not matter whether the police action was warranted or not, but he believed they had acted according to the law, including making arrests of Opposition party members .
“To me, it is not a matter of warranted or not. What is wrong, is wrong. If anyone violates the law, including myself, we have to go back to the legal system and I believe the police and authorities have taken this into consideration.
“They (police) have to be answerable to me and to the people by making sure what they did was according to the law, and what those arrested did was against the law, that’s all,” he told reporters after his first visit to the Rela headquarters today.
Asked whether he thinks the chaos in Perak could lead to bloodshed, Hishammuddin said he did not think so but the government still have to learn from the experience of other countries.
Meanwhile, in Ipoh, Reuters reported that police arrested 65 people, including five opposition MPs, in a battle over who governed the peninsula’s second largest state.
Police, backed by water cannon, deployed barbed wire around the state legislature while it held its first session since the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government was ousted.
Police stopped opposition supporters from entering the building and cleared a 500-metre exclusion zone. They detained anyone wearing black, the colour chosen by the Opposition to protest against the ruling coalition’s takeover.
In February, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, then the deputy premier, convinced three opposition lawmakers to sit as independents, a move that deprived PR of its majority in the state.
The opposition had wanted fresh elections which the BN has resisted since the March 8, 2008, political tsunami that saw the PR denying BN its two-thirds majority in Parliament for the first time in 50 years and toppling the BN in five states.
A PAS spokesman said 65 had been arrested, including five MPs, although police would not confirm the figure.
“We are willing to lose in an election but not to be treated like this,” said PAS vice-president and Kubang Kerian MP Salahuddin Ayub minutes before his arrest.
Among others arrested are PKR Wanita chief and MP Zuraida Kamaruddin (Ampang – PKR) , DAP assemblyman Jenice Lee (Teratai – Selangor) , PSM MP Dr D Jeyakumar (Sungai Siput, Perak) , PAS MP Mujahid Yusof Rawa (PAS-Parit Buntar).
Other assemblymen nabbed are Ng Chin Tsai (DAP-Temiang, Negri Sembilan), Khoo Poay Tiong (DAP-Ayer Keroh, Malacca) and and some 30 activists.
Some were hauled in for gathering outside the assembly, in defiance of a police ban, while others were dragged out of nearby restaurants.
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Hishammuddin praises police arrests – says does not matter whether they were warranted or not