IGP: Cops used minimal force

Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/6/1/nation/14406880&sec=nation

Thursday June 1, 2006

IGP: Cops used minimal force

KUALA LUMPUR: Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohd Bakri Omar has defended the action of his men against demonstrators at the KLCC on Sunday, saying they had used minimal force to disperse the protesters.

Every time our men told them to bersurai (disperse), instead of retreating, they moved forward. They became very abusive and confrontational, he said.

He added that the police had a job to do and if they did not do it there would be chaos.

He said the on-the-scene commander had allowed the demonstrators some 20 minutes to say their piece and disperse.

When they refused to disperse, it was then that the FRU Troop Commander decided to spray the water.

While running away, one of the demonstrators fell because the ground was slippery. The decision to spray water was reasonable to break up the unlawful assembly.

It is very unfortunate that in the course of dispersing these people, several of them were hurt. My men never intended to use any force at all, he said.

But what do you expect my men to do when confronted by these people? We have the right to defend ourselves when confronted.

He said allowing a demonstration without a permit could threaten the peace and security of the area concerned.

Businesses could be affected and people would not want to go there any more for fear of their safety and we will be blamed, he added.

Last Sunday, members of various opposition parties staged a protest against the electricity tariff increase in front of KLCC.

More than 600 people, including PAS and DAP members, took part in the protest led by PKR information bureau chief Tian Chua.

Besides charging at the demonstrators, police also used a water cannon to disperse them.

On another matter, Mohd Bakri said the officer who mistakenly uploaded confidential documents meant for internal circulation onto the police website would not face disciplinary action.

He said what happened was a genuine mistake and the officer had unintentionally gone beyond instructions given to him.