Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pakatan reps arrested, state secretariat blocked

The Perak Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives are determined to proceed with their planned state assembly sitting today despite a police order barring anyone from gathering at the state secretariat.


MCPXOusted menteri besar Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin and some of the Pakatan state reps started arriving to the state secretariat at about 8.45am. Some 150 supporters were present.

The police meanwhile have thrown a heavy security cordon around the state secretariat with Federal Reserve Unit trucks and water cannon blocking the rear entrance of the building.
The police have also cordoned off the tree under which the last Pakatan-held state assembly was held in March. About 100 police personnel are on standby.

At 9.45am, all the Pakatan representatives and their speaker V Sivakumar began walking from the Perak DAP office towards the state secretariat. They were accompanied by some 50 supporters.

Three reps arrested

When stopped by police, Perak DAP head Ngeh Koo Ham argued with them about the court order prohibiting the gathering.

"The court order says the public cannot be in the vicinity, but is silent on state assemblypersons. It is illegal to stop state assemblypersons fromperforming their duties...
"Furthermore, Section 90 of the Criminal Procedure Code says that such an order must be gazetted."

The group then attempted to march on, but was blocked by a row of riot police. Ngeh was arrested at 10.10am.
Also arrested was Stanley Tan, a photographer with Nanyang Siang Pau, who was said to have been kicked in the process.

He had shouted at the police: "You nak kerja, kita pun nak kerja." (We both have duties to perform.)

Also arrested were Malim Nawar state rep Keshvinder Singh and Simpang Pulai assemblyperson Chang Ming Kai. Three other members of the public were also arrested.

By 10.20am, the Pakatan reps and their supporters retreated to the state DAP headquarters which is located just behind the state secretariat.

Here Sivakumar told reporters that the assembly would be convened at the nearby Heritage Hotel based on the doctrine of necessity.

Nizar meanwhile slammed the police over their high-handed approach in arresting the three state representatives and the others.

"This is the holy month and yet they behave in such manner," said Nizar.
It was also learned that Keshvinder was hurt in the process of being arrested and has been taken to the Ipoh Hospital for treatment.

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