Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Karpal: DAP’s presence was felt

S Rutra | July 13, 2011-FMT

The veteran politician dismisses allegations that his party members did not turn out in big numbers for the Bersih 2.0 rally.

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP chairman Karpal Singh said his party was committed to the Bersih 2.0 rally from the start.

Responding to allegations that DAP members did not turn up in droves for last Saturday’s rally, he said many party leaders and members were confined at the Jalan Pudu Area (near his office), Menara Maybank and Pudu Plaza.

“From day one we were committed to the rally and we never intended in taking a backseat. In fact, I was on the ground to observe and was stopped very rudely by policemen on duty near a road junction in front of the Puduraya bus station,” he told FMT.

However, Karpal conceded that in term of numbers, there were more PAS and PKR members and supporters on the streets that day, but stressed that DAP also made a visible presence.

As for the allegations, the veteran politician, who is wheel-chair bound, said it was an attempt to discredit DAP in the eyes of its Pakatan Rakyat component parties.

“I was constantly in touch with (Lim) Kit Siang who was with other Pakatan leaders and my attempt to join them were prevented mainly by roadblocks around my office at Jalan Pudu,” he added.

Karpal also said that he witnessed Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel firing tear gas indiscriminately at the demonstrators.

He said police not only used excessive force at certain locations against but he as a MP was also subjected to “harsh treatment”.

“They (police) threatened to arrest me if I didn’t retreat to my office. I can understand they were dealing with demonstrators but in my case probably they should have acted in a more professional manner,” he said.

The senior politician also estimated that about 30,000 people turned up on Saturday.

Karpal urged those demonstrators to come forward with visual evidence to assit the organisers in proving that the police used excessive force.

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