Cops to act on candlelight vigils, says creating ‘anxiety’ for residents
City police chief Mohmad Salleh warned today the police will be taking stern action against politically-motivated candlelight vigils, saying such gatherings were illegal and were causing local residents “anxiety”.
The police had arrested 18 people who were keeping a candle light watch outside the Jinjang police station here last night for student activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim who had been locked up five nights for allegedly inciting the overthrow of an elected government through street protests.
Similar vigils held in Penang over the past few days have ended in violence.
“These vigils are an offence under the law. For the police, it has reached a level where we can no longer tolerate such things, because it can cause anxiety for the local residents.
“So I ask, please let the legal process to proceed as fairly as it can. If we are dissatisfied, street protests are not the way to solve it. We have the courts,” he was quoted by news portal Malaysiakini as telling a news conference here.
Police arrested 18, including four women, at a candlelight vigil for the 24-year-old Adam Adli who had been held at the Jinjang police lock-up since last Saturday.
Adam Adli was charged at the Sessions Court today for statements he allegedly made at a forum on May 13, and released on a RM5,000 court bail while his trial is set to be mentioned on July 2.
Media reports say some 1,000 had gathered outside the police station, which was under tight security in anticipation of a continued night vigil.
According to Malaysiakini’s report, the vigil had proceeded smoothly until about 10pm when police gave a 10-minute notice to disperse to a crowd listening to PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub.
Student activist Khalid Ismath then attempted to negotiate with the police for an additional 30 minutes, however, the latter only agreed to an extra 10, said the report.
The second 10-minute notice was issued as Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo was speaking to the crowd.
Police then began widened the security cordon around the Jinjang police station and picked up those who refused to leave the area.
Several lawyers, including Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, Petaling Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian and PAS central committee member Zulkifli Ahmad, attempted to get into Jinjiang police station to assist those held by police.
The 18 have since been released after spending the night behind bars.
Another candlelight vigil that was also held in solidarity with Adam Adli in George Town, Penang last night ended in a fight between several aides to the state’s ruling Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government and supporters of the state opposition, the second such incident in a week. A reporter and an activist were injured in the clash.
Penang Suaram coordinator Sean Ho and Oriental Daily newspaper reporter Ooi Choon Nam suffered minor bruises and injuries after a fight broke out as the group was dispersing from the candlelight vigil at about 9pm last night.
The candlelight vigil, organised by Penang Suaram, was held peacefully at the Speakers’ Corner at Esplanade at about 8.30pm attended by a group of about 80 participants including Suaram members, Batu Uban state assemblyman Dr T.Jayabalan, Pulau Tikus assemblyman Yap Soo Huey and a member of Suaram steering committee Datuk Dr Toh Kin Woon.
The group started to disperse at about 9pm when a group of about 20 men on motorbikes appeared and started jeering at the Suaram group.
A similar candlelight vigil held outside Universiti Sains Malaysia on Monday also left a handful hurt. Five people were beaten up, including two reporters.
Candlelight vigils had not and will not create anxiety to the residents. Instead, the authorities inaction to combat crimes in the neighborhoods are actually causing undue anxiety to them.
you saying there is a court...but court problems that have not been fair to the opposition...because the court is controlled by illegal UMNO-BN government...so how to get justice ..we have no choice but to go down the road