IN THIS ISSUE
run riot in Kuala Lumpur
criticises police crackdown on demos
recover lethal weapon from Reformasi supporter
donate glasses to NUJ
Rights Commission not an April Fool joke
call to restore democracy not an April Fool joke
in danger of losing world record
Wall to prevent entry of 'bad influences'
apology media reports
rejects hostage rescue plan
Ministry denies G77 rumour
sends fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe
|. Thousands run
riot in KL
|Fears that the first anniversary of the sentencing
of Anwar Ibrahim on April 14 would spark violence came true when Kuala
Lumpur was swarmed by thousands of violent rioters in green uniforms and
red helmets, armed with batons, tear gas, automatic rifles, sub-machine
guns and water cannon. The rioters attacked hundreds of people praying
in the National Mosque with water cannons, before descending in waves upon
Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman to baton-charge hundreds of peaceful pro-Reformasi
Hundreds of the red-helmeted rioters were seen gathering
at other strategic parts of the city such as Dataran Merdeka and Central
Market, assembling illegally in red trucks and shouting abusive slogans
at innocent passer-by, such as "Bersurai! Bersurai!". and "Balik!
It is understood that two separate groups of rioters -
calling themselves the Federal Reserve Unit and the General Operations
Force - took part in the day's gatherings. Many of the rioters were also
seen at road blocks, bus stands, railway terminals and LRT stations, pointing
automatic rifles at frightened commuters to prevent other groups of demonstrators
from disrupting their rioting.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had earlier this month warned Malaysians
that rioters would hold gatherings "aimed at commemorating something
Rioters were armed with water cannons,
tear gas, batons and automatic rifles
"We are commemorating a significant event that occurred
exactly one year ago to this day," said one of the uniformed rioters
as he was wiping some blood off his boots with a prayer mat in the main
hall of the National Mosque. "Exactly one year ago, we were allowed
to roam the streets and beat the crap out of anyone we saw. Today, we want
to beat the crap out of some more people."
"The Constitution says we have the right to gather
and it is a basic human right," said a group of rioters on Jalan TAR
as they fired dozens of rounds of tear gas into a passing schoolbus. "We
are just exercising that right," stressed one of them, as he clubbed
a 60-year old lady with his baton.
A nearby group of red-helmeted rioters who were playing
football with a student denied that their actions amounted to aggravated
assault. "No, this is just simple assault. And the most we can get
imprisoned for it is two months," they explained.
US criticises crackdown on demonstrators
More civilised riot control methods in the US
|A US State Department spokesman who refused to be named
criticised Malaysia's crackdown on demonstrators this month, describing
tough police actions as "preventing its citizens from exercising free
speech and peaceful assembly"
"The US demands that the Malaysian government allow
its citizens to exercise their universally recognised rights to free speech
and assembly," he said. "Errr … as long as it does not involve
the WTO or IMF, of course, now that's a different story altogether….. "
He also criticised police handling of demonstrators. "We
have seen CNN footage of dozens of Malaysian riot policemen kicking young
students to the ground mercilessly until they are unrecognisable. The pain
inflicted is unnaturally cruel and barbaric. In the United States, we do
it the civilised way - we just shoot the bastards dead. Especially if they're