Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Good cops take heat off bad cops

Amidst mounting eyewitness accounts alleging police brutality at Saturday's Bersih 2.0 rally, the Bar Council's monitoring team found an exemplary model of police action that demonstrated 'restraint, professionalism and politeness' in crowd control.

"There was no use of tear gas or water cannon, nor were there any arbitrary arrest after or during the dispersal of the crowd. That is how crowd control should have been done throughout Kuala Lumpur," Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee told a press conference yesterday.

He was referring to the situation at Changkat Stadium, off Jalan Hang Jebat, where thousands of protestors had assembled after they were dispersed by tear gas and water cannon in the area around the Puduruya bus terminal.

NONEAccording to the observation report released yesterday on the Bar Council website, the crowd led by PKR vice-president Chua Jui Meng reached the road leading to Stadium Merdeka - the rally destination - at 2.20pm but was stopped by police barricades (right).

"The police officer denied them access to Stadium Merdeka. Both parties were polite to each other. The police officer explained that they were under orders not to let anyone in,” reads the report.

NONE"Chua (holding mic) used a megaphone to make a speech. He thanked the officer for their civil manner, and mentioned the (Agong) had allowed them to use the stadium, and they came in peace. The crowd cheered in support of him."

The crowd then dispersed and headed towards the Central Market where they were assaulted by rounds of tear gas.

"During the entire time the crowd gathered before the barricades, the police on duty were polite, and the crowd was cooperative. There was no attempt to force their way in. The police officers were polite to us (observers) as well. There was no shouting, no harsh words uttered," the report states.

Condemning the "wholly unnecessary" launching of tear gas and water cannon against the rally participants at all other locations, Lim described the Jalan Hang Jebat case as an "exemplary model" of crowd control.

"What we can hope for is the exemplary pocket, one exemplary location where the police acted professionally will become the model for the rest of the other officers."

Compliance with Suhakam model

He also said the police there had adopted the collaborative model recommended by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia years ago.

"Police engage the crowd, seek out ... the one or two leaders or the marshalls among the crowd, to find out what is their intention."

Then both sides negotiate. The police should give the crowd reasonable time to make speeches, followed by at least three warnings demanding them to disperse before resorting to force, he said.

However Lim could only identify the pipd kl bersih 090711 ku chin waholice officer in-charge as a Suhaimi.

"I don't have his rank. I now regret not recording his rank and number. He was very professional."

Lim also commended the KL Criminal Investigation Department chief Ku Chin Wah (right) for allowing the lawyers to provide legal access to those detained at police training centre and Jinjang police station a few hours after the arrests.


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