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Fwd: Violence in Malacca - DPM should act
By web aNtu

2/9/2000 10:22 pm Sat

Subject: [BUNGARAYA] Violence in Malacca - DPM should act

Press Statement By DAP Melaka State Publicity Secretary And Assemblywoman For Durian Duan Betty Chew Gek Cheng In Melaka On 1.9.2000.

Datuk Abdullah Badawi Should Visit Melaka Town Immediately To Reassure The Chinese Community That The Government Will Protect Their Lives And Properties From Any Irresponsible Groups That Threatens Racial Harmony ==========================================

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Abdullah Badawi should visit Melaka town immediately to reassure the Chinese community that the Government will protect their lives and properties from any irresponsible groups that threatens racial harmony. After visiting the affected areas of the violence yesterday, residents expressed both anger at fear at the lawlessness and the absence of any police to stem these attacks.

Yesterday morning, huge groups of young people had attacked shophouses, smashed car windows, desecrated temple lanterns and even religious altars on houses along Jalan Hang Jebat, Jalan Tukang Besi, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple in Jalan Tokong, Kampung Pantei, Kampung Hulu, Jalan Munshi Abdullah and Lorong Java. The residents said they were frightened at the large groups of youths who rampaged through their areas after 12.30 am 31.8.2000.

What is even more frightening is that the youths were armed with bamboo sticks, obviously willing to attack those who tried to defend their homes. It is fortunate that no one was hurt in the attacks except for one Nanyang Siang Pau photographer who was hurt when caught in a fight between two gangs of youths in the Mahkota Parade shopping complex.

As Home Minister, Datuk Abdullah Badawi must come down personally to calm the people as the attackers were all from one race and the victims from another race. Desecrating places of religious worship is very sensitive and has caused increased tension amongst the communities. If there was any fight, then there would have been unfortunate racial incidents. Datuk Abdullah Badawi should also come because the Melaka police has shown their inability to cope with the violence. In fact when a resident in Kampung Hulu called the police, the police put down phone and did not answer her calls for help. No police came when the youths were attacking.

Datuk Abdullah Badawi must reassure the people in Melaka that the police will take immediate steps to stop such violence, arrest and punish those responsible. If the Melaka police can not cope, then Datuk Abdullah Badawi should send urgent personnel and police officers from Bukit Aman to take over the duty of ensuring public order and safety in Melaka.