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By Kapal Berita

7/11/2000 10:31 pm Tue

Ada tiga rencana dari SCMP, Ananova dan AFP dalam mesej ini:

  1. SCMP : Riot police fire tear-gas at Anwar supporters
  2. Ananova: Malaysia opposition denounces latest police onslaught
  3. AFP: Mahathir says opposition lawless, opponents slam "Gestapo" tactics

Source: SCMP : Riot police fire tear-gas at Anwar supporters

From The South China Morning Post, HK

6th November 2000

Riot police fire tear-gas at Anwar supporters

Cry freedom: thousands of supporters of jailed former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim gather at Shah Alam, near Kuala Lumpur, yesterday. Reuters photo AGENCIES in Shah Alam

[- Maaf gambar tidak ditemui - Editor]

Malaysian riot police fired tear-gas and water cannon yesterday at about 5,000 protesters demanding freedom for jailed former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim and more democracy. The anti-government protest was the biggest in recent months.

Led by the country's top opposition leaders, thousands of people blocked a major expressway linking Kuala Lumpur, the capital, to a neighbouring state and shouted slogans against Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

According to protest organisers, 80 people were arrested. Police said 30 were held. Policemen beat back poster-waving protesters and chased them into jungles along the expressway. Some of the protesters were forcibly removed from their vehicles and beaten by policemen. One officer suffered head injuries after he was attacked by protesters.

The clash occurred after 700 police blocked roads to stop protesters attending a rally near Klang, 20km west of Kuala Lumpur. When they closed the expressway to block the protesters, a huge traffic jam built up and opposition leaders and supporters began walking towards the venue.

The protesters shouted "Reformasi", the rallying cry of Anwar's movement that seeks to end Dr Mahathir's 19-year rule. There were also shouts of "Free Anwar, step down Mahathir".

"We are all here trying to demand our rights back," Wan Azizah Ismail, Anwar's wife and leader of Parti Keadilan Nasional, told the crowd from a wheelchair at the front of the protest. Aides said she had injured an ankle.

She was joined by the heads of the Democratic Action Party, the Parti Islam se-Malaysia and the Malaysian People's Party.

As the other opposition leaders fled the police onslaught, Dr Wan Azizah was hoisted by her aides over the divider of the expressway and into a waiting car.

Dr Wan Azizah said protesters had agreed to disperse peacefully before the police advanced. "I think they were just trying to create disorder so the opposition would be blamed," she said.

Anwar, 54, is serving two jail sentences totalling 15 years for s###my and corruption. nav_src=newsIndexHeadline

Malaysia opposition denounces latest police onslaught

Opposition leaders and rights activists have condemned a heavy-handed police operation against thousands of demonstrators who jammed a major highway while travelling to Malaysia's largest pro-democracy rally this year.

Authorities arrested at least 116 people on Sunday and showered tear gas and chemical-laced water on slogan-chanting protesters who blocked roads linking Kuala Lumpur, the capital, to a neighbouring state.

Police held the 114 men and two women overnight, said Suhaida Kasri, a lawyer who plans to defend the jailed activists. Those detained would be brought to court later on Monday to be remanded to judicial custody pending arraignment, she said.

Norian Mai, the national police chief, described the rally attended by 5,000 supporters of jailed politician Anwar Ibrahim as an "inconvenience" and claimed he was satisfied with how authorities handled the protesters.

But opposition leaders who spoke at the gathering insisted that police should not have sealed off roads in the area, west of Kuala Lumpur, or forcibly removed protesters from their vehicles.

"There was no need for aggressive action against what was a peaceful pro-democracy rally," said Lim Kit Siang, who leads the Democratic Action Party, one of four opposition groups which have joined forces to oppose Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's 19-year rule.

Suaram, a local human rights group, said the police onslaught was "an overreaction" and claimed that many of those arrested had been injured.

Police also seized cameras and film from several news photographers who shot pictures of the scuffles. A policeman sustained head injuries after he was attacked by protesters, local media reported.

Sunday's rally was the largest of several protests this year organized in support of Anwar, the ousted deputy prime minister who is serving prison sentences until 2014 for corruption and s###my.

Prime Minister Mahathir sacked Anwar from the Cabinet in September 1998, accusing him of being too immoral to hold office. The prime minister has denied Anwar's allegations that he framed his former protege to prevent a political challenge.

Last updated: 05:32 Monday 6th November 2000. s=asia/headlines/001106/asia/afp/

Monday, November 6 3:28 PM SGT

Mahathir says opposition lawless, opponents slam "Gestapo" tactics


Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad accused opposition parties Monday of lawlessness after 116 people were arrested in Malaysia's biggest anti-government protest for months, but his opponents criticised police for using "Gestapo" tactics.

Police fired tear gas and chemically-laced water cannon Sunday to break up the protest by supporters of jailed ex-deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim.

Police were seen attacking some detainees and at least one officer was assaulted by protesters.

Mahathir, quoted by Bernama news agency, said the trend among the opposition was to break the law and invite action against them.

When this happened they would inform their "friends overseas" who would in turn condemn the government for the alleged absence of freedom, he said.

Several thousand protesters Sunday marched along a main highway after police declared their planned rally at a nearby site to be illegal and blocked access to the venue.

Mahathir said Anwar's trial lasted one year and he was defended by nine of the country's best lawyers. "And yet they (overseas critics) still say there is no due process.

"We are a free country ... our laws are clear and we fully abide by the law and still they say there is no due process," he said.

Mahathir also criticised the resolution by seven US congressmen calling for a new trial for Anwar.

Anwar was sacked by Mahathir on September 2, 1998 and arrested 18 days later following mass anti-government rallies.

In April 1999, he was jailed for six years for abuse of power and in August this year was imprisoned for nine years for s###my. The sentences will run consecutively.

Anwar says Mahathir orchestrated a conspiracy to frame him on criminal charges because he was seen as a political threat. The government denies any plot and says courts are independent.

Opposition party leaders at the protest, including Anwar's wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, accused the police of over-reacting.

Wan Azizah, who is temporarily confined to a wheelchair, said Sunday that protesters had agreed to disperse peacefully before police advanced.

"I think they (police) were just trying to create disorder so the opposition would be blamed," she told AFP from the scene.

Anwar's brother Rosli said his nephew Khairy suffered a fractured skull from a tear gas canister while moving Wan Azizah's wheelchair out of danger Sunday. He was in a hospital intensive care unit.

Syed Husin Ali, head of the Malaysian People's Party, condemned what he called "Gestapo" tactics by police and said they had beaten up some protesters and damaged vehicles.

In a statement he said police had thrown tear gas caanisters into a truck where about 40 detainees were being held.

Syed Husin said Malaysia was becoming an authoritarian state. "Power is increasingly concentrated in the hands of one man who is steadily showing signs of becoming a paranoid dictator," he said in reference to Mahathir.

Lim Kit Siang, chairman of the Democratic Action Party, condemned the attack on the police officer but said police over-reacted to the situation in a "trigger-happy and callous" way.

The 116 detainees were being held in a police station parking lot and had not been allowed to see lawyers as of mid-afternoon Monday, one lawyer said.

Police, who have wide powers to ban any gathering, have said those attending the rally could be jailed for up to a year.

National police chief Norian Mai said late Sunday he did not rule out the arrest of opposition leaders. "We will investigate the extent of their involvement in the illegal gathering before taking any action," he said.