PKR state chief Baru Bian was stopped by police to speak at a 1000-strong dinner-gathering in Lawas last Saturday. he questioned why the police could permit BN leaders to make political statements -yet gagged him immediately after he took the mike. It is essential that all candidates and parties are given enough time and opportunities to speak out on their policies and stands on issues so that the voters can make informed choices and so that the best candidates may win. Such is the requirement of a free and fair election. However does the police subscribe to this view-or they are led by the nose as reflected by their excuse to gag Baru Bian ie `Arahan dari atas'(order from above).
UPDATE: A video of the police’s unfair action is here.
Police must stay neutral, PKR(Malaysian Update)
KUCHING – Police should not be biased and allow opposition to get permits for gathering as the BN leaders had been seen giving political speeches in open areas, which may or not have permit, said PKR Chief, Baru Bian in a press conference today.
He said DPM was at a Chinese new year gathering at the Waterfront on Chap Goh Mei in Kuching and there were political statements from top BN leaders here frequently. He wondered if any permit was issued to them.
“If they were issued permit, why were we not allow to get the permit, on what ground,” he asked.
Baru Bian was stopped from welcoming the people at a gathering in Lawas last Saturday by police as there was no permit issued to the organiser despite application for a permit much earlier.
He said he was going to just thank the crowd and welcome them but was told by an officer that there is directive that he (Baru Bian) should not give any speech at all.
“It is a sad thing and police should issue permits to peaceful gathering for PKR and there were occasion when the function did not proceed due to the permit problem,” he added.
Baru Bian said the police are welcome to the gathering to see for themselves and if there were untowards problems, as law enforcement, they should know what to do. “If the speaker utter seditious or defamation words, there are laws in this country to take care of that,” he said.
According to the Federal Constitution, there is a freedom of expression provided and the democracy of that should nto be curtailed, he said.
Baru Bian called to the police to stop practicing double standard. As a lawyer, he said there is a set of laws only but when it comes to implementation, it could be different.
Meanwhile, when commenting on a near showdown in Ulu Niah, he said Sarawak peaceful environment could be at risk if there are more and more clashes between natives of the NCR and big companies over the dispute of dividend payment.
He said police must come in to stop such clash and be partial in their dealings.
He said as more natives are aware of their rights and more leases issued to huge companies, more problems would be created when the natives felt they were taken for a ride.
Baru Bian said in Rumah Ranggong, Niah caves, there was a clash between natives and some ‘security people’ hired by the companies armed with weapons and explosives last week. “ I understand a suspect had been caught and I hope the police would be able to investigate and bring the rest in to be charged,” he said.
He added in NCR land deals, the natives ended up being poor even though the deal may be over 10 years ago. “The transaction or venture did not appear to turn out in the favour of the natives,” he said. He added that the natives ended up with the deals as they believed the government.
Baru Bian said he still want to believe that there are good police on the ground and that they would investigate all cases in a neutral manner to all parties concerned as both sides had made numerous police reports.