Aliran is shocked by Deputy Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar’s glib reaction to the 10 May protest by Malaysian Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Alliance (Iklas) members outside Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan’s home.
“What offence? If you want to sit in front of her house without disrupting other people, there is no offence,” he states without a trace of human understanding.
“Which privacy? They didn’t enter her house, they were in public space,” he maintains without an inkling of the dangerous situation created by these trouble-makers intent on causing mischief outside Ambiga’s house.
Such comments coming from the No 2 man in the police force no less, encourages lawlessness and opens the flood gates to mischief-makers, hooligans and thugs to go on a rampage. His comments are unacceptable and unbecoming of a police officer of his rank who is entrusted with the peace and harmony of this country founded on the supremacy of the Federal Constitution.
Already, spurred on by his comments, another bigger rally involving 500 traders has been planned for 24 May.
On 14 May, a group of 15 men, believed to be army veterans, blatantly performed vulgar aerobics in front of Ambiga’s house. They even had the temerity to challenge her to sue them; otherwise they would return with a bigger crowd.
Like everyone else, Ambiga has every right to peace and safety where she resides. This peace and safety cannot be threatened with impunity in a civilised society.
She has every right to expect respect for her religion and culture just as others have a right to respect for their faith and way of life. But in a very callous manner of defiance, these people who put up stalls to distribute free beef burgers were completely oblivious to the fact that Ambiga is a Hindu and a vegetarian. They grilled beef patties outside her house in offensive disregard for her faith.
The harassment she is subjected to is as stark as daylight – but obviously not to the Deputy IGP who has, knowingly or otherwise, ignited a fuse that could take this country down the slippery path to lawlessness. We hold him responsible for this.
We are equally disturbed that the Prime Minister, the chief executive of this nation, has chosen to maintain a dangerous silence over such hooliganism and the danger the Deputy IGP is putting this nation into. If there is a breakdown of law and order, the PM and the Deputy IGP must be ultimately held responsible for this descent into what might turn out to be anarchy.
Aliran executive committee
16 May 2012