KOTA KINABALU, Sept 16 — Activists, who were arrested after a street protest this morning, have accused Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) officers of igniting the violence, after claiming to have been manhandled.
Following their release this afternoon, activist Mukmin Nantang told Malay Mail that the group could not be entirely sure if the police were involved in the scuffle since their arrest happened so fast.
“We were in chaos, it could be DBKK, it could be the police, we didn’t initially notice who started it,” he said.
However, Mukmin said the group surmised as such later on, since the police officers were also investigated together with them.
“We are not sure if the police were involved, but we can confirm that DBKK started it,” he added.
Mukmin said the group could have been mistaken, claiming there were also plain-clothes police and DBKK officers.
Malay Mail is trying to reach DBKK for its version of events.
Mukmin, however, complained about the group’s treatment at the police station, claiming that they were asked to take a urine test.
“It was as if they were trying to frame us. What was their motive to test our urine, when all eight of us tested negative?” he asked, adding that they are planning to lodge complaints over today’s events.
This morning, he said the eight were picked up by “a huge number of policemen” and were “physically attacked” before they were able to disperse after being warned by the authorities.
The 10 demands of the protest attended by around 100 people included equal education rights, better public transport service and job opportunities for Sabahans.
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman met with the police and activists this afternoon, during which the group delivered a memorandum to the Muar MP.
Mukmin also slammed critics who accused them of being political saboteurs planted by Opposition pact Gabungan Bersatu Sabah, even though one of those arrested is the Youth chief of Sabah Parti Amanah Negara, Mohd Khairudin Daud.
“Those who said that may not know anything. We’re not political, but we’ve always supported Pakatan Harapan,” he said.