Better use of police resources than questioning us, say #Lawan demonstrators

#Lawan rally participants arrive to give their statements at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur August 2, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
#Lawan rally participants arrive to give their statements at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur August 2, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — The organisers of last Saturday’s #Lawan rally chided the authorities for wasting police resources investigating demonstrators for expressing their discontent with the government.

The 11 activists who call themselves Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat (SSR) had earlier been called to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters to have their statements recorded.

SSR spokesman Mohammad Asraf Sharafi Mohammad Azhar said the ongoing investigations against rally-goers diminished police resources which could have been channelled elsewhere on more important matters.

He added that the home minister should not have used the law enforcement agency for vested political issues.

“We just got word that more will be called in for questioning as noted in the Inspector-General of Police’s statement. We are always prepared for any possibilities.

“We would also like to stress that the #Lawan protest is not held for leisurely purposes as seen in the durian feast involving the deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker or political meeting at the Prime Minister’s home which is clearly within an enclosed area.

“Many rallied to protest Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration and demand his resignation,” Asraf told reporters outside the Dang Wangi police station.

He maintained that rally participants had followed pandemic standard operating procedures (SOP) such as masking up and physical distancing, adding that their compliance had been vouched by the Human Rights Commission.

#Lawan rally participants are pictured in front of the Dang Wangi district police headquarters  in Kuala Lumpur August 2, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
#Lawan rally participants are pictured in front of the Dang Wangi district police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur August 2, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Asraf added that the police had acted professionally while taking down the activists’ statements.

Among the #Lawan rally participants called by police today were Mohamad Al Shatri Abdullah, Mohammad Asraf Sharafi, Tharmelinggem Pillai, Qyira Yusri, Azura Nasron, Dobby Chew, Edylyn Beverly Joeman and Sevan Doraisamy.

The eight had arrived at the Dang Wangi police station around 10.30am accompanied by their lawyers and exited the premises roughly two hours later around 12.30pm.

Malay Mail understands that three others  —  Siti Nurizah, Syazwani Mahmud and lawyer Asheeq Ali  —  will have their statements recorded in the afternoon.

Authorities previously confirmed that SSR, the rally’s organisers, would be investigated for allegedly violating Covid-19 SOPs of the National Recovery Plan as well as the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2021, which is still in force.

Yesterday, Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said total of 29 individuals have been identified and will be called in to give their statements to assist in the investigation

Hundreds attended the rally on Saturday to demand the resignation of prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his Cabinet for their failure to handle the Covid-19 pandemic and demanded that Parliament continue to sit.

The rally that ran from 10am to 1pm was to express dissatisfaction with the federal government over its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, among other things.

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