I have been hearing rumours of this on the blogos-fear today. It might've just been a rumour. But now, it's already made the news in Reuters. Through Reuters, it will find it's way to every major news media world wide. Quoting the Reuters report:
"Malaysian police fired live rounds to quell a riot in Malaysia's Muslim heartland, wounding two men, after trying to break up an opposition rally with water cannon and tear gas, local media said on Sunday.Goodness gracious! What kind of place is our country turning into? Although I am not a lawyer, I'm sure that police are not allowed to discharge their weapons at unarmed civilians who are not committing any criminal offence. Considering the fact that there were other policemen and FRU units, armed with tear gas and water cannons, there must've been other ways to disperse the crowd.
State news agency Bernama quoted Terengganu's police chief, Ayub Yaakob, as saying that a policemen had fired two shots from a pistol, injuring one man in the shoulder and another in the neck, after he was set upon during the riot.
An eyewitness told Reuters by phone the crowd of about 500 had attacked police with stones after they set up road blocks around the rally and then moved in to break it up. The two groups fought each other until the early hours of Sunday."
Now, all current news indicate that both men were not fatally wounded, but have undergone surgery at the KT hospital. So, thankfully, things didn't get out of hand. I dare not imagine what would have happened if the men were to have died. Things would have gotten out of hand, very fast, and more people would've died.
If we take into account the other recent cases of grievous bodily harm inflicted by our police force, you would reckon that something is not quite right. How can anyone trust the police if they constantly abuse their powers and betray that trust. The police are supposed to protect and serve the people, not the state. That's the job for the military.
I get this weird sense that our government is crumbling. I have never ever felt this way before. No matter what happened previously, we have held together. I have this feeling that the bottom is going to fall out soon.
PS: Whoah! Read this, our DPM's reply to the incident. They're spinning the issue and blaming the opposition for the mess. Considering that the event wasn't organised by the opposition (it says so, right there in the article), I really don't know how they can possibly spin it that way. But that's political spin for you.
The crux of the issue isn't that there was an illegal gathering, but the fact that a policeman fired his gun at unarmed civilians. You can disperse an illegal gathering in many ways, without firing a single live round and injuring people. There was no mention of any of this in the article except to say that some people were injured.