BUKIT MERTAJAM, May 2 – Some participants of the rally against the newly-implemented Goods and Services Tax (GST) held in Kuala Lumpur yesterday were trying to portray bad image of Malaysia and to cause it to be seen as an unpeaceful country.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the police had suggested for the rally to be held at Padang Merbok, but certain quarters insisted to hold the rally around public places in the city centre. “We have carried out monitoring and intelligence activities. There were some anarchists who had not only sprayed paint on business premises, but had also hurled firecrackers and colored smoke bombs.
“They purposely prepared all these items to retaliate against police action, but the police didn’t succumb to their provocations…they were clearly hoping that the police would result to using tear gas or water cannon, but that didn’t happen, so they went on hurling firecrackers and smoke bombs,” he told reporters after opening the Bakti Rela’ programme in Seberang Perai Tengah here Saturday.
The minister said the majority of the public could not accept such a demonstration because although Malaysia had the Peaceful Assembly Act, it was not an excuse to allow an uncontrolled rally to be held. “These anarchists had crossed the line. Actions must be taken against them, we have their photographs.
“We have witnesses who saw what they did. Don’t get angry with the police or the government if actions were taken against them,” he said. The anti-GST rally, which started at 2.30pm, caused traffic jams at several key locations in the city centre, disrupting the daily lives of many people, including tourists. Participants began to gather around the Sogo shopping centre, National Mosque, Masjid Jamek, Dataran Maybank, Central Market and Puduraya before walking to Dataran Merdeka and KLCC.
Some protesters were seen crashing into barriers put up by the police and other security personnel at the Dataran Merdeka, and also hurled smoke bombs at the glass door of a bank in the Masjid Jamek area. There were also protesters who were dressed in black, creating chaos by hurling firecrackers and uttering harsh words. However, the police managed to bring the situation under control.