(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): DAP is very concerned by increasingly belligerent public statements by government leaders and police officers, referring to May 13 racial riots, curfew, children dying of suffocation when tear gas are fired and even declaration of a state of emergency.
Malaysians of all races do not want any repetition of the violence in Kampong Bahru in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday and want to see the end of street violence, whether by demonstrators or by the police.
DAP calls for the immediate end of all forms of street violence. It will be most unfortunate and a national tragedy if what started off as peaceful demonstrations by Malaysians to express their legitimate concerns about justice, freedom and democracy in the country degenerate into violence.
DAP calls on the police and the people to exercise the greatest restraint and not to resort to force of any form.
A political issue of the people’s demand for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance must not be turned into a law-and-order situation and I call on the government to take the initiative to break the impasse by respecting the constitutional right of the people to assembly peaceably to express their legitimate concerns and aspirations by issuing police permits for such peaceful gatherings.
The whole world is watching Malaysia. Let the government and people show the world that we have the maturity to provide outlets and channels for the peaceful expression of the people’s concerns and aspirations, without allowing the situation to get out of control to the extent that talk about May 13, curfew, emergency are bandied about freely as to create alarm and fear among the people.