(Penang, Sunday): I have received reports that the police have arrested some 50 “Save Damansara School” walkers who took part in the 18-km Pudu (Kuala Lumpur)- Damansara “Save Damansara School” Walkathon which was flagged off from the Red Rose Youth Centre, DAP Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur this morning.
Some hundred people took part in the “Save Damansara School” Pudu-Damansara Walkathon to express their support for the campaign for the preservation of the 70-year-old 25-classroom SJK © Damansara while wanting the government to complete the new 36-classroom new Chinese primary school in Tropicana within eight months.
Such high-handed police actions against the peaceful “Save Damansara School” walkers, who were taking part in the event in twos and which do not constitute an “illegal assembly” under the law, is most extraordinary, especially at a time when the police is getting the worst possible publicity, locally and internationally, for their repressive actions against peaceful crowds, whether in Kubang Pasu, Kuala Lumpur or at the ongoing Suhakam inquiry.
I do not believe that the police would have acted in so high-handed a manner against some hundred people who were taking part in a walkathon in twos to express their support for the retention of the Damansara school, which gives the police the image as oppressor rather than friend of the people, unless the police concerned was acting under a specific directive.
MCA Ministers should explain whether the police arrests of some 50 “Save Damansara School” walkers in Kuala Lumpur this morning for “illegal assembly” was at the MCA’s instigation or suggestion in order to try to end the nation-wide campaign to save Damansara school, which is getting the support of an increasing number of Malaysians cutting across race, religion or political beliefs and becoming a “hot potato” particularly for MCA.
If MCA has nothing to do with the police arrests, then the MCA Ministers should condemn the high-handed arrests and demand at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday that the police make a public apology, cancel all the arrests today and give an undertaking that the police will observe the spirit of democracy and not interfere in any way with the “Save Damansara School” campaign.