The tragedy of the five-day clashes and attacks have resulted in six deaths, 44 injured, 183 arrests and the destruction of some 20 vehicles.
DAP calls for three-prong response to the Taman Medan clashes, namely:
The commission of inquiry should find out whether the police had acted with neutrality and professionalism, and why the five-day clashes with its heavy toll of deaths, injuries and damage to inter-ethnic relations could not have been averted.
When clashes leading to violence, maiming and deaths flare up in socially and economically depressed settlements with ethnically-mixed and a huge population of some 100,000, the police should have rushed in strong police presence to maintain peace, law and order in numbers of thousands rather than hundreds.
The commission of inquiry should investigate as to why the police did
not respond with the powerful police presence immediately after the original
clashes involving Malays preparing for a wedding and Indians preparing
for a funeral the previous Sunday, or at least immediately after the incident
involving the breaking of a car windscreen of a Malay motorist by several
Indian youths playing with catapults at the Desa Ria flats on Thursday, when there was a massive confrontation involving about 200 people.
It was only after further clashes and unnecessary toll of human lives and sufferings on Saturday, with the personal intervention of the MIC President and Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, that there was a further increase of police reinforcements.
I understand there are now some 500 police in the troubled settlements. If this is true, the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai, should explain why the police could deploy 700 police personnel on January 20, 2001 for a peaceful Hari Raya-Chinese New Year-Christmas-Ponggal gathering in Banting with about 5,000 people, while it could not deploy one thousand police personnel to police Taman Medan and the surrounding areas right from the very start of the troubles?
The police decision today to ban all public gatherings and speeches in Selangor state giving the clashes as the reason is most ridiculous, especially as political gatherings have no connection with the clashes, and all the political parties had acted most responsibily in trying to end the clashes.