Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Saturday that was ... Kuala Lumpur, the war zone

7.20pm: City police chief Mohd Sabtu Osman said that a total of 438 people were arrested as of 6pm, of these, 37 were women and 38 juvenile. Most of them have been taken Cheras police district for questioning where lawyers have been barred from meeting them.

Mohd Sabtu was also reported as saying that the police were investigating 11 individuals, including PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, DAP leader Lim Kit Siang and GMI chairperson Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh.

7pm: The situation seems to have returned to normal in the city centre. The police are still weeding out small pockets of protesters from regrouping - at times firing small rounds of teargas at the gathered people. Some of the main roads leading to the city centre are still closed, causing a massive traffic jam for vehicles heading into the city. Meanwhile, at Istana Negara, a sole representative from the pro-ISA group, Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz, submitted a memorandum backing the controversial law to the palace's guardhouse.

5.58pm: There are still some pockets of protesters at the Masjid Jamek area. The police try to disperse them by firing tear gas, with some being fired into the Masjid Jamek LRT station. People are taking cover in the mosque.

5.40pm: Most of the protesters have dispersed.

5.13pm: Another round of tear gas and water cannon is fired at the remaining small crowd at Sogo. The same treatment is also given to disperse another packet of a small crowd near Maju Junction, which is located a few hundred metres away from Sogo.

5.05pm: The crowd at Sogo has dispersed with only a small group still lingering about.

5pm: Deputy General of Police Ismail Omar said the situation was under control and stable. "We will reopen roads in stages," he added. He also said that more than 200 people had been arrested today.

4.55pm: The police have removed four FRU units and one jeep of personnel from Istana Negara to provide back up at Sogo where some thousands of protesters have regrouped. The police are firing tear gas and water cannons to disperse them.

Meanwhile,Istana Negarais still heavily guarded by police.

4.49pm: The police have moved away from the PAS building after being denied entry.

4.45pm: Police are at PAS headquarterstrying to gain access into the building but the doors remain closed as party officials are refusing to allow the police in. It could not be immediately ascertained why the police want to gain access into the party building. Three FRU trucks are also stationed outside the building.

Several top Pakatan leaders, including Anwar, are still inside the building. Also inside are leaders of GMI which organised the rally today.

4.30pm: Protesters numbering more than a hundred are still mulling about atMasjid Negarawhile about 10,000 are still lingering near Sogo. The police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd at Sogo.

However, things are calm at Pasar Seniwith no protesters around. The police are however keeping a watch.

4.10pm GMI president Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh in his press conference at the PAS headquarters declared the rally as a massive success despite not being able to submit a memorandum to the King.

He claimed that the rally had attracted about 100,000 people although eyewitnesses put a more conservative figure of closer to 20,000. Anwar Ibrahim also spoke at the press conference, saying that the message from the people was clear - that they were against the ISA.

4pm: Eyewitnesses reported that about 50 to 70 people have been arrested by the police near Bukit Aman. They are waiting to be taken to a police station.

The police are also continuing to arrest people near PAS headquarters with at least 10 nabbed so far.

3.53pm: The police have started firing tear gas and water cannon to forcibly disperse the crowd, estimated at 5,000, from oppositePAS headquarters.

3.45pm Pakatan leaders urged the gathered crowd to disperse peacefully.

Earlier there were short speeches by PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim, DAP leader Lim Kit Siang, PAS president Abdu Hadi Awang and others. The Pakatan leaders have adjourned into the PAS headquarters where they are expected to give a press conference shortly.

3.38pm: Pro-ISA protest group leader Rahimuddin Md Harun stopped by the police near the Public Bank in Jalan Tun Sambanthan at about 2.45pm while on his way to submit a memorandum to retain the ISA to the palace.

3.35pm: In Pasar Seni, PAS Youth exco member Mohd Sani Amzan declared the demonstration a success despite the police crackdown.

He said even though the protesters could not march to Istana Negara, the opposition Pakatan Rakyat will send a delegation later today to hand over the anti-ISA memorandum to the king. "We believe that we have managed to stage a very successful demonstration as about 80,000 people have gathered and shown their support against ISA."

Several police officers came and asked the crowd to disperse.

3.30pm: Anwar Ibrahim is giving a speech to the crowd at PAS headquarters.

3.20pm Bandaraya LRT station located next to Sogo has been closed. Earlier the Masjid Jamek station was also closed.

3.29pm: Two anti-ISA protesters who managed to break the heavy police cordon to reach Istana Negara have been arrested.

3.27pm: Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang and Abdul Hadi Awang are also heading to PAS headquarters now.

More than 2,000 people have gathered at the party headquarters, blocking the road, thus stopping the FRU from coming close.

3.25pm: The police are still firing tear gas from Jalan Raja Laut towards the Chow Kit direction near Sogo.

Some segment of the protesters are also heading towards PAS headquarters located in nearby Jalan Raja Laut.

Meanwhile a water cannon truck has been dispatched from Istana Negara to one of the hotspots.

3.20pm: Subang parliamentarian and PKR vice-president R Sivarasa was just arrested nearSogo. He is being dragged away to a police depot.

Meanwhile, the crowd is slowly re-gouping atPasar Seni,Masjid Negara, Masjid Jamek and Sogo.

3.08pm: Volleys of tear gas are fired everytime the riot police see a crowd.

"We are here to fight for the ISA to be abolished," said Yati Ali, 45, one of some 100 women and children standing in a group outside theSogo complex. "We don't fear arrest. ISA is a cruel act, we are fighting for justice," she told AFP.

3.07pm: Top Pakatan leaders including Anwar Ibrahim (PKR), Lim Kit Siang (DAP), Abdul Hadi Awang (PAS) Sallahuddin Ayub (PAS) and Tian Chua (PKR)are seeking shelter from tear gas insidePertama complex.

3.06pm: All is quiet in Istana Negara. Police on stand-by.

2.58pm: The Sogo crowd has dispersed following the teargas attacks, only for a small group to reconvene near the Coliseum cinema. Even this group was sent packing by the police's water cannons and teargas.

2.55pm: Ousted Perak menteri besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin (photo) is inDataran Merdeka.

He said top Pakatan Rakyat leaders will gather at Masjid Negara before going to Istana Negara.

2.42pm: There are now two major anti-ISA crowd. The police have started firing tear gas and used water cannon to disperse the crowd coming down fromSogo to Dataran Merdeka.

At the same time, the police are also still firing tear gas at the crowd near Bank Rakyat.

2.41pm: The Sogo crowd is now moving towards Dataran Merdeka. The Federal Reserve Unit is waiting for them further up the Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman with tear gas and water cannon.

2.40pm: The police have fired volleys of tear gas at a group of protesters stranded at the roundabout near Bank Rakyat and Bank Negara.

This group was trying to march towards Padang Merbok after their route to Sogo was blocked by the police.

2.39pm: The crowd holds a sit-in protest between Pertama complex and Sogo. GMI leader Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh gave a speech, demanding the repeal of ISA and freedom for all detainees.

2.30pm: Eyewitnesses say that a crowd of about 10,000 have gathered at the Dang Wangi junction opposite Sogo with more joining in despite a strong police barricade along the way.

2.20pm: The crowd from Masjid Negaraand those fromDataran Merdeka - numbering some 2,000 - have been blocked by the police at the Jalan Raja/Jalan Tun Perak junction from moving towards Sogo.

The crowd has decided to move towardsPadang Merboklocated along Jalan Parliament.

There is a also sizeable crowd gathered at the Jalan Kuching flyover near Bank Negara.

2.14pm: A few hundred protesters start marching from Sogotowards Dataran Merdeka. The police give chase. Meanwhile, 200 people in Masjid Jamek attempted to move towards Sogo along Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. It appeared that the Masjid Jamek crowd is seeking to meet up with protesters in Sogo.

They were confronted by a wall of riot police backed by water cannon. Another round of chemical-laced water fired.

2.12pm: The police are in full gear atIstana Negara, not allowing anyone to approach the palace. They have also dispersed a small crowd which had gathered at a road behind the palace with tear gas (right).

2.10pm: Mohd Khairul Azam Abd Aziz, who is legal advisor of the Malay NGOs Coalition, said that the pro-ISA groups have decided not to march Istana Negara but instead will try send a small delegate in vehicles to the palace to hand over a memorandum.

2.01pm: About 2,000 people have come out of Masjid Negara to march to Dataran Merdeka first before heading towards Istana Negara. The police have started arresting the marchers.

2pm: The police have started arresting people at Masjid Jamekafter they failed to disperse despite being given several warnings.

The crowd is trying to get out of Masjid Jamek to march towards Istana Negara.

Eyewitnesses say several rounds of teargas were fired into the crowd.

1.50pm: The police are asking the congregation at Masjid Jamekto disperse at the end of the afternoon prayers session. At Masjid Negara, the crowd size is about 1,000 people now, including PAS leaders such as Hatta Ramli and Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad. At least 25 people have been arrested at Masjid Negara so far.

1.45pm: The police arrest three protesters in Masjid Jamekwith a bag containing black-and-red anti-ISA T-shirts. The trio are made to hold up the T-shirts from the bag and pose for press photographers. It is not clear whether the bag belongs to them.

"Raise your head," said a police officer as the photographers snapped away.

1.44pm: KL CPO Muhammad Sabtu Osman visits Masjid Negaraand said that a total of 157 people have been arrested around the city as of 1.30pm.

1.41pm: There was some light-hearted moment in Masjid Negarawhen two 'sexy' girls attracted the attention of the crowd. They were allowed to enter the mosque without any hindrance.

1.40pm: The police are forming a police line about 100 metres from the palace along the road which leads to KL Sentral.

1.40pm: About 25 people who have been arrested in Pasar Seni are being held in a police truck. An earlier truck with 29 detainees left for the police station about 40 minutes ago. This brings the total of people arrested in the Pasar Seni area to 54.

1.37pm: At least 10 people have detained at Masjid Negara. The size of the crowd at the mosque is about 500. Meanwhile city police chief Muhammad Sabtu Osman was reported as saying that four buses believed to be from Terengganu were stopped from entering the city. 1.36pm: The police are allowing people to enter Masjid Jamek for afternoon prayers. Many people are streaming in to pray.

1.36pm: At Pasar Seni, 15 more people are arrested. They appeared to be anti-ISA protesters, despite that the area is to be a meeting point for the pro-ISA crowd.

1.28pm: Anti-ISA movement leader Norlaila Othman and her child, along with several other leaders of the movement were among those arrested near theSogo area earlier today. Also arrested were PKR's women's wing leaders Salmah Ismail and Hayati Abd Samad.

Meanwhile, the front entrace of Sogo shopping centre has been closed.

1.24pm: Two men have been arrested at the Masjid Negaracompound for having anti-ISA T-shirts. The police are also randomly checking bags of people. The crowd size inside the mosque now stands at 500.

1.22pm: The police have taken full control of the Masjid Jamekarea by dispersing everyone.

Meanwhile at Masjid Negara, the crowd size has swelled to about 300 and over at Pasar Seni, the police are continuing to weed out suspected protesters. Eyewitnesses said that PKR leader Zaid Ibrahim was spotted inside the Pasar Seni. Traders at Pasar Seni have shuttered their business due to the anxiety caused by the police action.

1.21pm: According to KL chief police officer Muhammad Sabtu Osman, nearly 200 people have been arrested in various parts of the city as of 12.15pm.

1.11pm: The police have beefed up their presence atMasjid Jamekwith 40 additional personnel. The busy Jalan Tun Perak has been sealed off as well. There are about 300 people at the area at the moment and the Light Strike Force Unit are dispersing them.

1.10pm: The situation at Istana Negara is rather subdued compared to the other hotspots. However there is a heavy police presence at the palace, along with some journalists.

1.01pm: The size of protesters at Masjid Negara has gone up to about 200 now. People are coming into the mosque in small groups.

1pm: Number of people arrested at Masjid Jamek stands at 14 now. A police officer has warned the people to disperse.

"This is an area under police surveillance. If you are arrested by mistake, don't blame the police," he said.

12.56pm:According to the police, 30 people have been arrested in thePasar Seni area. A police truck carrying those arrested leaves for the Cheras police district headquarters.

12.50pm: The police have closed the main Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman from Sogo departmental store to Dataran Merdekastretching for about 1.8 kilometres. Both are gathering spots for anti-ISA protesters.

12.47pm: Reports are saying that Masjid Jamek has been closed to the public. Only police personnel are being allowed into the mosque. So far 12 people have been arrested in this area.

Meanwhile over at Masjid Negara, the 20 anti-ISA protesters are waiting for their colleagues to join them. Another group is now joining them.

12.40pm:Lawyer Puspawati Rosman has been released by the police. She was arrested 10 minutes ago, handcuffed and placed in a Black Maria at Masjid Jamek.

12.40pm: According to an eyewitness, Padang Merbok, which is one of the meeting points for pro-ISA protesters, was devoid of people. Three police trucks were seen in the area.

According to a Special Branch officer, the pro-ISA protesters may gather only in Pasar Seni. A total of 21 people have been arrested there so far.

12.37pm: The police have also deployed canine units at Dataran Merdeka. At least two police dogs were spotted.

12.31pm: The first group of 20 anti-ISA protesters arrived atMasjid Negara. They entered the mosque without any problems.

12.30pm: Lawyer Puspawati Rosman (left) from the Legal Aid Centre has been arrested. She was arrested outside the centre at Jalan Tun Perak, near Masjid Jamek.

No reasons were given by the police for the arrest however it is believed she was arrested for handing out pamphlets detailing the rights of those arrested.

12.25pm: About 10 people, including two women, have been arrested in theMasjid India area. More people could have been arrested in the Masjid India bazaar but this could not be confirmed.

12.20pm: Total number of alleged protesters arrested at Sogodepartmental store now stands at 17. Police are warning people to disperse. Sogo is one of the starting points for the anti-ISA protesting group.

12.16pm: There are no people at Istana Negara. The main road to the palace is closed. Heavy police presence here, with at least 11 police trucks.

12.15pm: The situation atMasjid Negarais calm.

There are about 20 tourists, believed to be from Germany, the US and Taiwan, visiting the mosque. Reporters and photographers are waiting for action to happen. Police are also on standby.

There are also tourists snapping photos in Dataran Merdeka (above).

12.12pm: Another few more people were arrested in Pasar Seni, bringing the total figure to 16. One of those arrested is believed to be from Seremban. When his friends challenged the police on the reason why he was arrested, a police officer said that the arrest was made under section 27 of the Police Act for illegal assembly.

Another of their friend, who had a black T-shirt in his bag, was also arrested. "He was not even wearing the black T-shirt. Why is he arrested?" asked one of the protesters.

12.12pm: Five more people have been nabbed at Sogo, bringing to total the number of people arrested here to 16.

12.04pm: A road leading to Masjid Negara has been closed by the police but the national mosque remains open. The anti-ISA group is supposed to gather at the mosque at 2pm.

12.03pm: A total of 11 people have so far been arrested in Pasar Seni area. Kelana Jaya parliamentarian Loh Gwo Burne arrives. A helicopter could be seen hovering above the city since early this morning.

11.59am: Four more arrested atSogo shopping complex.

11.52am: About 100 people, believed to be anti-ISA protesters, are holing up in the old KTM main station just opposite theMasjid Negara.

11.50am: Seven people have been arrested outside the Sogo shopping complex in Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. There is a very strong police presence in this area, which is one of the gathering points for the anti-ISA protesters. Police have ordered the people gathered here to disperse.

11.48am: Six people arrested in Masjid Jamek and they were bundled into police trucks.

11.32am: Eight suspected anti-ISA protesters were also arrested in Pasar Seniin the city centre at 11am.

Two of them wore red T-shirts - the colour of the anti-ISA movement. There were also pro-ISA protesters milling in the area.

One of them was Mohd Khairul Azam Abd Aziz (photo), who is legal advisor of the Malay NGOs Coalition.

11.01am: The police have arrested 36 people at theMasjid Negara and KL Sentral this morning ahead of the anti-Internal Security Act mass rally. According to human rights group Suaram, 14 members of the PAS Unit Amal who are to help with security at the rally were arrested as they arrived at the main train station from Perak and Malacca at about 7am.

"Another 22 individuals have been arrested in Masjid Negara. They are sending to IPD Cheras by two police trucks," said Suaram coordinator Wong Chai Yi. She called on the police to stop harassing Malaysians from exercising their right to assembly. "We demand the police to allowed the mass rally against the draconian ISA to be held as scheduled in Kuala Lumpur at 2pm later today by the Abolish ISA Movement."

[Source: Malaysiakini]

No comments:

Post a Comment