Posted Monday, October 26, 1998
We pushed off from the house after the ‘Asar prayers, wanting to go for the weekly peaceful REFORMASI demonstration at Jalan TAR.
When we reached Jalan TAR, we found that all roads leading to Jalan TAR, infront of Medan MARA right up to the junction leading to Dataran Merdeka was closed. There was a massive jam.
We could see from afar that the FRU truck with the water canon moving with people running helter -skelter all over the place infront of Medan MARA.
We then received news that the REFORMASI supporters were going to Chow Kit Road. So off we drove there. It was about 6.10pm then. We saw perhaps about 200 – 300 of REFORMASI supporters walking and chanting "REFORMASI"…… "UNDUR MAHATHIR UNDUR (Step Down Mahathir Step Down)…." " MAMPUS MAHATHIR MAMPUS (Die Mahathir Die)". We joined our fellow brothers and sisters and walked all the way to the Kampung Baru Mosque.
We saw that there were a number of FRU and Special Branch personnel. We did our prayers and after the prayers the chanting went on. The FRU truck, which we had seen earlier, was no more there. After a while we decided to see how were things getting on at other places, namely Jalan TAR and Mesjid Negara (National Mosque).
We drove to Jalan TAR and found that everything was back to normal. On approaching the traffic lights leading to Dataran Merdeka, we saw that there were numerous FRU, Field Force, normal police and SB personnel as well as their notorious vehicles. They had blocked the roads leading to Dataran Merdeka and the road turning to the right. So all vehicles had to take the left turn heading to Puduraya. There was of course a massive jam. While on the road we got message saying that the people from the National Mosque will be joining those at the Kampong Baru Mosque. Therefore we decided to return to the Kg. Baru Mosque.
When we were near the Masjid Jame’, we heard some chanting sounds but couldn’t make out what were the words and where it was coming from because we could not see any active REFORMASI supporters nearby. We were later told that those noises were of those FRU, Field Force, Police and SB personnel near Dataran Merdeka getting their dinner, which had arrived. Hmmm……no wonder……dogs will always behave like dogs. We remembered a documentary we saw whereby this man was giving to his pack of dogs their food. The dogs were making so much noise, jumping up and down waiting to be fed……(I guess if the dogs do not perform their tricks or do what they are told, then no food for them).
When we reached Masjid Kg Baru, we heard the chanting of REFORMASI and ALLAHU AKBAR. Then we were told that the FRU had sprayed tear gas and water canon into the compound of the mosque and that 1 of the SB was chased by the REFORMASI supporters because he (SB) had taken out his pistol and pointed to the people.
By doing so, the most learned police have made not only the REFORMASI supporters angry but they have also succeeded in making the kampong folks angry too…even those who were not initially REFORMASI supporters.
The police had fired tear gas at a residential area. The tear gas affected those innocent people who were staying quietly in the house with children. We could hear children crying and infact 1 of them cried to his/her mother and saying between sobs that his/her eyes were very painful and can he/she die from this? And it just occurred to us that the authorities said that we, the REFORMASI supporters were thoughtless to bring women and children to all of our peaceful demonstrations. What were they doing then??
Basically what they did were very cruel and that their brains were perhaps at their knees and to those who gave the orders were even worst. The SB’s now were going berserk. They were hitting people with whom they were in contact with…. irregardless whether they were young, old, armed or otherwise.
The kampong folks as well as the supporters now were very angry and they retaliated by throwing stones, bottles and even home made firebombs. Fortunately the FRU’s were very versatile and had dual roles…..From FRU, they then became Firefighters…. They had to take care of the small fires, which erupted with their water canon (they might put the BOMBA guys out of their jobs in future).
We were also told that they got hold of some SB’s and due to their anger at what the dogs had done, they really gave the SB guys hell, which we feel and think was very justified. All these while we have been very docile and patience but patience has its limits.
Then as we were about to go back to our car, we saw some FRU men running into Jalan Raja Uda (if we were not mistaken the name of the road). Everyone was running away from them. Some even took refuge in the nearby houses. We could see these FRU men going into one of the corner eating shop and got hold of 1 guy who was just sitting down and having his dinner. He was beaten right infront of our eyes……it was real POLICE BRUTALITY!! Seeing that everyone shouted Allahu Akbar. What were these dogs trying to prove??? The most unfortunate man dropped to his knees and these FRU dogs were still beating him. Our respect for the police force has really gone down the drains. The sight of any policeman makes us want to puke.
Apparently by then, we were told all SB dogs were to come down to the KG Baru area. It was now the SBs against the people. But the SBs were now scared to mingle with the kampong folks and the REFORMASI people. They all just stayed close among themselves.
The atmosphere was very tensed there. Both sides were playing a cat and mouse game but the kampong folks and the REFORMASI people were more determined.
We were told by 1 of the onlookers who was having his dinner at one of the eating shops there and he could not go out earlier because of what was happening, said that an SB guy had come into the shop and shouted abusive language and had wanted to drag all those in the shop into the waiting trucks…..but then some of those FRU and Field Force personnel, who still had some brains in them, had showed those people the way out.
It was nearly 12.45am then…..we decided to head back home. We drove our car along Jalan Raja Alang and we saw on both sides of the road all the SBs, FRU, Field Force and other policemen sitting down resting. Some with batons, canes and sticks with curved ends. We passed the traffic lights near the mosque and we saw that the place looked like something from the Bosnia war.
We did not asked what had happened to take place but we were provoked numerous times and everyone has his/her limits. By enforcing police brutality we are now more determined and we are now planning to come together again for next week’s demonstration. We would certainly hope for a peaceful demonstration and do not want this kind of incident to repeat…..But if the POLICE start being brutal next week…then rest assured we are prepared.
MAMPUS MAHATHIR MAMPUS