Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Batu Buruk Riots: Premeditated By Whom?


The Prime Minister, Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the rioting in Kuala Terengganu on 8th September 2007 was a desperate attempt by the opposition to gain political mileage. The Prime Minister claims the opposition:

“…came prepared with Molotov cocktails and other dangerous objects to attack the police. The riot was premeditated.”

The Prime Minister said:

“..it is a known campaign tactic that has been carried out many times before. They would provoke the police until stern action is taken and then they would cry foul”


The PAS Vice President and Terengganu State Chief, Dato Mustafa Ali, claims agent provocateurs were part of a government sanctioned operation to suppress the opposition in Terengganu. He said they were informed on the night of the ceramah that plainclothes
policemen would cause problems.

He said:

“They would wear a ribbon so that police can identify them. This was pre-planned.”


The people came with their wives, children, relatives and friends. The police stopped them from going to the rally venue by setting up roadblocks. The organizers, BERSIH, a coalition of political parties and NGO’s had appealed to the police for a permit to hold the rally after their earlier application had been rejected. The organizers were still negotiating with the police for the permit when the people were stopped at the roadblocks. They had not announced at that time that
the rally was being called off. Therefore the people were not aware that the police had not granted the permit or that the rally was called off.


If the claim that the riot was premeditated by the opposition, then the opposition members must be taken to have come carrying molotov cocktails, spears and dangerous weapons together with Malaysian and UMNO flags to a rally to hear speeches on a Clean and Fair Election. They had come bringing with them their wives, children, relatives, friends and even the elderly. They had brought them along with the premeditated intent to provoke the police to take stern action. They brought their wives, children, relatives, friends and the elderly to be dosed by water cannons and fired by tear gas. They did this so they can cry police brutality and cry foul.

Except this time live bullets were fired.

Azmi Hussein a police officer was in plainclothes. He had come to the ceramah with his gun loaded with live rounds. He was mingling with the crowd. He claims the crowd attacked him and he acted in self- defense. It is however undisputed and cannot be denied, he used his gun. He fired. Two persons were shot. Suwandi Abdul Ghani 37 was shot in the chest. The bullet
penetrated his lungs. Muhamad Azman 21 was hit in the neck.

If the opposition’s claim that the riot was preplanned and caused by agent provocateurs is examined the following is to be noted:

The New Straits Times published the next morning that the riot was at a ceramah organized by PKR. It was in fact organized by BERSIH. Where did NST get their news?

The New Straits Times also published a photograph of a person burning the Malaysian flag. Curiously, all the newspapers showed the same photograph. The New Straits Times stated in the caption that the person, whose face was covered by his helmet, was an opposition member. BERSIH and Dato Mustafa said that the police did not allow reporters into the rally venue and their cameras had been confiscated. If so who took the photograph? How could the photographer know that the person wearing a full-faced helmet is an opposition member? From whom did NST get the photograph?

Terengganu Police Chief SAC I, Datuk Ayub Yaakob is reported in an article in Malaysiakini on 12 September 2007 confirming that Azmi Hussein was the plainclothes policeman on crowd control duty and had worn a red ribbon to identify himself to his colleagues.


What is a policeman doing with a loaded gun mingling with the crowd in plainclothes? If he was on crowd control duty should he not be in uniform? Why did he not identify himself as a policeman before shooting? Why wear a red ribbon? Why was it necessary for him to be identified by his uniformed colleagues?

Are the opposition members willing to sacrifice their wives, children relatives and friends including the elderly to provoke police to take action so they can cry foul?

How and what justifies the police shooting citizens? What or whose interest is so important that the risk of citizens being shot prevails over citizens hearing speeches on Clean and Fair Elections?

You will not hear debate of this in Parliament. The Speaker in the Parliament ruled you should not obtain information this way.

You, the people will have to make the judgment. It’s your call.

William Leong Jee Keen

Treasurer General Parti Keadilan Rakyat

14th September 2007

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