Friday, November 23, 2007

Malay Regiment on standby November 10: A Police Request

From Publius Melayu Blog (translated from bigdogdotcom)

Lots of rumours have been thrown about during the run-up to the November 10 gathering as well as on the day itself. One that had perked many ears was the one alleging that the crack Royal Malay Regiment was mobilised following an order by the Agong to 'protect' those who took part in the illegal assembly in the event of high-handed police action.

Such a rumour was made to sound so credible that it boosted the morale and false courage of the organisers and participants of the illegal demonstration. It seems that someone, somewhere, somehow had made one hell of a coup in orchestrating such a rumour and outrageously claiming that the gathering was 'sanctioned' by SPB YDP Agong Tuanku Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmud.

This person or group of persons had cleverly leveraged and exploited the Agong's people-friendly disposition to help realise their devious deeds...and the 'people' believed.

However, when Dato' Pengelola Bentara Bijaya Istana Negara Dato' Wan Mohd Saifian Wan Hassan called a special media conference to categorically state that the Agong regretted the claims that his highness supported the illegal gathering, several parties were taken aback. They were shocked to find their 'hopes' smashed upon realising that it was all a lie.

Reacting to this statement, Raja Petra Kamaruddin promptly posted another article in Malaysia-Today, entitled "What the eye does not see" to rebutt the official stament from Istana Negara. In the article, Raja Petra clearly denied and questioned the statement made through Dato' Wan Mohd Safian. He went on an offensive to mock and belittle that high official from the palace to the extent that he even made public the latter's KPT number and UMNO membership number. To the more thinking observers, pointing out Dato' Wan Mohd Safian's party membership is nothing but a feeble attempt to ridicule him. It holds no concrete relevance to the matter at hand.

More important, through his article in Malaysia-Today, Raja Petra went on to insist that Tuanku Sultan Mizan did give 'support','consented' and even 'blessed' the gathering/march. Raja Petra also claimed that the Agong requested for the names of those involved to be submitted to him. Even more serious, Raja Petra claimed that the Agong had ordered the Sungai Petani based 19th Brigade of the Malay regiment (RAMD) to take positions at Sungai Buloh along with 14 tanks - a move that gave credence to the lie that the excercise was solely to give 'protection' to the demonstrators in the event of police action. This assumption was based on the incident that had occured earlier in Batu Burok, Kuala Terengganu.

These are all blantant lies. Facts had been manipulated to give false 'courage' and certain 'directions' to the mob action, which clearly was against Malaysian laws. The end certainly does not justify the means!

What actually transpired, the illegal gathering/march was widely publicised by the alternative media weeks before it happened. The organisers had hoped no less than 100,000 people would participate in the illegal demonstration on Nov 10.

The Royal Malaysian Police, the agency responsible for public security and safety found it quite daunting to handle the situation should 100,000 people turn out for the occassion on that Saturday. It was because of this that the Army was asked by the police to help out in case anything untoward should happen.

The truth is, on the afternoon of Saturday Nov 10, army commanders were stationed at the operations centre in Bukit Aman along with senior police officers to help monitor and plan security and safety measures. The army on standby is actually the normal unit based at Wardieburn Camp, Sungai Besi Camp as well as throughout the Klang Valley.

As such there is NO truth when Malaysia-Today and Raja Petra claimed that the 19th Brigade of the RAMD was specially brought in from Sungai Petani to give 'protection' to the illegal assembly. Looking at it in a more logical manner, if in the very unlikely event the order was given for such a manouvre the mechanised regiment and 1st Division based at Terendak Camp, including the crack Commando Corp based at Sungai Udang Camp would have been a better choice for easy deployment during emergencies, given their proximity to the Klang Valley compared to Sungai Petani.

It was so irresponsible of Malaysia-Today to publish the article, which clearly contained stark elements of sedition:

  1. To belittle and bring shame to the institution of Malay Rulers
  2. To question and dispute the official statement from Istana Negara on behalf of DYMM SPB YDP Agong
  3. To defame SPB YDP Agong by claiming that His Majesty 'ordered' the 19th Brigade of the RAMD to be mobilised immediately just because of the illegal gathering/march on Nov 10
  4. To question and dispute the professionalism and integrity of the RAMD
  5. To question and dispute the integrity and professionalism of the Royal Malaysian Police, in particular its ability to maintain public order, and security during the Nov 10 illegal gathering.

A police report had been lodged over the article by Malaysia-Today and Raja Petra Kamaruddin.

Hence, it would be, indeed, wise for readers of the alternative media, especially those on the Internet to gauge and weigh between facts,outright lies, fabrication and factual manipulation such as this.