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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Police were made victims, says Najib



Despite injuries on all sides, police were the victims at Bersih 3.0 rally on Saturday, says Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

"We must look at the proper perspective. In general, the police were the victims. Violence was aimed at the police," he told a press conference late last night after the Umno supreme council meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

Najib was responding to a question on allegations that several journalists who were covering the protest had been targeted by police.

NONE"The problem is when facing mob psychology, the police are also under pressure. Their colleagues have been beaten and their car overturned. It is not just you (journalists), the police have also suffered," he said.

Adding on, the premier assured that if the police had crossed the line in their handling of journalists who were covering the rally - the biggest in recent history - its Internal Affairs Department will take due action.

"If police had overstepped (in dealing) with journalists, we will investigate and we will take action.

"We will not cover anything up, I am also concerned about the journalists who had worked during the Bersih protest," he said.

'Wrongdoers will be charged'

Asked who should be responsible for the protest which saw scores of injuries in clashes between police and protesters, Najib declined to assign blame.

NONE"Investigations must be done first. We cannot simply take action, rule of law must take place. There has to be a fair and objective investigation and the attorney-general will take action without resorting to emotions," he said.

A total of 63 protesters and two police officers received treatment at Hospital Kuala Lumpur in the wake of the rally.

Responding to Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan's call for an inquiry by the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), the premier said it would be best to wait for police to complete its investigations.

Najib lamented that ‘certain quarters’ were trying to influence public opinion through the recounting stories of arrest and police brutality, be they truth or half-truth, on social media and the Internet.

As such, the prime minister said the police must move to explain what had truly happened on that day.

"There is no reason for us to cover up. Tomorrow, the police will hold a press conference and they will inform the public about (releasing) their (video) recordings because the rakyat want transparency.

“We will reveal what happened so the people can judge for themselves," he said.

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