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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Barefoot, handcuffed and a hero

Rafizi Ramli says pictures of himself in handcuffs have earned him greater support and increased the people’s hatred for the police.
rafizi ramli
KUALA LUMPUR: PKR’s Secretary-General, Rafizi Ramli, fresh out of police custody renewed his criticism of the Barisan Nasional government, claiming that the Inspector-General of Police, Khalid Abu Bakar was not fooling anyone with the tactics used to arrest him, and other Pakatan Rakyat leaders on the eve of the #KitaLawan rally.
Rafizi, in a media briefing, said he was told his arrest was to facilitate investigations on sedition for a circular he allegedly authored although he was convinced the real reason was to prevent him and others like him from attending Saturday’s rally in Kuala Lumpur.
“The series of arrests, especially of politicians and media practitioners only serve to confirm one thing – which is how out of touch Dato’ Seri Najib (Razak), Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and the IGP are, when it comes to the latest and current feeling on the ground,” said Rafizi.
He claimed that his arrest coupled with photos of him barefoot and in handcuffs going viral, had elevated him and others who speak out on people’s issues, to “hero and celebrity” status while earning them even more support.
“When you speak and give voice to issues that are close to the hearts and minds of the public, obviously your unfair arrest will generate instant hatred of the ruling regime and ruling elite,” he said.
Rafizi known for his exposes on the first family’s jet purchases and 1MDB, claimed that the Umno-BN government’s failure to answer his accusations satisfactorily, had resulted in the police harassing and intimidating him, in hopes to silence him.
Efforts to silence someone by handcuffing them and taking away their slippers is something done by “school prefects” according to Rafizi and added, “You can do that in school, but not in the real world.”
He joked, “But they made a mistake, as when they locked me up for three and half days, they put me together with Hishamuddin Rais.
“Instead of silencing us, we were already plotting the next rally.”
Rafizi acknowledged that numerous lower ranking police officers were also victims of their politically motivated superiors, as some of them were taken away from real crime fighting and instructed to harass politicians “just for show”.
Some police officers were even subjected to disciplinary action for not using enough brute force against those arrested.
“They were just following instructions, although they didn’t want to be used as a political tool.”
“Next time, if (the) IGP wants to harass politicians, he can do it himself,” said Rafizi.

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