I am deeply disturbed by the mass arrests of the Gabungan Bantah GST group during their attempted protest against the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) at the Customs Department office in my constituency in Kelana Jaya yesterday. KEADILAN Youth strongly condemns the police action.
It appears that more than 80 people were detained at the Kelana Jaya police station, including from when riot police acted against other activists who gathered outside in support of them.
It has been reported that the police acted provocatively against the crowd.
These actions were surely excessive in response to what was generally a peaceful protest.
At the same time, it is manifestly unjust that the police apparently denied some of the detained access to their lawyers.
The police should be allowed to focus on their main duty to protect the public and solve crimes, rather than clamp down on debates over public policy.
The 106 questions that the group had raised against the GST are valid and must be clarified immediately by the government.
The latest incidents only underlines the need for the Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar to resign immediately as the first action to halt the heightened trampling of civil liberties in recent weeks.