by Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition leader
This is the blackest day for Parliament in 50 years.
In utter contempt of the sanctity of Parliament and the honour and dignity of Members of Parliament, the police arrested over 20 people in the parliamentary precincts.
Among those arrested were PAS leaders Mustapha Ali and Dr. Hatta Ramli, Parti Keadilan Rakyat secretary-general Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and Information chief Tian Chua, Parti Sosialis Malaysia protem chairman Dr. Nasir Hashim as well as activists from the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) including Suaram executive director Yap Swee Seng, Centre for Independent Journalism executive director V Gayathry, Pusat Komas programme director Mien Lor, Writers Alliance for Media Independence chairperson Wong Chin Huat, PAS Research Centre director Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad and Harakah advertising manager Mokhtar Rosaidi.
I was eye-witness to the police arrest of Mustapha, Yap Swee Seng, Wong Chin Huat and Gayathry within the precincts of Parliament. In fact, I was accompanying Yap, Wong and Gayathry out of Parliament when the police abused its powers to effect the arrest within parliamentary precincts during lunch-break.
I protested strongly against such a most shameful episode in the annals of Malaysian history in 50 years when Dewan Rakyat resumed sitting after lunch recess, proposing a privilege motion to direct the Police to release all arrested within parliamentary precincts - as the police arrests should have been made outside Parliament. However, there was no support whatsoever from any Barisan Nasional MP or Minister.
Nine DAP MPs and one PAS MP also met the Speaker, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah to lodge the strongest possible protest and he said he would seek clarification from the Inspector-of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan.