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Police arrest 24 including MPs and assemblymen in PEACEFUL VIGIL - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

Riot police today dispersed about 300 people who had gathered at the Petaling Jaya Civic Centre.


The police moved into the crowd just as they were singing the national anthem and getting ready to leave. Before that they have heard short speeches from several politicians.

The crowd had walked over to the PJ Civic Centre shortly after 9.30pm after they had been originally dispersed from the Padang Timur, about a kilometre away, where they had gathered to take part in a candlelight vigil.

Just as the crowd started re-gathering at the Civic Centre, a team of anti-riot squad and a water cannon truck had arrived.

Shortly afterwards the police started dispersing the crowd using their shields.

In the ensuing melee, police arrested PJ Utara member of parliament and DAP leader Tony Pua, Kampung Tunku state representative Lau Weng San and 22 others. Also arrested was Malaysiakini videographer Shukri Mohamad.

"I was shooting the water cannon truck when a policeman told me to stop that. He ordered me to hand over the camera and tape. I turned and walked away when I was arrested," Shukri said when contacted.

Eyewitnesses said that Pua was physically manhandled and thrown into a waiting Black Maria. The police were also seen chasing the crowd into an Indian restaurant located opposite the Civic Centre.

Those arrested have been taken to the PJ police station. A small group of people have gathered outside in support of those arrested under the watchful eyes of a team of police anti-riot squad.

Candlelight vigil called off

Earlier, at about 9.35pm, a candlelight vigil organised by polls reform group Bersih was hampered by police insistence on the gathered crowd to disperse.

The vigil was to have started at 9.30pm at Padang Timur opposite Amcorp Mall, Petaling Jaya.

However, the police had started blocking the roads leading to the venue as early as 7pm.

And as the scheduled 9.30pm approached, the police urged the gathered crowd in the field to disperse.

The crowd had then moved into the nearby Amcorp mall, engaged in a ‘wait-and-see' game with the police.

Among those in the crowd were recently court-released ISA detainee Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Selangor exco member Ronnie Liu and DAP leaders Lau Weng San and Pua.

At about 9.30pm, the organisers told the crowd to disperse so as to avoid any trouble with the police.

Some of the people then decided to hold a mini-procession from the field to the PJ Civic Centre, about a kilometre away- malaysiakini

I feel sick.