LIVE: Pandemonium erupts as police charge into crowd


Poised to strike: FRU personnel glare menacingly from outside at the rakyat gathered inside the lobby of Amcorp Mall

Threat to security?: Haris briefs the rakyat that lighted candles may be viewed by some as a “WMD”! (Pictures by blog reader Michael).

The rakyat refused to back down despite the intimidation (Picture by blogger Jarod. More pictures and report at his blog here.)

There are two vigils today at 8.00pm in Ipoh and 9.30pm in PJ. Live updates with Rakyat@Work reporting from Ipoh and other sources in and around Amcorp Mall in PJ:

This is a sad night for peace-loving, justice-loving rakyat after 23 people were detained when police charged into a peaceful crowd in PJ. But love conquers hatred and violence; justice will triumph over oppression. By attacking a peaceful crowd and detaining justice-loving Malaysians, the authorities have further undermined whatever moral authority they had.

2354: Eye-witness and blog reader Paradiz recalls what happened:

My wife and I were there tonight, the FRU charged at us as the Negara Ku was being sung. They were waving their batons threateningly and shouting for us to disperse. I think they were itching to start beating people up.

We had no choice but to run although some did not. After scattering, we went back into the park and were shouted at by the FRU to disperse. That was when we saw some plainclothes cops chasing a few of the people in yellow Bersih and black and red “Free RPK” T-shirts.

Blog reader Ben reports:

RPK and Marina are safe. I saw them walking towards Shah Motel at about 10.20pm. The commotion was at the MBPJ park.

The Centre for Independent Journalism has issued a press statement condemning the police action:

CIJ calls on the Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan to free those arrested and explain the use of the riot police in controlling the crowd, which had planned for a peaceful gathering. The continuous use of force against people expressing their views on issues such as the need for free and fair elections and abolishing the ISA is a demonstration of the intolerance for public criticism of the status quo.

2349: Eaglewings reflects on the recent vigils:

For the past four weeks, we had such peaceful vigils. With no police presence, everyone left peacefully and took back a little something with them in their hearts. We made new friends, sang songs together but we were there for only one reason: “Give those detained under the ISA their rights back”.

Today, with police presence, just look at the commotion. Isn’t it obvious? Have they forgotten that they have to protect the rakyat and not attack the rakyat? Until we get rid of this Home Minister, the story continues….

2348: Detained MBPJ city councillor Ms Tiew Way Keng has sent an SMS to her fellow councillor:

23 arrested. Tony, Ronnie, Weng San, I and others.

2341: Blog reader Eric reports again:

My wife saw RPK being ushered/hurried away by a green-stripes collar shirt man. Hope RPK is not caught.

2340: People are just so upset. Among them is blog reader Desmond who was at the scene:

I was there at the Civic Centre garden, we were singing the Negara Ku and the FRU charged at us, banging their shields and shouting angrily at us and ordering us to disperse. It was barbaric and uncalled for. We will not be intimidated by their brute force and will continue our fight for a better tomorrow.

2336: It appears that police could have been targeting some of those wearing the Bersih and RPK T-shirts, says another contact at the police station. “We have started lighting candles. The speaker just now was Gobind Singh. Lim Kit Siang has just turned up.”

2326: A press conference is being held outside the police station. It appears there could have been a few more arrests.

2316: About a hundred people have gathered at the PJ police headquarters. Apparently, police have now started blocking roads leading to the station. Among those arrested is believed to be Rev Fr Paulino Miranda, the parish priest of the Church of the Divine Mercy in Shah Alam.

Eye-witness Eric reports:

My wife saw the plain-clothes police taking away a few women and small-built persons (could be teenagers). The police also dragged a man on the floor for 10 feet while heading to the Black Maria.

2311: MBPJ councillor Ms Tiew Way Keng is among those arrested, a fellow councillor in MBPJ tells me. If you know of any other person who was arrested, do let us know.

2306: Lis who was at the scene earlier tonight is shocked:

So upset! So upset! I was there at the Taman Jaya station car park, but didn’t go to the mall when I was told by a family that the people had dispersed.

I left the place as I was alone. I didn’t know so many things had happened until I got home to read all the internet postings!

Another sad day! Why the arrests? What did they do?

2301: Malaysiakini reports that their videographer Shukri Mohamad has also been arrested. I hope someone has video footage of the police charge. Malaysiakini adds in its report:

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 there in solidarity. A team of police anti-riot squad is also on standby.

2254: Blog reader Eric reports:

Tony Pua and Lau Weng San have been nabbed. I was there; my friend got caught too. They are waiting in the Black Maria.

2253: About 20 people are believed to have been detained including MPs Tony Pua, Adun Lau Weng San, blogger Ariff Abdul and a town councillor.

MPs Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, Charles Santiago and Teresa Kok have now arrived at the scene.

2246: “One of my friends was apprehended,” says Rakyat@Work.

2225: My other source reports: “We gathered at the Civic Centre garden open space. Tony Pua gave a short talk followed by RPK and we ended by singing Negaraku. At that point, the line of FRU personnel started moving towards us, knocking their shields and shouting in a threatening manner and they walked through the crowd – at which point we had to open up the crowd as they moved towards the core of the crowd. We broke up and there was some scuffling and there was some chasing.

“So at this point we don’t know what happened to RPK and the other three MPs, Ronnie Liu, Tony Pua and Lau Weng San. At this moment, the crowd has dispersed having run helter skelter. The police are still there shouting at some of the crowd still lingering there.”

I can hear sirens wailing in the background. Are we witnessing the return of the worst intolerance for dissent reminiscent of the Mahathir era?

2220: Police, FRU and SB charge at the crowd as they are trying to walk to the road outside Civic Centre. “Personally, I saw about seven people being detained,” says my source. The police appeared upset as RPK was speaking.

“They are running after someone now. Oh God, I see about six or seven police trying to drag a guy in yellow shirt who is resisting. They are taking him away now.  I would imagine more than ten have been taken by now.”

2203: Some of the crowd are now at the A&W awaiting the arrival of the Bersih group.

2200: Well, well, well, I spoke too soon again. It’s not quite over. A section of the rakyat is now heading for the Civic Centre, about 15 minutes walk from Amcorp Mall. Among the crowd are RPK and Ronnie Liu. The police are probably aware and will no doubt be meeting them there again!

2154: Earlier tonight, Zorro spoke in Ipoh and congratulated the people there for coming out to call for the abolition of the ISA. The event there was well-organised with tents erected, banners and audio equipment. Syabas, Ipoh!

2157: “They are still not satisfied with my release,” says RPK over the phone, as I welcomed him back to freedom. “I think they want to re-detain me. Anyway, I have just posted something on the Malaysia Today website.”

2149: A big thank you to our brave god-sent “angels” – Rakyat@Work and other sources – hovering at the scene, taking note of everything and providing us with live reports tonight.

2135: It’s all over. About 300 of the rakyat re-group at the lobby of Amcorp Mall; Haris leads the group in singing Negaraku, and then the crowd disperses peacefully. They have made their point loud and clear. They want the ISA to go. Mansuhkan ISA!

2118: The vigil in Ipoh ends without incident. It’s an unqualified success. But tonight the spotlight is trained at Amcorp Mall in PJ.

2106: Lim Kit Siang addresses the crowd in Ipoh. “Stand up for your rights!” he exhorts them. Other speakers include Sivarasah and Zorro. About a dozen police personnel are watching from a distance.

2105: Over in Ipoh, Rakyat@Work arrives at the venue and is surprised to find a larger than expected crowd. “Wow, turnout of 350 people!”

2104: Organisers inside the mall have told the rakyat to go shopping(!) until 9.30pm, reports my contact at the scene, and then they will decide what to do. “The police are still outside; they have not come in,” he says.

2054: About 20 FRU personnel are outside the Mall, while 200 of the rakyat are inside the Mall in the lobby area. The rakyat are barely 30 feet away from the FRU outside. “As long as the FRU do not advance on us, we are safe,” says my contact in the lobby. But the FRU personnel appear to be armed with tear gas cannisters.

2048: He spoke too soon. The FRU are forming a line; someone shouts “Mansuhkan ISA!” and that prompts the FRU to move forward. “The FRU are advancing now and people are retreating to Amcorp Mall,” reports my contact at the scene. There are a few yellow-shirted Bersih people around now.

2046: The police have once again asked the crowd to disperse or face the consequences. Haris has addressed the crowd, telling them he leaves it up to them. They can remain there or walk around in groups of four. People are not quite sure what to do. “For the moment, it is still peaceful,” says my contact. Bersih-affiliated MPs are expected to arrive at 9.00pm.

2035: The crowd has moved away from the field. There are now about 200 people in the area with another one or two dozen blue-uniformed cops including senior officers. My contact tells me there is bit of a stand-off but it’s not confrontational. Police have been cordial in advising the crowd to disperse. Tony Pua and Haris arrive at the scene.

Meanwhile, Rakyat@Work is nearing the venue of the Ipoh vigil.

2022: Police have asked the crowd near Amcorp Mall to disperse. There is no one on the field now.

2010: An eye-witness reports that close to a hundred people are now at the padang near Amcorp Mall. They are just milling around; nothing has started. The talk is that the proceedings will begin at 9.00pm. All roads to the venue are still blocked.

2005: From what I hear, the Bersih group are now trying to think of an alternative location. They were supposed to have gathered near Amcorp Mall at 9.30pm after the 8.00pm Abolish ISA vigil, but that’s not looking possible now.

1940: My contact in PJ has been circling around, trying to get to the venue, but all four entry points into Amcorp Mall are blocked by traffic police.

1928: Federal Highway from Jalan Utara is blocked. Police are said to be present around Padang Timor near Amcorp Mall. They are obviously not taking any chances, even though it is unlikely the Bersih folks would have managed to get a big crowd this time.

1909: The road blocks near Amcorp Mall could be because the Bersih coalition (campaigning for electoral reforms) is expected to join the Abolish ISA group.

Meanwhile, Rakyat@Work is now in Taiping, heading to Ipoh.

1857: It looks as if roads are blocked in all directions heading towards Amcorp Mall and even A&W.

1852: We are getting reports of a road block heading to Amcorp Mall.

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christie baradus
christie baradus
12 Nov 2008 9.08am

lets us pray 2gather 4 da justice even in different language,races & most important different religion & believe.STAND 4 DA JUSTICE, PEOPLE HAS A RIGHTS 2 CHOOSE OUR LEADER.4 EXAMPLE BARACK OBAMA OF THE LATEST US PRESIDENT.GOD BLESS U ALL.

11 Nov 2008 10.18pm


10 Nov 2008 9.45pm

With the overwhelming presence of the police and FRU, RPK”s lawyers must have advised him not to make an appearance at the vigil and jeopardise his other court cases..

The fact that he did make an appearance speak volumes of his magnimity as I believe he knows that he can not disappoint those who have turned up for the vigil and who wishes to see him and also the remaining detainees who are hoping for him to carry their plight to the outside world.

10 Nov 2008 9.20pm

After having dispursed from AMCORP MALL, orderly as instructed by Haris, I went to A&W to meet up with kkitsam and san juin. kkitsam received a call that a large group has gone over to the Civic Centre. We excitedly started walking there very fast. Arriving near MENARE MPPJ, we met Harry coming towards us in a hurry and he told us that some have been caught and put in the police truck. We also met 5 Indian boys aged about 15 to 18 grouped together quietly,They told us that one of them has been caught.I comforted them not to… Read more »

10 Nov 2008 8.24pm

In today’s the Sun, it was reported that the Selangor police chief told reporters that the previous four consecutive gatherings at AMCORP field was carried out despite being warned by the police not to do so and advised to apply for police permit.This (may not be) true as I have been to three of the four vigil and no police spoke to us. However , on Sunday night, with the field barred by a row of police, and with the crowd growing aroun the field , at about 7.50pm, Angela Ooi, the organiser for Seremban vigils , her son and… Read more »

10 Nov 2008 11.52am

Thank You, FRU and the POLICE for helping the cause to gain more sympathy from the public, and for ensuring that your cowardly actions are exposed more and more to the rest of the world; and for galvanising the rest of the rakyat to fight even harder to ensure the fall of ISA.

The winds of change are sweeping across the world. It’s only a matter of time ……..

10 Nov 2008 11.12am

I have been attending this vigil peacefully every weekend, rain or otherwise, and am glad to be part of it. Let this NOT be a damper to the course and be there next weekend.

10 Nov 2008 10.36am

SHEER OVERKILL if you ask me! I arrived about 9.45 – just in time to miss all the action! The place was still crawling with cops. The entire area was blanketed – three or four police officers every few metres – all the way to PJ State! AI himself could not have received a warmer welcome! Botak throwing a tantrum and taking revenge for losing his prized prisoner! The last time he caused massive traffic jams and paralised KL with his road blocks – just to prevent AI from visiting parliament apparently. Botak’s middle name should be “Overkill”!

10 Nov 2008 10.02am

…that is why we really need a change in govt in order to ensure that the police and FRU toes the line.

Paul Warren
10 Nov 2008 9.33am

Stephen, Tony and I were a little late arriving at the Civic Centre. Parked near Lotus and wanted to walk towards the Civic Centre car park. Police cars and trucks with lights on and screeching their siren blockaded the road. We approached the police vehicle line along the road shoulder and one (man) seeing us approach started shouting at us to get out of there. we kept moving forward hesitantly and the guy started getting abusive and moved threateningly towards us. We decided to back off. I was wearing the yellow Boycott MSM T shirt and Tony and Stephen were… Read more »

Eagle has landed
Eagle has landed
10 Nov 2008 8.37am

The FRUs think they will be there forever and simply follow orders not knowing their bosses are enjoying life in the comforet of their family and home.
The police are just like …. following orders for little food and think they are almighty…
We need to make those lower rank FRUs and the police understand the struggle and to tell them while they are facing the innocent rakyats…

10 Nov 2008 5.44am

shame on the police, u r the Biggest Bullies! this govt is going down the drains! WE NEED CHANGE!

10 Nov 2008 5.16am

The Brave Rakyat will not be intimidated by this type of attack on the Citizens who are only exercising their democratic rights to assemble for a righteous cause- the right to protest against ISA detention without trial. All over the world from once Russia East European controlled territories where Dictator fell due to people’s power to USA where Civil Rights Movement under Martin Luther King march to the capital in their 100,000s to demand end to discrimination to Blacks,its the Brave People who made sacrifices-beaten & jailed,who have laid the way for a better future for their children. A future… Read more »

10 Nov 2008 4.52am

At the Civic Hall, Ronnie tried to signal the police to give them 5 more minutes before dispersing. Before singing could end, the FRU started coming went past me and RPK, and started chasing everyone behind with Special Branch following. I started walking briskly leaving the place and trying to tag behind Pete, Marina and a few others. Behind me, Augustine, my friend was jumped by a SB and overpowered.

Chia, Chin Yau
10 Nov 2008 3.45am

I was attending the AmCorp mall vigil with my wife. Reached there around 9:30pm, after wrestling with road blocks and looking for a car park. We were told that the crowd dispersed and we witnessed FRUs right at the entrance of the mall. Then we decided to go ahead to Civic centre when were told that everyone is moving there. Met RPK along the way, He still look tired, but better spirit. We were talking with others who marched towards Civic centre, and most was expressing their anger with the Authority trying to depress our voices. Some was saying that… Read more »

10 Nov 2008 2.58am

The rakyat from JOHOR want to congrate our fellow rakyat for their hard work… GoGoGo!!

Botak… U might break the gathering but U WILL NEVER BREAK OUR SPIRIT!!

10 Nov 2008 1.52am

my family and i are keeping vigil for all those detained especially our parish priest Fr Paulino. May the Holy Spirit give them the strength to go through this ordeal. They may break our bones but not our spirit.

Please remember all those detained in our prayer. that is our greatest weapon.

10 Nov 2008 1.49am

These were the police? With so many crimes still unsolved they still chose to harass harmless folk instead? I’d say we can now safely call them security guards or maybe bouncer would be more appropriate.

10 Nov 2008 1.27am

The Ipoh’s event tonight is in contrast a ‘safe’ affair. I noted four policemen standing far at the back of the field, just watching. At one point, one of them used a mobile phone to record the speeches. All speakers were allowed to speak their minds without interruption.
I pray for those arrested in PJ tonigh, that they will be treated fairly and civilly.

10 Nov 2008 1.23am

To Anil and friends around Malaysia and abroad,

I have updated my blog on the chaos and some photo for your viewing. Indeed a sad day with anger reaching the MAX for me!

Malaysia is no longer having the freedom we desire… we need to change.

Tc friends.

10 Nov 2008 12.52am

Let’s learn to pray those imprecatory prayers against those who do evil

Those cowardly… came with batons, shields and tear gas canisters against citizens who were armed only with candles and the sense of justice in their hearts. Yes, LORD repay them sevenfold for the evil that they have done tonight. They include those who carried out tonight operation, the ones who ordered it… May your righteous wrath, O LORD consumed all of them. Amen.

10 Nov 2008 12.31am

Just arrived home from the Ipoh vigil. We had a great time and the turnout was good despite a heavy rain earlier. While driving, received a sms about the Amcorp mall vigil. So sad to hear what has happened in the Amcorp mall vigil. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who was arrested tonight.

Syed Albar and IGP Musa, please resign.

Mag M
10 Nov 2008 12.17am

This is unbelievable. All the virgils are very peaceful. There’s no need for the police to threaten or arrest anyone. This country seriously needs a change. Praying for those arrested to be released.

telur dua
telur dua
10 Nov 2008 12.14am


They are only good in attacking the defenceless Rakyat.

10 Nov 2008 12.09am

The late evening rain It didn’t dampen the people’s spirits For when the time arrived Ipoh mari say No to ISA The road was wet The ground of green grass shone In the candle lights By then in the tent people gathered around Waiting for the speeches The well known politicians and bloggers LKS, Kulasegaran, Nga Din Merican and Zorro Say No to ISA Released all prisoners in Kah Moon Thing Binned ISA let history says its peace The people decide We make the changes We have the power to do it We can change the government The shining moon… Read more »