Tuesday May 1, 2012
‘New evidence’ emerges of Anwar and Azmin instigating charge
KUALA LUMPUR: Social media sites are abuzz with “new evidence” that PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and deputy president Azmin Ali instigated the charge on the out-of-bounds Dataran Merdeka which led to chaos in the streets.
A YouTube video shows a yellow-clad Anwar pointing at Dataran Merdeka and then making a rolling gesture with both hands at Azmin.
Azmin, standing with his back to the historic site, responds by jerking his thumb over his shoulder towards the field and nodding several times before bending to speak to a man dressed in yellow standing next to him.
The man, who Twitter users say they recognise as a Seremban PKR member, removes a metal gate and darts into Dataran Merdeka, followed by a surging crowd.
Less than two minutes later, police fired water cannons.
City police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mohmad Salleh said they had no choice but to act as the crowd had started to throw objects as they charged towards Dataran Merdeka.
The Bersih rally on Saturday started off peaceful but turned chaotic when demonstrators breached the Dataran Merdeka boundaries and the police reacted with rounds of tear gas to disperse the crowd.
The Star had reported that the crowd was believed to have become unruly after a speech by Azmin, who asked the demonstrators whether they wanted to “occupy Dataran Merdeka”. His question was met with cries of “hancur rempuh, buka pagar” (crash and destroy, open the gates).
“The Dataran does not belong to Kuala Lumpur City Hall. It belongs to the people,” Azmin told the crowd at the intersection of Jalan Raja and Jalan Tun Perak.
Bersih chief Datuk S. Ambiga admitted to reporters on Sunday that demonstrators had breached the barriers around Dataran Merdeka, which had closed after a court order.
She also said the crowd had been instructed by the Bersih committee not to enter the square without police permission.
Bersih steering committee member Wong Chin Huat was quoted in a news portal as saying that the organisers lost control of the rally participants.
The video clip was repeatedly taken down despite being re-posted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Some Twitter users have posted screen captures of the relevant scenes. It can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAUsvSs4ric.
In PETALING JAYA, Anwar denied that he had instigated his supporters to break through the police barriers.
He claimed he was trying to get the crowd to disperse and move back after he and Ambiga had delivered their speeches.
Anwar also dismissed claims that he was gesturing at Azmin to break through the barriers.
“I was gesturing at him to negotiate with the police,” Anwar told a press conference at the party headquarters yesterday.
Azmin, meanwhile, said: “It was so noisy so I had to use hand gestures to communicate with Anwar. I did not have any conversation with any supporters to barge through the barriers.”
However, Anwar defended the action of the protesters who barged through to Dataran Merdeka.
“Even if some of the youths had broken it, I will defend that decision.
“As a responsible leader, I had asked them to turn right and disperse,” he said.
Party vice-president Tian Chua, meanwhile, claimed that the barriers on the other side of Dataran Merdeka had been breached before the ones near Anwar and Azmin.
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