Monday February 25, 2013
‘Protesters’ create a scene
By EDMUND NGO and M. KUMAR
IPOH: Members from fictional parties such as Parti Timbang, Parti Buku and Parti Sinar took part in a simulated drill, holding banners and shouting slogans.
Some of them wore blue headbands, others had green ones and covered their faces with self-made balaclavas.
However, they were just part of the many simulated scenarios acted out all across Perak as the 3,500-strong police force underwent the first of a two-day nationwide exercise, codenamed X-Ballot, in preparation for the general election.
In a scene here, about 10 Parti Timbang members carried banners and flags, shouting in front of the district police headquarters, causing motorists to slow down and passers-by to gather around.
The “protesters” lingered for about 30 minutes and even shouted at a 4WD with the state police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Shukri Dahlan inside, which was trying to enter the police station.
A police officer came out to meet the group and after a brief discussion, the group dispersed.
Apart from the demonstration in Ipoh, the members of Parti Buku, Parti Sinar and Parti Timbang also “clashed” in another incident in front of the Tanjung Malim district council building, where the nomination centre is usually set up.
Riot police was dispatched and some “protesters” were nabbed.
Criminal Investigation Department deputy chief Asst Comm Fadzil Ahmad said the exercise began at 8am with an “announcement” of the Parliament's dissolution.
“We are confident with the level of preparation shown by all personnel,” he said, adding that the exercise was even held at night.
ACP Fadzil said about 100 police personnel from Bukit Aman simulated the scenarios once every hour in each district.
In PETALING JAYA, state deputy police chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk A. Thaiveegan said police were confident they could handle any situation that might arise during the elections.
“We have been preparing for this since last year, so we are ready whenever the general election is held,” he said.
Selangor traffic and public order chief Supt Zulkifli Jonit said the drills in Selangor were focused on preparing and updating internal systems like communications and logistics.