SHAH ALAM, 15 Jan: The police should have not imposed a ban on bringing children to the People’s Uprising Assembly (HKR112) at Merdeka Stadium last Saturday because this also happened at the Umno assembly at Bukit Jalil Stadium on 11 May, 2012.
Pakatan Leaders said that at the Umno assembly which was held in conjunction with the 66th anniversary of the party, there were parents who brought along their children to the event.
“The police has to be consistent, if they want to impose terms, the same conditions should also be imposed on the assembly organised by BN,” said the Selangor State Assembly Deputy Speaker, Haniza Mohamed Talha when contacted by TV Selangor.
“At assemblies or events organised by Umno, sometimes buses of school children are fetched (to the event).
“Be professional, critics themselves were not concerned about security, they deliberately found wrong due to starkness of issues,” Haniza said.
She was responding to the attitude of the police who wanted to take action against HKR112 participants who took their children to the mega assembly last Saturday.
In a report on Berita Harian Online on 11 May, 2,800 buses were used from around the country to fetch participants to the Umno assembly at Bukit Jalil national stadium.
Apart from that, there were also elderly and persons with disabilities (PWD) who participated in the Umno assembly.
Haniza also said the the security guarantee given by the police to the organisers of HKR112 several days before the event took place also provided the impetus for parents to bring along their children.
Meanwhile, Selangor Exco, Teresa Kok said that bringing along a child to an assembly was made an issue when PR was able to gather about 80,000 supporters to the HKR112 causing jealousy to arise in Umno-BN leaders.
“To prevent is really not reasonable because it is the same as taking our children to see a concert or a New Year’s Eve countdown or during the threshold of independence.
“Additionally, the day was Saturday, schools and childcare centres are closed, where should they leave their children?” said Teresa.
Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud said that the purpose of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2011 is to ensure that assemblies can be carried out safely.
Hence, the authorities should ensure the safety of all participants, including children.
If the authorities impose restrictions towards children, then the act should be amended and applicable to all parties.
“Are our laws for us different and different for BN?” Dr Siti Mariah questioned.