Armed forces, police prepare for demos
KUALA LUMPUR: Cooperation between the police and armed forces is necessary to maintain public order and security in the country.
With this in mind, the two security forces launched a joint safety exercise at the Police College in Cheras yesterday.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said cooperation was crucial because political parties, non-governmental organisations and individuals were, of late, organising more illegal assemblies.
“It is crucial, and the right time, for the forces to organise and plan strategies to carry out duties in maintaining public order as outlined in the public order manual,” he said.
The exercise, which began yesterday and ends on Monday, is to get planners to understand what it takes to coordinate efforts between the two forces should the need arise.
Musa said the joint exercise, whose focus is on the Klang Valley, especially Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya, was to show that public order problems could be tackled properly and efficiently by both forces.Asked if this meant that the armed forces would be used to tackle illegal assemblies, he said this would only be so if absolutely necessary and an emergency had to be declared.Armed Forces chief General Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal said the exercise was the first of two phases. In this phase, discussions would be held to work out certain procedures.
The second phase involved actual deployment of forces. Legal officers of both forces would advise on the legal aspects of tackling any crisis.
“Such activities (the exercise) have to be carried out so that a standard operating procedure can be worked out. Without such exercises, there will be no coordination when a real threat arises,” he said.
Joint police-army exercise sparks emergency talk
KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — Even during the worst of times in 1998, when pro-Reformasi supporters took to the streets in Kuala Lumpur to protest the jailing of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the army stayed in the barracks. Crowd control and public order in Malaysia was in the hands of the police, like it has been for decades since the race riots in 1969.The men in blue jealously guarded their turf and the government felt that the sight of men in green fatigues with M16s on patrol duty on the streets of Kuala Lumpur would put the country on par with war-torn African states and unstable East European nations, and conjure up the image of a country under emergency.
This could change this week.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said yesterday that the police and armed forces will be holding a joint public order exercise until Monday and the military will be called in to maintain public order if the security situation in Malaysia deteriorates.
“The exercise is also to enhance the cooperation between the police and the army, besides helping improve coordination, logistics and communication between the two forces,” he added.
Army chief Jen Datuk Seri Abdul Aziz Zainal said the exercise would be held in two phases to better enhance implementation during a national security-threatening scenario.
“The first phase will involve discussions and, when the time is right, proceed to deployment,” he said, adding that the idea was mooted about two years ago.
Security agencies are on an alert to deal with possible public order issues on Saturday when a mammoth rally will be held in Petaling Jaya to protest the increase in fuel prices. The rally is being organised by the People’s Anti-Oil Manipulation Movement (Geramm) — a coalition of non-governmental organisations and the youth wing of Pakatan Rakyat.
Initially, they believed that several thousand protestors could turn up on Saturday. But now they believe that the numbers could swell dramatically. The reason: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is using the rally to kick off a nationwide roadshow to proclaim his innocence against the sodomy charge levelled by his aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, against him.
Musa assured people that the armed forces will only be used after consultations between officials from the Home Ministry and the Defence Ministry. This is scant consolation for Malaysians who are only used to seeing troops march on the streets of Kuala Lumpur on Aug 31 as part of National Day celebrations.
News of the joint operations between police and the armed forces to maintain public order is being debated in blogosphere with the more conspiratorial arguing that this could set the stage for emergency rule in the country. Government officials are dismissing that notion, saying that police do not have the resources to deal to tackle crime and also maintain law and order across the country.
Why the army?? Anything involving the army is pretty serious shit. As reported by The Malaysian Insider, even during the ‘worst’ times in 1998 – Reformasi period we did not see army on the street for crowd control and public order. Usually, army will step in when there is an emergency. Like what happened in 1969.
According to Article 150 of the Federal Constitution:
This article permits the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to issue a Proclamation of Emergency and to govern by issuing ordinances that are not subject to judicial review if the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is satisfied that a grave emergency exists whereby the security, or the economic life, or public order in the Federation or any part thereof is threatened.
Only Yang Di-Pertuan Agong has the absolute power to issue a Proclamation of Emergency and mobilize the army in case of emergency as he is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. IGP forgot to mention His Majesty role? Only Home Ministry and the Defence Ministry? What? A coup de tat?
Illegal assemblies? We have FRUs.. So far it works (for them) so why the ARMY needs to be brought in? Not enough resources? What a lame excuse. Malaysians are generally peace loving people, even when provoked by tear gasses and water cannons.
Asked if this meant that the armed forces would be used to tackle illegal assemblies, he said this would only be so if absolutely necessary and an emergency had to be declared.
Why the need to mention the very word of ‘an emergency’? Before this, even after BERSIH march, Hindraf and few other illegal assemblies, there was no mention of ’emergency’. People like IGP do not simply just say unnecessary things, especially someone at his position.
Another conspiracy theory? I leave you to decide on that.