KOTA KINABALU: Deputy home minister Datuk Azis Jamman said the eight activists who were arrested for staging a protest earlier this morning should have used the proper channel to air their grouses.
Among the activists detained was Parti Amanah Negera youth chief Mohd Khairudin Daud, who should have known better than to stage a protest without a permit, he opined.
He questioned the rationale of the group for taking their issues to the streets today because as part of a government friendly party, he should have known to use the proper channel to air his grievances.
“Write in to us and we will facilitate a rountable discussion. That is the way to do it. They need to discard this opposition mentality of protesting and taking to the streets,” said Azis.
Earlier today, eight participants of about 100 person crowd in the “Pandang Ke Sabah” rally, co-organised by several student groups were detained by police and allegedly manhandled while trying to disperse the crowd.
The detainees claimed to have been punched and many sustained injuries.
They were protesting for 10 demands including equal education rights, better public transport service and job opportunities for Sabahans.
Meanwhile, Sabah commissioner of police Datuk Omar Mammah denied that police had been violent with the protesters, and instead said that the group was bring obstinate and refused to disperse when asked. “I was not there but from what I was told, they were not dispersing despite being advised to repeatedly.
“They were marching with banners and under the law this is a protest, and they did not have a permit. My OCPD said that they were attracting a lot of attention. We had to stop it,” he said.
When asked about claims of violence, Omar said that they were trying to disperse the group but they were not following orders.
The eight are expected to be released later today after having their statement taken.