KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 — City police have hauled up PKR’s Rafizi Ramli for questioning over unverified claims of an alleged plan that explosives will be used during the coming price hike rally on New Year’s eve.
In a posting on the Royal Malaysian Police’s (PDRM) Facebook page today, Federal CID director Comm Datuk Hadi Ho Abdullah confirmed that the PKR strategic director was called in to assist in investigations.
“PDRM views seriously the spread of an email said to be sent by Rahim Ghouse to YB Rafizi Ramli about plans for explosions in several strategic locations in conjunction with the New Year’s celebrations,” Hadi said in the statement.
“The public is advised to respect the peace and tranquillity of this country while ushering in the New Year,” he continued.
Hadi added that as at today, a total of 1,151 police reports have been received nationwide about the rally, which the authorities believe is an attempt by several groups to overthrow the government.
The CID chief is believed to be referring to a Friday posting in the pro-Umno blog theunspinners.blogspot.com that revealed a snapshot of the email allegedly sent at 3.03am that day by Rahim, a PKR member, to Rafizi, who is the MP for Pandan.
The email, with a subject header that said “C for Chaos”, urged Rafizi to inform party members to avoid five key locations on December 31 “for their own safety”, namely the traffic junctions at Sogo and Puduraya, the roundabout near Masjid Negara, Masjid Jamek LRT and the Bank Negara KTM area.
“There will be several minor expl. similar to the previous event when Anwar dismissed from the sodomy charge. Please remind our guys on the code we use.
“When the time comes, they will act as per discussed in our previous meeting. Take advantage on the big crowd during the New Year eve,” the email said.
The email also said a “social media team” will be on the ground to record all events and upload them on YouTube immediately.
Yesterday, the police listed the names of four non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that were allegedly planning to “cause trouble” during the New Year’s Eve celebrations next week, which are Turun, SMM, PKR-backed group Jingga 13 and youth group Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM).
Kuala Lumpur deputy police chief Datuk Amar Singh Ishar Singh was quoted as saying by Malay daily Utusan Malaysia that the police would not hesitate to arrest those who incite commotion that night.
On Friday, however, Mohamed Bukhairy Sofian, chairman of student movement Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM), reportedly said that its planned gathering at Dataran Merdeka on New Year’s Eve is to protest against the rising cost of living, and not to overthrow the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
Anti-price hike movement Gerakan Turun Kos Sara Hidup (Turun) chairman Azan Safar had also clarified last week that the price hike protest is not linked to another planned gathering, which allegedly aims to oust the government.
On Christmas Eve, police arrested the leader of an anti-price hike movement over a planned rally at Dataran Merdeka on December 31 that allegedly aimed to overthrow the government.
On Thursday, the owner of a Facebook page was also picked up by the police for allegedly inciting the public to participate in demonstrations on December 31, to topple the government.
The mass protest was planned amid the various increases in the prices of goods and services, some of which have already taken place a few months ago, like the cutting of fuel and sugar subsidies, while other hikes are scheduled for next year, such as in electricity tariffs, assessment rates for KL properties, public transport charges and toll rates for major highways.