Post-Black 14. And loads of reports

It’s almost comical, really, to read the tons and tons of reports, news and opinions alike, about the supposedly illegal gathering of the Black 14. And what’s more ironic is that even though I find it comical, and to some certain extent, excessive, here I am, doing the same thing. I’m just compelled to, you know what I mean?

Let’s start with the news items first:

Black 14 Dinner Turns Into Illegal Gathering, Say Police

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 (Bernama) — A so-called Black 14 dinner organised by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) at the Sultan Suleiman Club in Kampung Baru Monday night turned into an illegal gathering of what police estimated to be 7,000 people.

“The application made to the police on April 8 stated that a dinner was to be held and that only three top leaders of the party would give speeches but there was no dinner for the people, only for the party leaders,” he told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters here Monday night.

Asked why a permit was required for a gathering at a private club, Muhammad Sabtu said it was not a function held indoors.

“The ceramah (talk) contributed to traffic congestion and the presence of the large number of party supporters posed a hazard for the public and night market traders in the vicinity of the club.

Full article here. (Bernama)

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Wan Azizah Will Not Give Statement To Police Over Gathering

PETALING JAYA, April 15 (Bernama) — Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will not give a statement to the police over a gathering held by the party at the Sultan Sulaiman Club here last night although she was issued a notice to do so Tuesday, said PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali.

“Besides having a busy schedule Tuesday, Dr Wan Azizah also will not go to the police station to give a statement so long as she does not receive a copy of the police report that was lodged about the gathering,” he told a press conference which was also was atteneded by Dr Wan Azizah at the PKR office here.

Dr Wan Azizah said three police officers presented her the notice at her home in Bukit Segambut here at 9.20am.

“I have consulted my laywers who will be notifying the police about my inability to be present at the police station today to give the statement,” she said.

Full article here. (Bernama)

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Summoned PKR leaders claim they did not contravene the law

KUALA LUMPUR: The three PKR leaders and an aide, who were served notice to report to the police over Monday’s Black 14 gathering, want the police to furnish them with a copy of the report lodged against them.

PKR vice-president Azmin Ali said he, party president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and his aide Yahya Sahri did not report to the Dang Wangi police headquarters where they were summoned to appear at 3pm yesterday.

Earlier at a press conference, PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali said the legal status of the gathering was not raised by the police during discussions and correspondences with them.

“The police did not raise the issue of needing a permit during the meetings except to discuss traffic and security matters.

“A letter on the gathering was also sent to the police by (Selangor Mentri Besar) Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

Full article here. (the Star Online)

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And then of course, there are the many comments, opinions, views and what have you, by the bloggers out there, including yours truly right here right now.

Kak Ton: PKR slams police action
Malaysian Gate Blog: Black 14: Polis ke rumah pemimpin PKR
Susan Loone: Police investigates Azizah

And I’m sure that this list is a very very short one compared to the many comments that are floating out there.

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As for my own take on it, well, I believe that the police are just trying to make a big deal out of nothing. First, they say it’s illegal. But hey, it wasn’t only known in the blogosphere! It was even reported on and “advertised”, if you will, prior to the gathering by the MSM. You police KNEW about it all along.

And if it was illegal to start off with, then why did they let the group grow to that size? The newspapers might report that there were about 7,000 people there that night, but from the ones who attended the gathering, it seemed like the actual numbers were about 20,000. But no matter if it was 20,000, or about 14,000 less people, the police basically LET the crowd grow.

They say that any gathering of more than 4 people(?) is illegal. So when the fifth, sixth, seventh person came, why did they not stop them from going in? What of the hundredth? The thousandth? Surely they could have done something about it, if what they claim is true.

If it was illegal, they could have dispersed the crowd early on. They could have stopped the gathering all together. But they didn’t. They waited till it was about 10.30 at night, when the speeches were being made. Why did they have to wait till then?

Illegal or not, that is for the law to determine. And since I’m no lawyer, I wouldn’t be able to tell for sure if it was illegal, or by the books. But what I do know is, the police are just making a big deal out of nothing.

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