riot police with their lightly armed riot machines were simply
overwhelmed by determined protestors. These protestors simply throw
back the gas bombs. The riot police in Kahirah number only about a
hundred, similar to the strength of the riot police in Kuala Lumpur.
At Kota Kinabalu, the number is much less. I frequently see our riot
police practising at Kepayan Police Head Quarters in 1960s. The
Egyptian experience shows that these police can easily be overwhelmed
by determined and young protestors. Fortunately they don't use live
bullets but these riot police were not trained to kill.
Malaysia has the Field Force which comprise fully armed policemen,
equipped with armoured cars, unlike the Egyptian police. The
protestors do not harm the policemen. Only destroy their vehicles.
The army is a different story. However it was reported that the
soldiers refused to carry out the order to shoot the protestors. This
reminds us of the Mei 13 racial riots in West Malaysia. The Malaysian
government had to resort to the army to quell the riots. The Malaysian
professional army number around 100,000 scattered all over Malaysia.
They are mostly of the Malay race but with some Dayak ranger
battalions. The Malays soldiers were relucant to shoot at the Malay
rioters but the Dayaks have no such qualms. With so many deaths on
both sides, the rioting stopped. In Egypt, as well as Iran, there is
not such racial distinction making it difficult for soldiers to shoot
at the civilians, many of whom could be his friends or friends of his
friends as well as relatives.
As reported in the news, the violence in the protest groups were
caused by plain clothes policemen. The next day, soldiers and
demonstrators start checking for everyone who join the protest. This
is a lesson for any peaceful demonstration in Malaysia or any other
place that have pro-government policemen to check all their
participants for their credentials. Videos of the so called violence
during Anwar Ibrahim's protest marches showed evidences that these
rioters were policemen because their hair were just too short for
normal people and they were so young and well built. The worst case is
that these rioters were never prosecuted despite having their faces
clearly shown on videos and pictures.
If you want peace, you must be willing to fight for the peace. If you
just look on, it is useless and according to the hadith it shows that
your level of faith is just too low. And make sure that all the
participants are checked for their peacefulness. Some could be thugs
and corrupt policemen who are bent on creating false impressions on
any peaceful demonstration. The participants must also be brave to
stop any violence.
The case of the rioting at Kota Kinabalu was an example of a fallen
dictator, Tun Mustapha (ala Mubarak) paying thugs to demonstrate.
Although opposition group argued that all the protestors were paid
thugs, most are actually just concerned citizens because the losing
party, USNO, still represented the largest group of citizens in Sabah,
the Muslims.At that time, the rioting was stopped quickly because the
winning party, BERJAYA, was supported by the Federal Government. If it
was the other way round, we can't be sure if peace would have been
Just imagine if UMNO were to lose the election.