IPOH, May 26—In yet another twist to the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) hunger strike, riot police arrested over a dozen people including eight elected representatives who tried to lead a march from the DAP headquarters to the Ipoh High Court.
The arrests took place after the launch of the planned three-day hunger strike by ousted mentri besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin at the DAP headquarters here.
Those arrested include dumped assembly speaker V. Sivakumar, Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran, Kedah DAP chief Thomas Su and Perak PKR deputy chief Chang Lih Kwang.
Kulasegaran was taken with into the truck with the others despite insisting he was simply “walking” not “marching”.
Meanwhile, the tent was taken down by Ipoh City Hall workers.
Earlier, the light strike force officers moved in at 7am, arresting two local and three Burmese workers from an event management company who were putting up the tent and a giant balloon.
The balloon was also confiscated.
The officers then occupied the tent to block PR from continuing with their fast, which is part of a move to press for fresh elections in the silver state.
At 9.30am, the riot police were still under the tent just outside the DAP Ipoh headquarters and having breakfast.
A total of 40 policemen, two jeeps, four police cars, two vans and seven trucks were seen in the area.
Police later tried to remove the tent point but Perak DAP chief Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham negotiated with them. The police said the tent was an illegal structure but DAP leaders present pleaded with them “not to take sides”.
“If you want to take down illegal structures, there are many in my constituency,” said Su, the Pasir Pinji assemblyman.
In the end, the police stood down and left the tent alone. However, when PR leaders tried to take a group photo, police asked the crowd to disperse, insisting that any gathering outside private premises is illegal.
The crowd has moved on to the Ipoh High Court, where a suit by 817 village committee members appointed by PR is to be filed for wrongful dismissal by the BN government.