Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Road blocks may go on

KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 – On the day that thousands of workers got to their offices late because road blocks all over the city had reduced traffic to a total standstill, the police are saying that road blocks just may go on as they are a necessity and "successfully prevented any illegal activities from taking place".

At a press conference in the KL Police Contingent headquarters in Jalan Hang Tuah today, Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Datuk Wira Muhammad Sabtu Osman reiterated that police road blocks have proven to be an effective method in helping to curtail anti government activities which could threaten national security.Asked if there were any illegal gatherings in the city today following the blockade, he replied in the negative, "except Central Market but that was in small numbers".

Muhammad Sabtu dismissed claims from the Opposition political parties that employing such tactics amounted to police intimidation. "Oh, this is normal stuff. It's up to them to make their own conclusions. They can say anything they like."

A whopping 1,600 personnel were deployed for traffic duty today. Many angry motorists said they would have been better off fighting crime instead of causing traffic jams. "We mount road blocks based on information. Each time we get information (of an illegal gathering), we will confirm first."

Though he admitted that the road blocks delayed and inconvenienced the public, he reiterated security took priority over everything else. "So far, it hasn't effected on the economy. Don't touch on economy. Our main business is security. We cannot forgo security," he said emphatically.

He did say there was a big possibility the road blocks would be lifted tonight, but refused to confirm, adding cryptically, "We'll see."

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