Cops sow suspicion over issuance of journalist tags

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YOURSAY 'If the police want to be transparent in ensuring safety of all at the rally, why waste time issuing tags to journalists?'

'Malaysiakini not interested in police press tags'

your say LittleGiant: I support Malaysiakini in its decision that it does not need police press tags.

All journalists and media personnel have their own identification tags issued by the media companies or organisations that they represent. That is sufficient proof of identity and it is not necessary for them to have additional ID tags.

I agree with Malaysiakini chief editor Fathi Aris Omar that it is the duty of the police to ensure the safety and security of all the people at the proposed rally, irrespective of whether they are journalists or not.

If the police want to be above board and transparent in discharging their duties to ensure the safety of all at the rally, why waste time issuing press tags only to journalists? What is the logic?

Instead of earning the trust of the rakyat, the police have only created more doubt and suspicion about what their real intentions are.

Jiminy Qrikert: So the police are simply practicing what their masters, Umno-BN, are famous for - terrorism and thuggery.

By issuing their own identification tags, the police are saying in no uncertain terms that they will only recognise and protect their 'own kind' while they terrorise the rest - just like the triads and gangland mobs.

So, to qualify, the media need to be 'inducted' into the police triad via the tags, similar to gangland tattoos. This is us - the 'police triad' - versus them, the 'the rakyat punching bags.'

The police want to strike fear into the rakyat and terrorise them. If you don't have their tattoos on your bodies, they cannot guarantee you protection. That's like the triad protection rackets saying: "You don't pay us; we cannot guarantee your face won't be bashed in."

This goes to prove yet again, the police are merely the attack dogs of Umno-BN and have become thugs in deep blue.

Artchan: Ask Selangor police chief Hisan Hamzah about the ‘tiger show' they had recently. After watching the scantily-clad girls, they then blamed the organisers.

Bodybulding: EC (Election Commission) press tag, Parliament press tag, Bomba press tag, Bank Negara press tag, SSM (Companies Commission) press tag, hospital press tag... so each media personnel will require to wear over 50 press tags on their neck.

It's time for these people to go to the gym to work out their neck muscles.

Timothy: Media personnel are already wearing two official tags. If you start to agree to police press tags, later they will come out with JPJ (Road Transport Department) press tags, Rela (People's Volunteer Corps) press tags, FRU (Federal Reserve Unit) press tags, Special Branch press tags and Immigration Department press tags.

Mahashitla: This latest call asking media organisations to submit a list of journalists who will cover the rally stinks of political interference and possible harassment, rather than protection.

It is the duty of the police to maintain law and order and protect all in a peaceful assembly. Their main duty is that of facilitators and they should only act on troublemakers, even if they are journalists.

It is better for inspector-general of police (IGP) to tell his men not to take off their name tags even if the instructions came 'from above'.

They should strictly adhere to their police SOP (standard operating procedures) and not the POP (political operating procedures). The IGP will have to show the rakyat that police is fair and is not a political tool.

Bystander: The right hand doesn't trust the left hand. Why the need to have special police endorsed name tags when all the while ID tags issued by the Information Ministry have sufficed?

Stupid as stupid can be. This can only happen in Malaysia. Next time cars will also need to have special police tags as those churned out by JPJ may lack in ‘prestige' when captured by AES (Automatic Enforcement System)!

InPursuitofJustice : My personal view is that Malaysiakini should just submit the names and wear the tags as requested.

The police have already offered to facilitate the rally (for the first time). Journalists should compromise a little. If anything untoward happens to them, then the police cannot put the blame on them.

Notwithstanding that, the police should protect and ensure everyone's safety. But we should never ever give the police any more excuses.

As I won't be able to take part this Saturday, I wish all the success to the organisers. I'll be there in spirit. Hidup rakyat!

2zzzxxx: Umno's police now want the job of giving accreditation to the press. Maybe in the future if you do not have the official accreditation from them, you cannot work as a reporter.

Adaotak: Clap, clap, clap. Bravo! Hats off to Fathi Aris, he is perfectly right. Our police must wear and display their tags prominently this time. No two ways about it.

Humbleperson: I would suggest that pictures are taken (secretly) of police personnel who do not display their name tags, then put them up in the Internet and see if any action is taken against them.

Billster: As I was walking with my sister and uncle at Bersih 3.0, I recall a cop alighting from his motorcycle and grabbing his crotch while waving his hands at our direction. He also threatened to pull out his gun for no reason. Scary.

Anonymous #19895825: When I read the news issued by IGP on the journalists' tags, I was asking myself why the journalists were given special protection.

Are their lives more valuable? Or they are upper-class citizens? Today, I find some consolation when reading the comments by Fathi Aris. May Allah bless you.

Anonymous#007: This is a brave and professional stand by Malaysiakini and its staff. Kudos to the team.

Indeed, until today, none of the police officers who had reportedly bullied, manhandled, provoked and assaulted protestors in the last Bersih rally have been prosecuted.

Fathi Aris is absolutely correct to say that the police are there to protect people - that is their main task. But unfortunately, the IQ of some of our police officers is so low that they can mistakenly believe their job is to arrest people, when this is only part of policing.

PuakChuk: Well said, I salute Malaysiakini 101 percent. Just be extra careful when doing your job, I am touched and really appreciate the spirit and courage you guys are showing.

Slumdog: These are well-argued points, Fathi Aris. We do not need another level of accreditation by the police. If this continues, the day may come when the police will decide which journalists will receive or be denied a police identification tag.

They already have more than enough powers. Do not give them any more. This is just the thin edge of the wedge.

Giudice: Such simple and logical points and yet they appear lost to the police. There is no need for this tag and that tag. We just need the police to act professionally, honestly and fairly.

The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now .  

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