KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24, 2015:
Police are prepared to launch a crackdown to quell fear and uneasiness following a spate of rumours over impending racial disturbances.
With 24 hours remaining before a large crowd is rumoured to converge on the popular Chinatown tourist belt and its vicinity, police have drawn up a list of individuals who have come under their radar.
These individuals include politicians from both sides of the divide, activists and migrants. Most of them have been deemed to be spreading rumours over the Net and instigating unrest.
The move is further deemed necessary after foreign missions issued travel advisory alerts warning their citizens to stay away from tourist belts in the heart of the city in view of impending terrorist attacks.
Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who is currently abroad, has given his commanders the mandate to invoke all necessary laws to rid this climate of fear.
“Detractors may want to call this another 1987 Ops Lalang, but police are not perturbed,” one source disclosed.
“Too many vile rumours are being spread over social media, various sorts of justifications are being uttered and all these have drawn negative connotations.”
Following the spate of rumours, concerned citizens have lodged numerous police reports over the rumoured gathering in Chinatown’s Petaling Street this weekend.
In most of the police reports, complainants have named Sungai Besar Umno division chief Datuk Jamal Mohamad Yunos who police have already said would be summoned to have his statement recorded.
The Rakyat Post has learnt that migrant workers operating businesses in Chinatown have in recent days expressed their displeasure to their community leaders over the Sept 16 Red Shirt gathering which forced a lock-down.
This lock-down resulted in a loss of earnings, possibly more than RM2.5 million on that single public holiday, not only to those operating kiosks but also eateries and hotels.
Intelligence has revealed that when word spread about this weekend’s purported gathering, the stall owners have expressed their fears that another lock-down would result in loss of further earnings.
It did not help matters when political activists claimed their converging on Chinatown was to rid the fake products industry thriving there.
Since last weekend, police presence, both uniformed and plainclothes, has doubled in the Chinatown area and other tourist spots in the city to thwart any untoward incidents.
In Oct 1987, police launched Ops Lalang to quell fears in the wake of racial tension.
More than 100 politicians, activists, members of the academia, religious leaders and media tycoons were held under the then Internal Security Act, which has since been repealed.