Johor cops refute viral ‘solidarity assembly’ video for arrested Parit Raja protesters
JOHOR BARU: Police have denied that an assembly took place in Batu Pahat to show solidarity with those arrested for a riot incident in the neighborhood recently.
Batu Pahat OCPD ACP Ismail Dollah said a video, showing a group of young men on motorcycles gathering near a gas station, circulated on social media.
“A tweet from Twitter user ‘Zack Rockstar’ went viral where he said the men in the videos were showing solidarity with their friends who were arrested.
“The user also posted a video, which he claims to be the solidarity assembly that took place in Parit Botak at Batu Pahat.
“The Batu Pahat police deny the existence of such an assembly. We monitored the area and found no such assembly throughout Friday (May 14), ”he said in a statement here on Saturday (May 15).
He added that the video would have been recorded Thursday, May 13 around 5 to 7 p.m., before any arrests.
“We urge the public not to make any speculation that could threaten public harmony,” he said, adding that the investigation is still ongoing.
It was previously reported that a total of 20 people were arrested by police to participate in the investigation of a riot on the first day of Hari Raya.
In an earlier statement, ACP Ismail said police received a public alert on Thursday, May 13 at 11:04 a.m. that a banner criticizing the government was spotted on a bridge in Jalan Parit Raja heading towards Ayer Hitam.
“However, when the police came to the scene, we found that it had been dismantled.
“Shortly thereafter, police received a report of a video of a rally, the lighting of flares and the raising of a banner that did not follow established standard operating procedures.
“The initial investigation revealed that the incident took place in Parit Raja and the banner raised during the rally is believed to be the same one spotted on the bridge,” he said.
He said the incident occurred around 2 a.m. on Thursday, May 13, and around 40 people are believed to be involved.
Johor Pakatan Harapan said the riot was a manifestation of Malaysian desperation for the government.
“Johor Pakatan leaders visited three families whose children have been remanded in custody following the Parit Raja incident.
“We see this incident as a manifestation of Malaysian desperation over governments’ handling of the issues facing the country, including the Covid-19 pandemic.
“People continue to be under pressure from the high cost of living, while the double standard of policy implementation puts their economic survival in question,” Johor Pakatan said in a statement on Saturday.
The declaration was signed by the President of the State of Pakatan and the Chairman of the Johor Party Amanah Negara, Aminolhuda Hassan, the Head of State of the PKR, Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, and the Head of Johor DAP, Liew Chin Tong .
Johor Pakatan also urged the government to immediately reconvene the Johor State Parliament and Assembly so that issues and policies can be debated.
“At the same time, Johor Pakatan would also like to offer free legal services to those arrested as a result of the incident,” the statement added.