Comparing Bersih to the UK riots

Bernama reports that Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says there are many lessons to be learned from the riots in the UK.

“I am thankful that what happened in the UK did not happen here, which is something we cannot take for granted,” he said after breaking fast at the Kajang Prison Complex mosque yesterday, trying not to refer to the fiasco of the government’s handling of the Bersih rally.

He said the riots also emphasised Malaysia’s consistency and firmness in handling issues without compromising the peace, stability and harmony of the country, as if the Bersih rally could be compared with the looting and violence in the UK by criminal gangs.

He explained that in upholding justice and stability other considerations such as race, religion and politics must stay out of the equation, apropos what, Bernama does not say.

Malaysians can now compare and evaluate for themselves how the police here handled the July 9 “illegal rally”, Bernama reports him as saying, this time directly equating UK criminals with freedom of assembly in Malaysia.

Bernama further reports that in a vote of confidence in the UK government, Hishammuddin said his ministry has been closely monitoring the situation since the Tottenham riots last Saturday and is confident the UK government can handle it, the implication being that the UK government would do well to take a leaf out of the Malaysian government’s book.

On Monday, 20-year-old Ashraf (no surname given) a first-year accounting student at Kaplan College sponsored by Mara, lost several teeth and broke his jaw when he was attacked and mugged by “rioters”, says Bernama, while cycling home with a friend for the breaking of fast.

Meanwhile, moving on from riots to sensitive issues, Bernama reports that Hishammuddin said the media should be more responsible and sensitive in publishing news without offending people’s feelings.

He said The Star’s recent article on Ramadan fare with a picture of a pork dish was unacceptable, especially so during the holy month.