Saturday, June 14, 2008

Don't Politicise Oil Price Hike Says Home Minister Syed Hamid

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar slammed the Opposition for politicising the fuel price hike issue and said protests will not solve any problems.

"The price increase of crude oil is a global phenomenon. We did not raise the price just because we felt like it. We do not like the high price too," he said.

He was speaking to reporters Saturday after opening the police family day here.

Syed Hamid was asked to comment on Friday's protest in Kuala Lumpur over the increase in fuel prices.

"It does not solve anything. In fact, it causes more problems such as traffic congestion and affects businesses around the area," he said.

He added that the police practised a high level of tolerance during Friday's demonstration and did not engage the crowd.

On Friday, a large group led by PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub gathered in front of the Kampung Baru mosque after Friday prayers to protest against the recent fuel price hike.

Syed Hamid stressed that the organisers should ask for permission from the Home Ministry first before holding demonstrations.

"If they want to do it in a contained area, we will consider it.

"I cannot say yes, I cannot say no (whether to approve or not), but I will look at the application," he said.

***** Syed Hamid said that
the ''police practised a high level of tolerance during Friday's demonstration and did not engage the crowd'. How come the cops didn't show the same restraint at a gathering of Indians at Istana Negara this morning?

I suppose it would have been politically suicidal for an already weakened government to unleash the thugs in the police force on Muslim Malays and that too after Friday prayers. Indians however seem to be fair game all year round. Some things won't change.

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