KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “regrets” over an attack on six Universiti Malaya students by his own supporters is not enough, Klang MP Charles Santiago said today.
In a statement, the DAP leader called on the Pekan MP to condemn the attack as a means to send a clear message to his supporters to stop all form of thuggery.
“He has expressed regret over the incident but this is not enough.
“Najib needs to send a strong warning to his supporters to stop the thuggery once and for all,’’ said Santiago.
He said the physical and verbal abuse was uncalled for as the students were merely exercising their right to peacefully assemble and freedom of expression.
“The provocateurs were nothing but hooligans. They were bully boys and possibly thugs who turned up to flex their muscles against a group of students, who were merely exercising their rights well within a democracy,’’ he said, stating further it was also sad to see members of the public who were present during the incident did not help to de-escalate the situation.
He also pointed out that the thugs’ subsequent fracas with two Malaysiakini interns who reported the incident was also downright appalling.
“If that’s not enough, the thugs also harassed two Malaysiakini interns for reporting the truth about one of the protesters being held in a headlock.
“This takes a whack at the freedom of the media. So we, as a nation, have failed on all counts.
“We have become a society that cares two hoots about democracy and its inherent principles
“Mix that with utter disrespect for the different races, and we have an explosive combo,’’ he said.
Charles also said that freedom of expression must be protected and this fact must be drummed into the “thick skulls of Najib’s gangsters”.
He added that such thuggery, laced with racial provocation sends the wrong message, especially after the recent Christchurch mosque terror attack.
“If anything, it should have taught us to look at ourselves as one people as opposed to along racial or religious lines.
“We need to respect our differences but we prefer to express a culture of intimidation and fear for political survival and in this case, a political comeback,’’ he said.