Note : The photos were published on the main page of Utusan Malaysia the next day. Abg Selamat , Din and the other chap faces appeared very clearly while I only got my backside facing the camera... siap ada caption which reads somewhat like this "Pujuk - pihak polis sedang memujuk pelajar yang terbabit dalam demonstrasi haram untuk menyerah diri". The main headlines for Utusan Malaysia goes somewhat like this : "PM : Tindakan Bodoh". There was also a photo of the Old Man taken in Kota Bharu after his meeting with Tn Guru Nik Aziz. I was told very much later that the Mentri Besar had given the ok for tha transfer of Malay reserve land from the cooperative society to the newco unconditionally, while the Mentri Besars for other states did not give their consent. (I was told that they were asking for "something in return" should they allow consent for the transfer. Strange... and there are from the same ruling party that formed the Government....it was not funny at all for the firms' client.
Then came the police lorry aka Black Maria, ready to ferry us to the Lembah Pantai Police Station. I insisted that I shall be allowed to follow the two poor lads in the black maria (terasa macam jadi hero sekejap - tapi dalam hati takut woo!) I passed my car keys to Abg Selamat and instructed him to follow closely. Sure enough my hunch was right - Had I followed the police instructions to go to the police station in my own car or on foot, I would be denied the chance to follows the two lads and meet with the commanding police officer to offer explanation. Abg Selamat had to park the car outside and proceeded to enter the police station on foot - anyway he got my car keys and concocted the idea that he wants to return the same to me.
Another note : while the black maria stopped at the nearby traffic lights, several cameramen snapped our photographs. One got published in Harian Watan (now defunct) with the caption : "Pelajar UM yang ditangkap kerana mengadakan tunjuk perasaan". Well, excuse me... none of us ever studied in the University of Malaya!
I found out later that the police had already arrested a group of persons and they were about to perform the Maghrib prayers in the police surau, led by Sdr Mahfuz Omar. I prayed next to a lawyer in full suit, which was later introduced to me as Sdr Hanipa Maidin. Both of them turned out to be org kuat PAS. Sdr Hanipa turned out to be my super senior when I was reading law in IIU. We talked about rule of law and the blatant action committed by the police. One of the pakcik I met outside after prayers - kepala dia pecah and blood was dripping profusely - I pleaded with a junior police officer to give the old pakcik medical attention but instead, all eyes were on me
Q: Awak siapa? Siapa yang bagi awak masuk ke kawasan ini? Tengok IC? Awak dari mana?? (and at that time I fumbled a bit while searching for my IC) .
Q: Awak boleh kena dakwa...sebab takde IC!
Finally I managed to locate my IC. Syukur, Alhamdulillah that I did not misplaced it somewhere else. Then realising that I and Abg Selamat was not supposed to mingle around with the detainees, they took us to see one ASP J. Choong and with the evidence that I took in the form of the cover letter (duly acknowledged receipt by the Prime Minister's Department for the documents sent by the two boys earlier that morning : the PM's Department at that time was still in KL. My dad was posted in ICU - Implementation and Coordination Unit or in Malay : Unit Penyelarasan dan Pelaksanaan, Jabatan Perdana Menteri). ASP Choong promised to look into the matter and we thought the matter was closed.
When I arrived home that night, I could not sleep. It was all over the news. I was horrified to see that the police used tear gas & chota to disperse the crowd. The bleeding pakcik told me that the police lead by the General Inspector of Police had brought dogs into the masjid's compound. The so called unlawful congregation had planned to disperse after the doa recitation. He claimed that doa pun kami tak habis lagi, the police dah tembak kami dengan gas pemedih mata. On the other hand the newpapers published the next day claimed that the crowd could be controlled. Kononnya macam "ganas" sangat. But the fact was that the majority of the demonstrators were old men, ladies, students and passers by who happened to stay back after the friday prayers. Ganas macam mana? None of them were armed. Hanya Allah yang tahu. Siapakah sebenarnya golongan yang mencemarkan kesucian masjid tempat ibadah? Orang yang masuk didalamnya dan menunaikan solat dan berkumpul secara aman tanpa apa jua senjata atau pihak polis yang tak beradap melepaskan anjing masuk ke dalam masjid, masuk masjid tanpa membuka kasut dan menganaiya penghuni masjid dengan tembakan gas pemedih mata dan pukulan kayu cota? Esok kome jawablah ye.
It is funny nowadays orang hanya associatekan masjid utuk solat sahaja sedangkan Nabi membina masjid untuk apa jua aktiviti meninggikan syiar Islam. Ianya tempat belajar, itulah juga aktiviti kemasyarakatan diadakan, masjid juga tempat mesyuarah dan berkumpul untuk membicarakan keadilan. Islam itu syumul mencakupi kesemua bidang kehidupan dunia sebagai jambatan ke negeri akhirat. Malang sekali pemikiran anak bangsa kita yang sekarang ini lebih menjurus kepada pemikiran sekular.
(Abg Selamat still works in the Firm, while Din, the Firm's former despatch boy whom latter pursued his studies in one of the many persantren in Eastern Java, is now known as Ustaz Saifuddin in a Maahad Tahfiz in Selangor. I accidently met him in Kompleks PKNS, Shah Alam, on the very first day I commence work with my present employment - siap berpeluk-pelukan, oblivious to the stares of the many people there sebab sangat terharu).