Over 500 police personnel took part in an anti-riot drill to test their readiness in the event of social unrest. The upcoming general elections (GE14) is the obvious reason.
On Sunday, March 4, the scenario played out involved police facing ‘protestors’ outside the Menteri Besar’s official residence following elections results announcement. The ‘rioters’, armed with an assortment of weapons such as iron rods, smoke grenades, firecrackers, molotov cocktails plus the ubiquitous banners and placards, then marched towards Istana Kinta.
Personnel from the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU), Light Strike Force (LSF), Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Public Order and Riot Unit (PORU) and traffic police were deployed. Present was Perak Police Chief, Commissioner Datuk Hasnan Hassan along with senior police officers.
Upon receiving information on the gathering, the traffic unit was first sent to the scene. When the situation deteriorated and things turned ugly, LSF and PORU were deployed before the FRU dispersed the crowd of over 300 with water cannons and tear gas. To make the exercise more realistic, arrests and injuries were also simulated.
According to Hasnan, the army and staff from the Malaysian National Security Council (MKN) were invited as observers to identify shortcomings. “I am 99 percent satisfied with the exercise today. However, certain areas need to be improved upon. Our level of readiness has to be maintained at all times,” he told reporters after the exercise.