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MALAYSIAN POLICE CURTAILS BID TO TOPPLE THE GOVERNMENT



KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Police arrested the leader of a group protesting against price hikes as part of a probe into an alleged plot to overthrow the Government this New Year's Eve.

Azan Safar, chairman of Gerakan Turun Kos Sara Hidup (Turun), was arrested at midnight during a meal with friends at a restaurant in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur.

He turned up at the Dang Wangi police headquarters today.

Azan had previously launched Turun at the front of the Sogo shopping mall and planned a December 31 gathering in Merdeka Square in the nation's capital to protest against the price hikes of goods and services.

The Government had introduced a slew of price hikes since September, starting with the reduction in fuel and sugar subsidies, raising the electricity tariff (effective January 2014) and a possible toll rate hike in 2014.

Putrajaya also introduced the goods and services tax (GST) that will come into effect in April 2015.

Activist group Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) criticised Azan's detention.

"We are still detaining the wrong people. SAMM questions the need behind the arrest. They can just call him up and ask him to head to the police station to take his statement," it said today.

Azan Safar should be released immediately."

Police acted after a Facebook user allegedly posted a comment insinuating there would be a riot on New Year's Eve, ahead of a planned gathering next week in Kuala Lumpur.

Last Wednesday, police lodged a report alleging attempts to overthrow the Government, following the distributed banners and posters on social media urging people to attend a gathering on December 31 called "Himpunan Guling Kerajaan" (Rally to topple the Government).
The posters, however, did not identify the organisers.

Source: The malaysian Insider
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