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Mar 21, 2008

Rumours prove unfounded as day passes peacefully in Penang

procession starts

Women and children in colourful attire participated

police eye

Police didn’t expect any trouble but kept a watchful eye

I thought I would head to George Town to see what was going on during the Maulud Nabi celebration today. Arrived near the Kapitan Keling mosque and saw a small crowd there.

The usual colourful procession started at around 5.00pm. Delegations from various parts of Penang participated, each led by a standard bearer carrying a banner indicated the name of the group and its location. The thumping beat of a kompang group livened up the proceedings.

Police had taken up positions. I saw four police landrovers with Light Strike Force personnel in addition to a couple of civil defence vans plus the usual traffic police. Plainclothes police were also around. They appeared relaxed, as if they were not expecting any problems - just keeping a close eye.

I chatted with a friendly police officer and he told me the earlier rumours were unfounded, but the police were there to keep the peace “just in case”. He said there had been no real incident after the election; the real test was during polling night but that passed without anything untoward happening.

As for the demonstration last Friday, he reckoned there were about 400 in the actual demonstration; the rest were largely curious onlookers.

Most people, he felt, had accepted the election results, and he didn’t expect any major problems.


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