KOTA SAMARAHAN: The riot that broke out after the Sarawak-Perak football match in August should be a lesson for everyone to learn from.
|Abdul Karim (fourth right) hands over sacrificial meat to a recipient. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi|
Assistant Youth Development Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the Football Association of Sarawak (FAS), stadium authority and other agencies responsible for security such as the police would have learned something from the incident, which saw seven police cars damaged, including one that was set on fire.
“It’s not that we want to point fingers at anyone but I believe the riot would not have occurred if FAS, the police and stadium authority had taken pre-emptive action prior to the match.
“To me the incident actually has something to do with the match between Perak and Sarawak in Ipoh before that and those unhappy were just waiting for the right timing to express their unhappiness,” he told reporters after distributing sacrificial meat to Muslims from neighbouring villages at Samarahan Federal Complex yesterday.
He said some Sarawak fans and supporters had even posted on social media that they would create trouble.
“I was not around when the incident happened because I was in the peninsula but from the way I look at it, it was something pre planned.
“So if the authorities had been able to pre-empt or anticipate what was likely going to happen instead of ignoring the fiery comments by some people in social media,” he stated.
The Asajaya assemblyman was commenting on the guilty plea of two teenagers for unlawful assembly during the football match in a magistrates’ court in Kuching on Tuesday.
The 17-year-old twin brothers were among five accused charged under Section 151 of the Penal Code, which provides for up to six months in jail, or a fine, or both.
Magistrate Portia Tham set Oct 20 to hear a probation report from the Welfare Department before sentencing the twins.
Abdul Karim called on youths to always refrain from such negative activities.
“Nothing is wrong for us to support our own teams playing whatever games but we should always try to control ourselves and not cause riots even if we are unhappy with the umpire’s or referee’s decisions,” he added.
He said such incidents should not happen again in the state.