FRU promises to be kinder, gentler when it shuts down protests and riots

The Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) is going to drop the outdated tactics it’s employed in dealing with demonstrations, protests and riots, and promise that in the future there will be no aggression towards street protesters. 

Inspector-Genera of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said that tactics, such as equipping FRU officers with batons, were outdated and will not be a part of the new and improved force. 

He did however state that tear gas and water cannons, long the bane of many street protests in KL, would be retained as a last resort. 

“It is best not to use tear gas and water cannons, but such methods will still be called upon if a protest becomes a security threat,” he told The Star Online‘s Farik Zolkepli during the celebration of the unit’s formation yesterday. 

Khalid said it was time for FRU officers and personnel to review their operating procedures and mindsets to more closely hew to international standards, and to be in line with the Peaceful Assembly Act. 

“Part of the change is having high-technology tools, especially communication equipment.”

Bukit Aman FRU commander SAC Abdul Hamid Mohd Ali chimed in, saying his unit would strive to be less intimidating while still maintaining a high efficiency rating. 

“We aim to be less intimidating, but no less effective in dealing with the protesters,” he said.

“We are hoping to be use more vans in the future, where our teams can be deployed in smaller teams.

“Basically, we want to deal with protests or riots effectively.”

He insists that the FRU serves to ensure the rights of all citizens, including that of protesters and bystanders. 

“We have to change with time. We cannot be seen to strike terror at protesters or rioters, but instead be a symbol of keeping public order.”

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