Malaysian opposition party VP claims police abuse

Malaysian opposition party VP claims police abuse

KUALA LUMPUR - A prominent Malaysian opposition figure said Sunday he had been physically abused by police after they arrested him without giving any reason.

Chua Tian Chang, better known as Tian Chua, told AFP police stopped his car on a highway in the northern state of Penang late Saturday while he was on his way to his party's office after speaking at a political rally.

"I asked them why they wanted to arrest me and for the name of the officer in charge but they just dragged me out aggressively and pushed me towards the police car and they started hitting me on the back of my head," said Chua who is the vice-president of the opposition People's Justice Party.

"One of them pulled my hair and forced me into the police car and another slapped me inside the car," the opposition lawmaker added.

Chua said he was taken to a nearby police station and later transferred to another station in Kuala Lumpur.

"This is so ridiculous. The arrest could have been done in a civil way," the 51-year-old said.

Police could not immediately be reached for comment.

As of Sunday afternoon, Chua was still at the police station. He said he was waiting for a statement to be recorded and to be officially informed why he was being detained.

"I think most likely it has something to do with the May Day rally," he said.

Chua is the latest government critic to be detained following more than two dozen arrests - which included prominent activists and opposition politicians- since Friday's May Day street protest.

Thousands took to the streets, mainly to demand an end to a newly implemented goods and services tax.

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