'Cops acted in public interests'

KUALA LUMPUR - Police allowed protesters in yesterday's rally to proceed to Dataran Merdeka to avoid a confrontation.

Dang Wangi police chief Assistant Commissioner Zainuddin Ahmad said the decision to allow rally participants to gather in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad building was done in public interests.

He denied a protester was stabbed to death. It was learnt that a photograph of an unconscious man on a stretcher, which was circulated on social media sites, was an incident that happened a year ago.

"It is an old photo of a murder case that happened in Gombak in October last year. Some individuals had irresponsibly circulated the picture on social media sites."

He dismissed rumours that a cameraman from China's Xinhua news agency was hurt in the rally.

Malaysia Press Photographers Association secretary Mohammad Naim Firdaus Abdul Aziz said the association would lodge a police report on claims by three members of the media, who were roughed up by rally participants.

Meanwhile, analysts agreed the rally only served as a platform for opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to garner sympathy for his impending court appeal.