No of arrests today stand at 152.
Police said more could e arrested under Emergency Order which provide for detention without trial like ISA. So far 6 PSM leaders had been arrested under EO. There are some SMS `news’ going around this evening that 12 Bersih’s leaders -of its 15 steering committee members, are on hit lisht by police tomorrow!As though in anticipation of the BN’s tactics Bersih’s Ambiga reportedly said that the people will be the torch bearers of the Bersih’s message for free and fair elections-not the steering committee. So: will the police arrest all people who turn up to Bersih rally on July 9th?
Sunday, 03 July 2011 19:01
Deputy IGP: We don’t simply arrest, but more EO detentions possible
Police have not dismissed the possibility that more people will be arrested under the Emergency Ordinance (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) 1969 for subversive activities.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Khalid Abu Bakar also brushed aside claims by some groups that police were out to arrest anyone according to their whims.
“We have a law for this. We do not simply arrest – whatever action we take is based on the regulations and laws we have in Malaysia,” he said.
Yesterday, police detained Sungai Siput Member of Parliament Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj and five members of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) under the Emergency Ordinance.
To date, 152 people have been arrested under Section 27(5) of the Police Act, he said.
Meanwhile, police have received 2,500 reports from various quarters including traders, individuals and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) throughout the country objecting to illegal street demonstrations planned for July 9.
Abdul Khalid asserted that police had sound reasons to disallow the illegal assemblies while being responsible to ensure security and wellbeing of the people.
“To outsiders who have made various comments against our action my advice is, don’t meddle in the affairs of our country,” he said.
Earlier he had attended the launch of “Reuniting Families-Child Safety” by Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Senator Heng Seai Kie.
Also present were Federal police CID director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin and RHB Bank Berhad chairman Tan Sri Azlan Zainol.
July 4, 2011
Wong Choon Mei
Despite a string of heavy-handed arrests, racism-laced threats and over-the-top verbal bombast, Prime Minister Najib Razak’s clumsy handling of the Bersih rally looks to have boomeranged.
“Bersih is now the rakyat (populace), therefore whatever anybody tries to do to Bersih will not make any difference to how people feel about what it stands for,” said Bersih chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan.
Her views were echoed by many Pakatan Rakyat leaders.
“That is right. It is no longer about the umbrella of 62 NGOs or Pakatan. It’s not about PKR, DAP or PAS or any party or any NGO supporting or not supporting anymore. The call for free and fair elections already has a life of its own,” PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.
“It is now up to the people. Malaysians decide for themselves whether they want to march. If they do, they will show up no matter what Najib says. He has failed to understand that members of Pakatan, the NGOs, the citizens themselves are all individuals and Malaysians in their own right. That is the problem with the UMNO elite, they cannot understand this and they still think they own the country especially the Malays.”
It’s not the crowd size but the spread of the clamor for reform
Indeed, instead of creating a climate of fear, the BN overkill seems to have set up the backs of Malaysians, and even amongst the UMNO’s traditional electoral base – the Malays.
So disgusted is the general mood amongst Malaysians after nearly 3 weeks of tussle, many say that instead of creating so much political damage to the country’s image and scaring off investors, Najib would have been smarter to employ rain-sowing techniques or even hiring‘bomohs’ (voo-doo doctors) to create bad weather as a means of reducing the crowd size.
But as Pakatan and PAS leaders have pointed out, it is not the physical numbers that scare Najib.
More than that, it is the sentiment and the clamor for reform that he and his elitist party are trying to prevent, especially amongst the Malays. And they seem willing to do so at all costs. Much the same as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s Ben Ali had tried to clamp down on their people with aggression that only hastened their own downfall.
“PAS will still support because Bersih is about free and fair elections and nothing to do with destabilising the country,” PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu had said on Sunday, adding that it also held important implications for the future generations.
Ambiga herself was cool amid the UMNO maelstrom. The Bersih chairman has been demonised by the Najib administration, with Malacca chief minister Ali Rustam demanding on Saturday that her citizenship be revoked,
“Above and beyond that, Bersih now means more than just a group of organisations to Malaysians. Bersih is now a concept that has captured the hearts and minds of the rakyat,” said Ambiga, reiterating that Bersih was not about her.
And it isn’t. Which is also why the personal attacks against her were condemned far and wide even into BN territory.
Many also accused Najib of intentionally creating hatred amongst the Malays for ethnic Indians by picking on her and 30 Parti Sosialis Malaysia members, because the minnow political party had limited funding and its grassroots network was limited.
Ambiga herself is a distinguished lawyer and the receipient of the prestigious International Women of Courage Award.
“To simply call for a person to be stripped of his or her citizenship is low down,” DAP national vice chairman M Kulasegaran told Malaysia Chronicle. “What is this this? This is our motherland, why should we go?”
Ban is void
Meanwhile, the initial brouhaha sparked by news of the Bersih ban is fading. Supporters of the march have actually been anticipating it and they now seem to be busy plotting how best to make their voices heard.
It is clear few Malaysians are bothered by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s ban and most think poorly of Najib’s venom towards the Bersih supporters.
According to human rights lawyer, N Surendran, the ban was void and Hisham had abused his power.
“The order made by the Minister is void and unconstitutional. S.5 Societies Act is in flagrant breach of Article 10(1)(c) of the Federal Constitution which guarantees the rakyat’s freedom of association,” Surendran, also PKR vice president, said in a statement.
“The Minister also abused his powers in issuing the order as his motives were political and intended to stifle criticism against the BN govt. We demand that the order be revoked immediately and all those arrested in relation to Bersih be released at once.”
- Malaysia Chronicle