Bar suggests 10-day notice law exploited to block freedom of assembly
UPDATED @ 02:09:38 PM 08-06-2013
KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 — The Bar Council today appeared to suggest that the police is exploiting a ten-day prior notice law to block the opposition from holding any street rallies.
Its president Christopher Leong has criticised the authorities for charging Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders for allegedly violating the Peaceful Assembly Act (PPA) by failing to issue the notice before holding several “Black 505” protests nationwide, arguing that the it was unnecessary for them to do so.
“There is no reason for the rally organisers to be charged. For me the provision for ten-day notice is ridiculous,” Leong told reporters after attending a forum on constitutional redrawing here, adding that he noticed a “trend” by the authorities to use the law as the reason to prosecute the leaders.
The Bar Council president noted that the prior notice requirement under the PPA was merely drawn to give the authorities time to arrange, facilitate and ensure a rally is held peacefully.
“Under the PPA, there is no approval needed…the ten-day requirement is not a good provision,” he said.
Leong’s criticism comes just as Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar suggested that the opposition had failed to meet the criteria of the provision when it notified the police about its plan to hold a mass rally at Padang Merbok here on June 15.
According to Sinar Harian today, Khalid said the notice was incomplete following PR’s failure to obtain approval to hold a protest against the alleged fraudulent practices in Election 2013 from the city council DBKL.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said that PR could proceed with the planned June 15 rally, dubbed “Black 505”, if it is conducted within the provisions of the PPA.
Leong said the Bar Council would maintain neutrality in the matter but pointed out that it would be sending a team to monitor what is likely to be the biggest poll reform rally held since polls watchdog Bersih 2.0 took the streets last year.
“You cannot quote me saying we agree or disagree with their plan to hold the rally… what we will do is send a team to monitor,” he said.
Published on Jun 4, 2013
Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) chairperson Badrul Hisham Shaharin has been ordered to appear before the Petaling Jaya magistrate’s court tomorrow, to be charged under the Peaceful Assemblies Act for organising the PJ Black 505 rally on May 25 without giving prior notice.
Chegubard to be charged over PJ Black 505 rally
Free Malaysia Today
The real reason for the crackdown
The real fear of Umno is the revision of the “gospel truth” they have taught people as the history of the nation.
By Ong Kar Jin
All those arrested thus far do however, have something in common: they all spoke out against racism at a May 13 forum at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall.
Adam Adli called the May 13 riots a result of sedition by Umno members and said they were used as an excuse to hold on to power in the aftermath of the devastating 1969 election results.
Tian Chua boldly stated that unity has never been a real problem in Malaysia, but disunity is actively caused by Umno itself. Again, he labeled May 13 as a means to hold onto power, calling it a “toyol” to scare people.
Most revealing is Tamrin Ghafar’s speech, where he revealed in his capacity as an ex-Umno insider that the May 13 riots were part of a coup d’état to overthrow Tunku Abdul Rahman.
He even implicated Dr Mahathir Mohammad as one of the key players. Similar exhortations to relook at history were made by Haris Ibrahim and Safwan Anang.
I believe it is not rallies Umno fears but a growing trend of historical revisionism. Should the spectre of May 13 be torn apart as an Umno-orchestrated plot, Barisan Nasional would lose its status as a bringer of “stability” and a preserver of “delicate race relations”.
Previously such thoughts were restricted to the minds of academics such as Kua Kia Soong, but recently such reflections upon history have gained traction in popular imagination.
As George Orwell once said: “He who controls the present, controls the past. And he who controls the past, controls the future.”
The real fear of Umno is not rallies. They have dealt with them aplenty before from 1988’s protests, 1998’s Reformasi to 2007’s Bersih.
The real fear of Umno is the revision of the “gospel truth” they have taught people as the history of the nation.
Once the May 13 spectre loses ground, what would happen to the older voters who previously may have feared a change in government based on concerns over racial clashes?
What would it say about BN’s smear campaign on Lim Kit Siang, who was not even in the Peninsular at the time of the riots?
And what other hidden histories will be revealed? Perhaps the next issue to catch people’s attention will be the struggle of the left wing parties under Putera-AMCJA against the British (See Fahmi Redza’s documentary “Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka”), which would then portray Umno not as independence fighters but as British sycophants and collaborators.
With such a huge blow to BN’s prestige as the Fathers of Independence, what sort of impact might that have on Malaysians?
No doubt such thoughts are haunting the minds of the authorities. As another quote from George Orwell goes: “In times of universal deceit, the telling of the truth is a revolutionary act.”
To put it simply, Umno fears the truth.
Ong Kar Jin is a young Malaysian who believes that democracy is always alive as long as people believe in it. He has worked with various NGOs and is active in civil society. His current passions are education, democracy, and good food. He blogs atduriandemocracy.blogspot.com.
Explain why ex-judge and retired D-G still walking free, Kit Siang asks IGP
May 29, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — The DAP’s Lim Kit Siang called the national police chief’s bluff today, saying retired senior judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah and former education director-general Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Arshad would have been arrested, questioned and charged with sedition if Bukit Aman were fully independent.
Highlighting the speedy arrest and prosecution of three opposition politicians and two other anti-government activists today, the Gelang Patah MP demanded Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar explain his men’s delay in acting against Mohamad Noor and Abdul Rahman who have been widely-panned for allegedly making racist and seditious remarks recently against the Chinese and Indian communities.
“Can IGP explain police double-standards in not enforcing the law against former Appeal Court judge and former Education Director-General despite their offences of sedition?” Lim (picture) asked in a statement.
“If we have a police force which is ‘fair and unbiased’ and which enforces the law without fear or favour, both Mohd Noor and Abdul Rahman would have been questioned by the police, arrested and charged in court for under the Sedition Act,” he added.
Mohd Noor, a former Court of Appeal judge, was accused by the opposition of racism following his May 12 remarks at a university forum where he reportedly warned the Chinese to prepare for a backlash from the Malays for their alleged “betrayal” against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) in Election 2013.
Abdul Rahman, who is now the pro-Chancellor Of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), had allegedly blamed vernacular schools as being the barrier towards racial unity in the country, and causing increasing racial polarisation that led to BN losing the popular vote to PR.
Catholic bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing aired his anxiety that the country was edging closer to being “a police state” because the courts could free an arrested individual, only for the police to re-arrest the same persons and charge them under obsolete laws.
“It appears the police are making all the valuations based on a self-defined goal of national security,” said the head of the Catholic Church in the Johor-Melaka diocese.
“Things are beginning to seem frozen at a certain level, no higher than the imaginations of the governing mediocrities of the police force and the Attorney-General’s Chambers,” asserted the Jesuit-trained prelate.
He was commenting on the re-arrest on May 27 of former ISA detainee Yazid Sufaat, this time under Section 130KA of the Penal Code, after he had been freed by the High Court on May 21 on a charge under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).
Other re-arrests the bishop was referring to were those affecting MP Tian Chua of PKR, politician Tamrin Ghafar of PAS, and NGO activist Haris Ibrahim who were charged yesterday under the Sedition Act 1948.
A magistrate’s court had on Monday denied a police request for a remand order on all three following their initial arrest on suspicion of sedition.
Listen to the Radio Australia broadcast!
Speaker: N. Surendran, Malaysian lawyer and vice president of the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat
Click on the link!
Malaysian opposition says sedition charges won’t stop rallies
Malaysia’s opposition says it will persist with public rallies against electoral fraud in the May 5th polls, despite a government crackdown on dissent using the Sedition Act.
A Malaysian district court today charged five people with making seditious statements at the first rally on May 8th, where the accused alleged fraud in national polls and called for ongoing public protests.
The rallies are being organised by Parti Keadilan, a component of the Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance.
One of the men charged is party vice president Tian Chua.
Lawyer N. Surendran says the legal team aims to get all the cases thrown out.
Presenter: Sen Lam
Speaker: N. Surendran, Malaysian lawyer and vice president of the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat
SURENDRAN: Tian Chua and four others were charged this morning under the colonial Sedition Act 1948, for having allegedly uttered seditious words against the government. They were released on bail of five thousand ringgit (aud $1600). We had informed the court that we will immediately be filing motions to strike out the proceedings for being an abuse of power and abuse of prosecutorial powers, and the charges being unconstitutional. Tian Chua has paid the bail, he’s walked out of court, so have the others. And the case is fixed for mention on the 2nd of July. No hearing dates have yet been fixed for the motions or the trial itself.
This spate of arrests comes at the height of the Malaysian people’s discontent with the way that the elections were carried out or held by the Barisan Nasional government. Throughout the country people are angry that the Opposition was cheated out of victory in these elections. The popular vote went to the opposition Pakatan Rakyat, and the anger on the streets and in the coffee shops is palpable.
LAM: I understand that all give men who were charged pleaded not guilty. What are the chances of the court throwing out the case?
SURENDRAN: Well, we have to bear in mind that the courts in Malaysia are not known for their independence, although there have been some individual judges who have acted independently. But in general, the courts have been pro-government and this fight is not just a legal battle, it is a battle not just in court, but out of court. And we rely on public support to carry on this battle. We’ll be exhausting every possible legal resource, that is at our disposal, in trying to secure the acquittal of Tian Chua and the four others. The matter is at present in the Sessions Court. We will be filing a motion to strike it out in the High Court, which has a supervisory jurisdiction. If we are not successful, we will file appeals in the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.
LAM: You say that the Sedition Act has been used to suppress free speech, but the government says a call to protest, as your clients have done, is a potential recipe for public unrest and disaster in multi-racial Malaysia?
SURENDRAN: Ok, my answer to that is quite simple. The speeches that were uttered by my client and others, were in no way a threat to multi-racial society in this country. For example, the charge against my client, the speech that has been annexed to the charge sheet, really has him calling for the people to come together, to fight against the tyranny, corruption and injustice of the ruling government. That’s all. That’s actually free speech by the standards of any civilised and democratic country.
It would not be a crime in Australia, it would not be a crime in England or in America, or in any place where there’s a freer system. So my client’s speeches are in no way a threat, and the Sedition Act punishes free speech. It is not a race relations act. The government has a long track record of using the Sedition Act in order to imprison, threaten intimidate or imprison opposition leaders.
LAM: Apart from providing legal representation to Tian Chua, you’re also one of the office-bearers of the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat – that’s Anwar Ibrahim’s party. Your critics say you should put up proof of electoral fraud, challenge the results in the proper venues and stop these rallies and the divisiveness they’re causing. What do you say to that?
SURENDRAN: Well, we are, and we have gathered the evidence and we will be filing the elections petitions soon, as the results (inaudible) … and we’re within time time to file the election petitions and we will be filing a series of election petitions. But the battle does not end there. It is not purely a legal battle, but it is a battle that has to be carried out both in and outside of court. Because as I have said, the courts in this country are not entirely independent, and they’re under the thumb of the executive – this is a well-known fact – and the battle has to be carried on, both in and out of court.
The point of the matter is that the rallies that we have carried out, have been entirely peaceful and they have been an expression of the people’s anger and unhappiness at the government, which has been channelled in a very peaceful and proper manner. It is the actions of democratic conduct in this, in any country, it is the essence of democracy that these rallies be allowed to go on. We’ve posed no threat to anyone, and that’s why we intend to carry on with the rallies and bring as much pressure as possible – peaceful pressure upon the government – in order for them to open up all those disputed seats, and if necessary have re-elections in those seats, so that the chapter of the 13th general election can be brought to a close in a proper, legal and fair manner.
Four opposition leaders, a student activist and an NGO head were today charged under the Sedition Act 1948 for uttering seditious remarks.
Student activist Safwan Anang, PKR vice-president Tian Chua, Anything But Umno (ABU) chief Haris Ibrahim and PAS’ Thamrin Ghafar all claimed trial after being charged under Section 4(1) (b) of the Act.
Altough all were allowed bail, set at RM 5,000 each, Safwan refused it as a sign “protest” and is currently at the Sungai Buloh prison.
Another veteran activist, Hishamuddin Rais, on whom a warrant was issued yesterday for a same matter, also surrendered himself in front of the KL Sessions Court this morning.
The next hearing is scheduled to take place on July 2.
4 opposition, NGO leaders charged with sedition http://dlvr.it/3RKh6T
Tian Chua, Haris Ibrahim, Tamrin Ghafar and Safwan Anang are released on RM5000 bail and the next hearing is… http://fb.me/2Z8mFe7pV
Tian Chua, Tamrin, Haris, Safwan claim trial to sedition charges
PKR vice-president Tian Chua (C) and Student activist Safwan Anang (R) arrive at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur. AFPpic
Tiba di mahkamah: didakwa di Mhkmh Sesyen Jenayah 1; ramai wartawan menunggu buat liputan, sekali lagi Msia jadi bahan ketawa dunia.
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 10:09
Tian & 3 others in court awaiting charges: Rumors rife Hishammuddin Rais to ‘surrender himself’ at 10.30am
Written by Malaysia Chronicle
MP for Batu Tian Chua, PAS politician Tamrin Ghafar, lawyer-activist Haris Ibrahim are now in the Sessions Court in Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur awaiting the arrival of the judge.
They were arrested in a dramatic manner late yesterday but released after giving their statements. All 3 men are due to be charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948 over an speeches they made between 8.55pm and 11.15pm at the KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on May 13.
Student activist Muhammad Safwan Anang, who was also at the May 13 forum, is also due to be charged for the same offense.
Human rights activist Hishamuddin Rais, whom the police is believed to have issued a warrant of arrest for, is due to ‘surrender himself’ at 10.30am according to the political grapevine. Hishammuddin had also given a speech at the forum.
Outside the courtroom are a crowd of supporters from the activists and NGO community including Auntie Bersih. The media is also out in full force.
“To me, this is a stupid move by a regime that proves why it failed to win the popular vote. For the first time since 1969, Umno-BN lost the popular and it still doesn’t learn its lesson,” MP for Wangsa Maju Tan Kee Kwong told Malaysia Chronicle.
He had come to show his support for his “comrades”. Also present is MP for Lembah Pantai Nurul Izzah.
Are they trying to push Najib out?
The police arrests would come under the ultimate jurisdiction of Home Minister Zahid Hamidi, a vice president in Umno, and while he may not possess enough clout to challenge Najib, there are rumours he may be “paving the way” for other powers-that-be in Umno, a party infamous for its political intrigues and infighting.
“Put it this way, Zahid is not stupid. This harks back to the Abdullah Badawi time. Remember in 2008, suddenly Teresa Kok, Raja Petra Kamaruddin and the Sin Chew reporter were detained under the Internal Security Act. The fallout was so great, it was the last straw that broke the camel’s back as far as Badawi’s presidency was concerned. Is Zahid Hamidi now following in the footsteps of Syed Hamid Albar,” a political watcher told Malaysia Chronicle.
Haris, Tian Chua, Tamrin detained again
I posted 26 photos on Facebook in the album “TG-1 IPD Dang Wangi” http://fb.me/PERUlrNU
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 21:45
Tian re-arrested: Tells supporters to stay calm & continue to fight AUTHORITARIAN RULE
Written by Maria Begum, Malaysia Chronicle
KUALA LUMPUR – As public pressure mounts on embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is facing quit calls amid accusations of cheating at the May 5 general elections, the police have re-arrested two Opposition politicians, an activist and a student leader.
The arrests made in an unnecessarily showy manner are believed to be a bid to create public fear and block growing support for the Opposition’s hugely popular Black 505 rallies as well as a campaign to get 100,000 police reports lodged against the country’s controversial Election Commission, which has been slammed by many for unscrupulous bias towards Najib’s BN coalition during the recently-concluded ballot.
Tian Chua, the PKR vice president, was re-arrested by the police at around 9.30pm on Tuesday, joining PAS politician Tamrin Ghafar and lawyer Haris Ibrahim who were both picked up earlier this evening.
“I have just be re-arrested and am on my way to Dang Wangi. Will be charged tomorrow morning (Wednesday May 29),” Tian told Malaysia Chronicle in an SMS message.
“I consider this a protracted intimidation tactic by an insecure and illegitimate regime. I call on the people not to be frightened but to continue to fight against the return of authoritarian rule. If the police want to charge us tomorrow, all they need is to notify us & we will turn up in court – why all these drama? Show power!”
According to Tian, who is also the Batu MP, there were at least 8 policemen present at the time of his arrest, which he believes is an unnecessarily high number given that he is an elected representative of the people and has a strong record of public service.
Deliberately creating a lot of noise to scare the people
Tian’s detention comes as PKR adviser Anwar Ibrahim slammed the re-arrests of Tamrin and Haris as further proof of the ruling BN coalition’s “cruel” and oppressive law.
“Apa lagi? Zalim Kjaan minoriti umno ni! (What next. This minority government is very cruel),” Anwar tweeted.
Former president of the Malaysian Bar Council and Bersih co-chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan also minced no words about the perceived high-handedness of the latest police move.
“Why rearrest if going to charge tomorrow. Therefore arrest not for investigation. No respect for magistrates decision last Friday,” Ambiga tweeted.
Di Tingkat 9 IPD Dang Wangi, tunggu polis siapkan kertas kerja nak ambil kenyataan – pinjam ipad peguam@S_Y_New utk update twitter.
A vigil has started at the Dang Wangi police station…
Haris, Tamrin, Safwan released on police bail. Have to attend Sessions Court KL at 9am tmro morning to be charged under the Sedition Act.
Dihadapan Balai Polis Dang Wangi ramai Melayu bodoh berhimpun bantah penahanan Tian chua. Eee bodohnye Melayu Pembangkang. Sadis..
Tian Chua baru sampai Dang Wangi..
@tianchua YB, how come u arrived at dang wangi in your own car? I tot u got polis transport
Tian Chua baru tiba di IPD Dang Wangi. *gambar dari kamera Abah Anas*
I’m arriving at Dang Wangi. Good night everyone. I will have a good rest tonight. Soon will meet Harris, Tamrin, Safwan as neighbors.
Now at Dang Wangi !! pic.twitter.com/aKDcfi8s52
Free Malaysian Today
Haris, Tian Chua, Tamrin detained again
Also detained with the trio was student activist Safwan Anang.
PETALING JAYA: Anything But Umno (ABU) founder Haris Ibrahim, PAS member Tamrin Ghafar and PKR vice-president Tian Chua have been re-arrested under the Sedition Act four days after they were released from police detention.
The fourth person detained was student activist Safwan Anang who is Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia president.
Apart from Tian Chua, the others were arrested at about 7pm and taken to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
“The police are recording their statements now. They were arrested in pursuant of an arrest warrant,” said lawyer Gobind Singh when contacted.
According to Tian Chua’s Twitter administrator, the Batu MP was detained at 9.15pm
Tian Chua has just been arrested.
WARRANT OF ARREST FOR TIAN CHUA
@SafwanAnang has just been arrested.Brought to Dang Wangi police station
This is Safwan Anang
- Pengerusi at Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia 2012/2013
- Past: Persatuan Mahasiswa Islam Universiti Malaya 2011/12 and PMIUM
But Tian Chua is still free…
Tangkapan Tamrin, Haris & Safwan oleh polis atas arahan BN berniat jahat: kenapa tidak blh arah mereka dtg ke Mhkmh siang esok + dakwa
Thamrin Ghafar, Harris Ibrahim & Safwan Anang akan di dakwa di Mahkamah Jln Duta esok pagi, Akta Hasutan
Tamrin, Haris, re-arrested after four days
Police have rearrested PAS member Tamrin Abdul Ghafar, the son of former deputy prime minister Ghafar Abdul Baba, four days after he was released.
“Yes it is confirmed, the police are at my Ampang house right now,” said Tamrin when contacted. He added the police came about 7.15pm.
“They have a warrant to arrest me on the same issue and are taking me to the Dang Wangi police headquarters.”
Puchong MP and lawyer Gobind Deo Singh confirmed that Haris had also been re-arrested at around 7pm and was also being taken to Dang Wangi district police headquarters.
“We can confirm that they are both arrested again under the Sedition Act,” he told Malaysiakini.
The series of post-13th general election rallies is not an effort to overthrow the government, said NGO Lawyers for Liberty spokesperson Michelle Yesudas.
Michelle stressed that the rallies are an opportunity for the public to have a collective voice against the government, after realising that there is a communication gap between the people and the authorities.
“What these rallies have done is that we came together. This is not about bringing down the government, this is how we start organising ourselves,” said Michelle in a press conference.
She was commenting on the various protest rallies and the series of arrests and prosecution on activists and members of the Pakatan Rakyat leadership.
Two opposition leaders charged over rallies in Perak (Updated)
Last updated on 27 May 2013 – 10:36pm
IPOH (May 27, 2013): Two opposition Pakatan Rakyat leaders were charged in the Sessions Court here today in connection with the rallies they organised on May 9 and 12.
Ipoh Timur MP Su Keong Siong, 47, from DAP and Perak PKR secretary Mohammad Anuar Zakaria, 46, were charged with failing to notify the Ipoh OCPD at least 10 days before the date of the gatherings.
Su was charged with having committed the offence at the Wisma Chin Woo Hall at No. 36, Jalan Hussein, here, at 7.30pm on May 9 and Mohammad Anuar was charged with having committed the offence in front of the PKR office at No. 10, Jalan Medan Istana, here, at 7.30pm on May 12.
The two leaders pleaded not guilty before Judge Julie Lack Abdullah.
Su and Mohammad Anuar were charged under Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, with the penalty, as provided for under Section 9(5) of the same act, being a fine of up to RM10,000 upon conviction.
Gobind and lawyer Baldip Singh, who led the panel of lawyers representing Mohamamd Anuar, also requested for the prosecution to hand them all the documents on the case a week before each hearing dates set by the court.
Judge Julie Lack allowed Su and Mohammad Anuar bail of RM4,000 in one surety each and set July 15 for mention. –Bernama
Penang Pakatan Rakyat executive secretary Ong Eu Leong was charged this morning under Section 9(1) of the Public Assembly Act, for allegedly failing to give the police 10 days’ notice of the ‘Blackout 505’ rally in Batu Kawan on May 11.
Butterworth Sessions Court judge Meor Sulaiman Ahmad Tarmizi released Ong (right in photo) without bail and set June 27 for mention of the case.
DPP Amer Hamzah Othman had applied for bail to be set at RM5,000 with one surety.
Ong’s lawyer, RSN Rayer argued that there is no provision in the law to impose bail on his client, as he was summoned and not arrested.
“We reject (the) bail (application because) Ong has complied with the summons (by appearing) in court today,” he said.
“We also point out that PKR’s Seri Setia state assemblyperson Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad was charged with a similar offence on May 17 for the Blackout 505 rally in Kelana Jaya without bail.”
‘We will fight this …’
Ong, 44, a full-time worker with PKR, did not comment beyond saying: “We will fight the case all the way … The authorities cannot deny the people their right to assemble peacefully.”
He is being defended by six other lawyers – Ong Chin Wen, N Murali, Murali Ram, Lim Boon Beng, Jason Khor and Ong Yiu Shin.
If convicted, Ong faces a maximum fine of RM10,000.
Many Pakatan supporters turned up to show support for him.
Among the leaders present were Deputy Chief Minister I Rashid Hasnon, state executive councillor Dr Afif Bahardin, Tanjung MP Ng Wei Aik, assemblypersons Lee Khai Loon (Machang Bubuk), Soon Lip Chee (Jawi) and T Jayabalan (Batu Uban).
On Saturday, Ong had said he had notified the police of the rally on several occasions, also slamming the force for “flip-flopping”.
He referred to a May 11 Star report quoting Penang police chief Abdul Rahim Hanafi as saying that “the organiser had submitted a notice to the district police chief as stated in the PAA”.
“We will mobilise our men to the scene to maintain public order and safety. We will also ensure smooth traffic flow,” reads the report.
The rally was to have been held at the MPSP stadium in Bukit Mertajam but was relocated at the eleventh hour to Batu Kawan stadium.
Ong said he had informed both the Bukit Mertajam OCPD and Nibong Tebal police headquarters about the rally in Batu Kawan.
The police have hauled up a fifth Pakatan Rakyat leader who will be charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) for involvement in the nationwide Black 505 rallies to protest alleged electoral fraud.
Negri Sembilan PKR Youth chief Nazree Yunus (right) will be charged tomorrow under Section 9(1) of the PAA with not providing police with a 10-day notice prior to the Black 505 rally in Oakland, Negri Sembilan.
When contacted, Nazree said he was informed of the charge at 4.30pm today and must present himself at the Seremban Session Court at 8.30am tomorrow.
Three more to be charged
Three more leaders, namely Pakatan’s executive secretary in Penang Ong Eu Leong and Perak PKR secretary Mohammad Anuar Zakaria and DAP’s newly-minted Ipoh Timor MP Thomas Su in Perak were earlier notified they will also be charged tomorrow for the same offense relating to similar rallies in their states.
PKR’s Seri Setia state assemblyperson Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad was the first to be charged with the same offence on May 17 over the Black 505 rally in Kelana Jaya.
On May 23, Anything But Umno (ABU) chief Haris Ibrahim, PKR vice-president Tian Chua and former Batu Berendam MP Tamrin Ghafar were also arrested for sedition but have since been released after their remand were rejected.
Their arrest came after student activist Adam Adli was charged with sedition on May 23 after spending six days behind bars. All four of them were at the same post-general election forum.
THREE weeks after the Barisan Nasional (BN) was returned to federal power, it’s clear that the coalition’s brand of politics is back with a vengeance. From dangerous ethnocentrism to arresting citizens for exercising their constitutional rights to demonising detractors, it is apparent the Umno-led BN and its allies refuse to change.
They say it’s hard for old dogs to learn new tricks. And the same is clearly applicable to those who have held on to power as the world’s longest elected coalition. Still, what else do the actions of Umno leaders and state and non-state actors, post-general election, signify? And does that bode well for citizens who want to see a better and fairer Malaysia?
“We won! We won!”
BN may have won more seats in parliament but it clearly lost the popular vote in the general election. Not only that, there is evidence that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would have come into power if our electoral system had not been so corrupted and manipulated throughout the years.
What can Malaysians expect next? I’ll wager that there will be more arrests of Malaysians who want the people’s will, as so clearly indicated in the general election, to be acknowledged. Apart from student activist Adam Adli, the police also arrested 18 people who were peacefully protesting against his arrest outside of the Jinjang Police Station on 22 May 2013. The following day, police arrested PKR vice-president Tian Chua, PAS member Tamrin Ghafar and Asalkan Bukan Umno chief Haris Ibrahim for sedition.
And where arrests don’t take place such as in Penang, thugs have appeared to disrupt and assault peaceful demonstrators at least twice already.
And if one speaks up against the BN being in power and calls for a fairer electoral system, expect to be told to leave the country, give up one’s citizenship, or go live in the jungle. And if one happens to be Malay Malaysian and publicly critical, expect to be vilified in public for being an apostate, ingrate and traitor of the Malay race.
We can also expect Utusan Malaysia to continue churning out ethnocentric, ill-informed, provocative and divisive reports and commentaries. We should also anticipate that before long, any critic of Malaysia’s electoral system will be chastised for not just threatening Islam but also challenging the position of the Malay rulers. And I’ll bet my bottom dollar that media censorship, including the confiscation of PR party publications Harakah, Suara Keadilan and Rocket, will continue as the BN does its utmost to remain in power.
Some have astutely remarked that the BN will never learn or change. And it doesn’t help that Malaysians have to suffer another five more years of repressive and divisive rule by those who should not be in power but are because they cheated.
Still, there is some good news. The good news is there’s no going back to the way things were. More than ever before, so many more Malaysians have a sense that something is really wrong with our electoral system. And more than ever, more Malaysians are demanding for change.
Whether the BN lasts the entire five years of its term is left to be seen. But you know what they say about those who refuse to change? Change happens to them instead. And if the BN were smart, they would learn that the old tricks no longer work. Indeed, with Malaysians as engaged, courageous and creative as they are today, the old tricks may just be the BN’s undoing even before the next elections.
Saturday, 25 May 2013 17:17
Kit Siang: PDRM should drop appeal against trio
The police should not appeal yesterday’s decision by a magistrate to deny remand on two opposition figures and an activist if it wants to regain public confidence, Lim Kit Siang said today.
The Gelang Patah MP also suggested that the police drop all proposals to use the Sedition Act on the trio ― PKR’s Chua Tian Chang, PAS’s Tamrin Ghafar and activist Haris Ibrahim ― unless they are prepared to do the same to other Umno and pro-Umno leaders.
Charges against several Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders using the Peaceful Assembly Act 2011 should also be discontinued, Lim added, if the police were to prove itself a “world-class police force” that focuses on public safety and not on clamping down opposition dissent at the behest of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
“Malaysians do not want the most ‘political’ IGP to defend the existing regime but the most ‘professional’ IGP to protect the most human and fundamental right of Malaysians ― to be free from crime and the fear of crime,” he said in a statement here, referring to the newly-appointed Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
Lim, who labelled Khalid the “most political IGP” yesterday, also rubbished Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s claim that he would not interfere in police matters.
He pointed to reports in the media yesterday quoting Ahmad Zahid as saying that the police would appeal the remand order against Chua, Haris and Tamrin, saying this was proof enough of such interference.
“Although the new home minister… claimed that he had no hand in the police crackdown on Pakatan Rakyat leaders and civil society activists, he should realise that nobody in Malaysia believes him.
“His statement yesterday that the police will appeal against the decision by magistrate Norashikin Sahat… is proof of Zahid’s political interference with the police in this matter,” he said.
Lim said instead of announcing the appeal, Ahmad Zahid should have censured the police for applying to remand the trio for a staggering seven days over allegedly trumped up charges of sedition regarding remarks they had made during a May 13 forum.
The Malaysia Insider
Newly-minted inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar admitted that the police is now tough on activities that would threaten public order including ‘illegal rallies’ and he had ordered that the laws are enforced.
“I admit that the police are quite tough in handling any issue and activities that can tarnish the country’s sovereignty.
“Not just illegal rallies, but I have also instructed the enforcement of laws provided for maintaining public order,” he said in an interview with the weekend edition of Utusan Malaysia today.
He said those who insist on breaching the instructions of the police deserve to be arrested and punished.
“The youths nowadays are seen to be vulnerable as they are easily instigated to join rallies aimed at toppling the government,” he told the Malay-language daily.
However, Khalid denied that the police force was pro-government.
“Regardless of who they are (offenders), individuals on any side that break the law, we will arrest them,” he was quoted as saying.
Khalid also responded to criticism that the police was focusing too much on rallies instead of combating crime, urging those critics not to organise such rallies so that they do not draw away police resources.
Free Malaysia Today
The witch hunt will continue
Najib is a prime minister under siege. He does not have his own mandate and is powerless to initiate reforms.
By Charles Santiago
Najib did not win a bigger mandate at the polls. In fact he led Barisan Nasional to its worst ever performance at the elections.
Najib failed to regain the coaliiton’s two third majority in Parliament. And although a self-appointed election director for Selangor, he lost the state by winning far fewer seats than in 2008.
The Umno hardliners
Clearly Najib’s political future is hanging on a thread. We have not seen him respond to the arrests.
He has simply gone silent because all Najib cares about now is to keep the various factions within his party happy.
Umno is a corrupt party. Umno members have dizzyingly complex webs of crony connections and business deals. Nepotism and rampant graft is the order of the day.
There are the hardliners in Umno and the remnant lackeys of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. And most importantly, there is Mahathir himself, spewing venom, loathing any form of dissent and waiting to check mate Najib.
We also cannot dismiss the fact that Muhyuddin Yassin, the deputy prime minister, has been undermining his boss. Muhyuddin was instrumental in booting out previous premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after his shocking performance at the polls in 2008.
So Najib is a prime minister under siege. He does not have his own mandate and is powerless to initiate reforms.
And therefore, he has to do the bidding of the real powers in Umno to satisfy the corrupt, the orthodox and Mahathir. It means we will see more arrests. This is the grim reality.
While PKR’s Tian Chua, PAS’ Tamrin Ghafar and activist Haris Ibrahim have been released as the applications for remand by the police were thrown out, a fellow colleague and parliamentarian will be charged on Monday under the Peaceful Assembly Act for a post-election rally.
Therefore it’s clear that until Najib feels his position within Umno is entrenched and prominent leaders in his party are not threatened about losing power in the up-coming Umno polls, the witch hunt would continue.
Charles Santiago is DAP’s member of parliament for Klang
‘Opposition agreed to hold peaceful gathering, but did opposite’
May 25, 2013KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — Unknown to the public, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zahid Hamidi had held discussions with several opposition leaders whereby the latter agreed to stage peaceful assemblies.
However, he said they “sang a different song” when they got back to their supporters.
“I welcome differences in opinions and agreed to discuss with them. They agreed to hold peaceful assemblies and give at least 10-day notice with the gatherings to be held in closed areas and without any provocation whatsoever,” he told reporters after appearing in an interview on Bernama TV’s Hello Malaysia programme at Wisma BERNAMA here tonight.
The agreement was reached to avoid problems, he added.
However, Zahid declined to name the opposition leaders concerned.
The opposition has organised numerous gatherings nationwide, purportedly to protest the 13th general election results, claiming that they should be in Putrajaya based on popular votes.
Ahmad Zahid said most of the gatherings were held without a police permit and were provocative.
“When they were with me, they concurred with me (on the peaceful assembly), but when they are with their supporters, it is a different story,” he added.
Zahid said he respected PAS leaders for accepting the general election results.
He regarded the action of the opposition leaders not on the same page as the PAS leaders as desperate as they were willing to do anything to achieve their objective of conquering Putrajaya.
Cops will fight judges’ remand refusal, says Zahid
May 25, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 — The police will appeal against the decision by a magistrate yesterday to deny remand on three individuals who were detained to facilitate investigations under the Sedition Act 1948, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said an appeal was a normal procedure when a court decision was not in the favour of the police.
“What I want to say is that I have no intention to interfere in the business of the police, this is a normal procedure when a decision does not side with the police, so an appeal has to be made before the police can frame the charges,” he told reporters after appearing in an interview on Bernama TV’s “Hello Malaysia” programme at Wisma Bernama here last night.
Ipoh Timor MP Thomas Su is expected to be charged next Monday under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA) in regards to a post-electoral rally in Ipoh two weeks ago.
Along with Su, PKR Perak secretary Mohammad Anuar Zakaria has also been summoned by the police to appear on Monday for him to be charged under the same law at the Ipoh Sessions Court on the same day.
When contacted by Malaysiakini today, Su, the DAP assistant organising secretary, confirmed the matter, stating that the investigating officer of the case requested he present himself at the Ipoh Sessions court on May 27.
Su (left) said he will be charged under Section 9(1) of the PAA for failing to give the police prior 10-day notification before holding a rally on May 9 in Ipoh to protest against electoral fraud.
“It is proven that the transformation to create democracy is a pack of lies,” he said, adding that the PAA has become a draconian law to suppress the opposition.
Anuar in a posting on his Facebook page, said he had just received a summons from the police to appear at the Ipoh Sessions Court on Monday for organising the Ipoh Blackout rally last Ma
Batu MP Tian Chua, along with Anything But Umno (ABU) leader Haris Ibrahim and PAS member Tamrin Ghafar, are to be released after a magistrate rejected the police application today to remand them.
Lawyer Ashok Kandiah said the three are in the process of being released from the Jinjang police station, where they have been held since their arrests yesterday.
The Malaysian Insider
Magistrate rejects remand request, Tian Chua, Tamrin, Haris released
KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — The police today released three men who were detained for a probe under the Sedition Act 1948 and the Penal Code after a magistrate rejected requests for further remand.
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) had earlier described the arrests as part of a national crackdown on the federal opposition.
Politicians Chua Tian Chang, Tamrin Ghafar, political activist Haris Ibrahim were arrested for sedition yesterday and held overnight at the police lockup in Jinjang, purportedly for a probe under section 4(1)© of the Sedition Act and section 124 of the Penal Code.
“We praise a very courageous magistrate. A brave magistrate has heard the legal arguments and decided that our detention is without basis,” said Chua after walking out of the lock-up with his lawyers, referring to magistrate Norashikin Sahat.
“That’s why we were released without condition,” said the PKR vice-president who was the last to walk out, with Tamrin and Haris walking out together earlier on.
Earlier today, a small group of supporters had staged a mini-protest outside the lockup, shouting slogans and holding up placards to demand the release of the trio.
Haris’s lawyer Gobind Singh Deo yesterday said he was not yet informed of which “seditious statements” his clients or the two others were detained over.
THOMAS SU TO BE CHARGED FOR ORGANIZING THE DAP CERAMAH AT CHIN WOO ON 9/5/2013 under S.9(1) PAA 2013.
@NonTeoh Ipoh Session Court on Monday 27/5/2013 @ 9.00am
Bro, we support you!
@thomas_su: I’m charged under S.9(1) PAA 2013 4organising the DAP ceramah at Chin Woo, on 9/5/2013. LAWAN TETAP LAWAN!
BN crackdown widens dragnet – DAP MP for Ipoh Timor Thomas Su to be charged in court next week.
More than 13 lawyers now. Do come to jinjang for solidariti pic.twitter.com/40NtuHvzIt
Anwar Ibrahim, “The crackdown has begun. We all know who will be their target in the end.”
The slew of arrests following accusations of electoral fraud in the May 5 general election has not spooked PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim into giving up the opposition struggle.
Telling this to about 20,000 people at a ‘Blackout 505’ rally in Kuala Ibai, Terengganu last night, Anwar said he would fight on so long as the people continued to support him.
“The crackdown has begun. We all know who will be their target in the end.
“If these arrests are a signal by Prime Minister Najib (Abdul Razak) or the home minister (Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) to rattle me, I’m telling you now that I am not afraid as long as the rakyat are with me,” he said to loud cheers.
Catholic bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing said the latest arrests under the Sedition Act were for him “an eerie reminder of Operation Lalang” – the October 1987 detentions under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) of more than 100 opposition and social activists.
“I hope I’m wrong but these arrests are an unnerving reminder that bad law is unjust and encourages evil enforcement,” said the head of the Catholic Church in the Melaka-Johor diocese who as a priest in Kuala Lumpur in 1987 was informed by the Special Branch then that he was on the list of religious activists – the others were French priest Pierre Gautier and La Salle Brother Anthony Rogers – marked for arrest.
Anthony Rogers, then an aide to Gautier in the Office of Human Development in the Catholic archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, was taken in under the ISA dragnet that year but Jesuit-trained Paul Tan and Gautier were left unscathed.
Yesterday, several social and political activists were either charged under the Sedition Act or detained for investigation under the law.
“That was one of the darkest chapters of our history,” said Bishop Paul, in reference to the period when several score political and social activists were detained under the ISA and held in Kamunting for periods from a few months to a few years.
“I think we should have left that part of our history well and truly behind but it appears that the forces of darkness and forces of light are in contention in this country once again and right now, judging from the trend of the last few days, one is gaining the upper hand over the other,” asserted Bishop Paul.
“Heaven forbid that this should come to pass,” he remarked.
“It would be most unfortunate if the forces for retrogression gain the upper hand for that would mean that this country will slide back into the quagmire from which the forces of progress have struggled to free us from,” he declared.
The bishop reiterated that Christian teaching required its followers to uphold justice, promote equality and oppose the violation of human rights.
If you already have the evidence why arrest before a long weekend and ask for few days remand? To punish. Now THAT is abuse of process.
The charge of sedition here is for something said. You do not need to keep them for 5 days for evidence which you already have recorded.
Free Malaysia Today
Sedition dragnet: Cops do not rule out more arrests
KL police chief Mohammad Salleh says that in order to protect peace and security, there could be more arrests coming.
KUALA LUMPUR: The police have not ruled out the possibility of more arrests under its Sedition Act dragnet.
Speaking at a press conference here, city police chief Mohammad Salleh said the priority was to ensure peace and security.
The police have so far arrested four people under the Act. These are student leader Adam Adli, Anything But Umno (ABU) leader Haris Ibrahim, PKR vice-president Tian Chua and PAS’ Thamrin Ghaffar.
There are also rumours that PKR leader and Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) founder Badrul Hisham Shaharin has been arrested as well but this could not be confirmed. SAMM issued a statement at 6pm to state that Badrul Hisham was “still free”.
BN to face angrier Malaysians with continued crackdown, warns Ambiga
KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 — Putrajaya will only face more wrath from right-thinking Malaysians if it continues its nationwide crackdown on opposition supporters, Datuk Ambiga Sreenavasan said today.
The civil rights activist and renowned lawyer said the sudden series of arrests and court charges exposes the new government’s true face and intentions, which contradicts its earlier promise for national reconciliation.
“It reflects very badly on the new government. Let them never again try to use the word liberal,” she told The Malaysian Insider over the phone this afternoon.
“National reconciliation? To me, they only know how to use words that they do not even understand.
“My own view is that they have no moral standing to claim of efforts for national reconciliation or to be more liberal… not after all these arrests,” she added.
Ambiga was speaking to this news portal during her wait at the Jinjang police station where PKR and PAS MPs Chua Tian Chang and Tamrin Ghafar, as well as Anything But Umno (ABU) chief Haris Ibrahim, were brought to after they were arrested separately this afternoon.
KUALA LUMPUR |
(Reuters) – Malaysian police arrested several opposition politicians and activists on Thursday, launching a crackdown on dissent three weeks after an election exposed deep divisions in the country and sparked a series of opposition protest rallies.
Police also raided the offices of opposition newspapers and seized thousands of copies of their publications, according to online media reports.
The arrests of at least one member of parliament and the charging of a student activist under the country’s tough Sedition Act signal a hardening stance by the government after the disputed May 5 election.
The long-ruling Barisan Nasional lost the popular vote for the first time in 44 years in its worst electoral performance, but still won 60 percent of parliamentary seats.
Conservatives in the ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO) have urged Prime Minister Najib Razak to take a firm line against “dissent” as opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim staged a series of big rallies to protest the result.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 12:29
CRACKDOWN: Najib’s gamble with arrests of PR leaders may backfire; all eyes on KT rally
Written by Wong Choon Mei, Bob Kee, Malaysia Chronicle
n a bid to suppress mounting public opinion against his administration, Prime Minister Najib Razak launched a crackdown against Opposition rivals and civil society activists on Thursday, arresting four and charging one for sedition.
But it remains to be seen if his draconian move will succeed in dousing the widespread public anger and outrage he stirred with widespread electoral fraud that has even been noted by the US government.
It is not surprising that the retaliation came swiftly and aggressively on Thursday, hours before another Black 505 rally is due to be held in Kuala Terengganu – another Malay heartland.
“The arrests of Tian, Tamrin and Haris shows how under pressure this regime is,” Anwar said on his Twitter.
“Tonight #Black505 with DS. Anda semua dijemput hadir! #IniKalilah!” he re-tweeted.
Indeed, Najib’s panicked response may have negative repercussions, said political observers. A snub by the public in coming out in full force to the KT rally and to another one in Malacca on Friday night would only reinforce the belief that he was on his last legs, politically weakened and unheeded by the people.
“Of course, in his panic, Najib might go overboard and order excessive violence against the people. If he does that, he kills himself even faster. He has painted himself into a corner. It is stupid to challenge and to try to make war on the people,” was the wry comment from a seasoned political analyst.
DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang may be the next target of the police’s dragnet due to his statement made during his campaign which predicted that Pakatan Rakyat would win the 13th general election.
According to DAP’s Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming, who gave his statement to the police this morning, the investigating officer revealed that Lim will be questioned next.
The officer from the police district headquarters of Pontian, Johor travelled to Ipoh this morning to record Nga’s statement under Section 500 of the Penal Code for committing criminal defamation.
“The police report against me was lodged by Johor police and the investigation was ordered by the state criminal investigation department head,” he told Malaysiakini when contacted today after the one-hour interrogation.
Only in malaysia..death of democracy pic.twitter.com/rumyRHi93G
The Home Minister has reportedly confiscated copies of two major opposition publications Harakah and Suara Keadilan, in various states.
According to Harakah’s online news site, HarakahDaily, copies of the PAS’ party organ were said to have been seized in Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Kedah and Perak.
The paper’s marketing manager Ahmad Faisal Tawang had said he received calls from vendors in the morning, informing him that only were ministry representatives seizing copies of the paper, were also raiding the vendors’ premises.
He said the paper’s confiscated were Friday’s edition, dated May 24-26, which featured the frontpage headline ‘GST hadiah BN untuk rakyat (GST is BN’s gift to the rakyat)’.
Some 500 copies were allegdly seized in Malacca, while more than 1,000 were taken in Alor Setar, in Kedah.
FLASH – PAS’s Harakah newspaper office raided, copies confiscated from distribution centre.
PKR vice-president Tian Chua as well as Anything But Umno (ABU) chief Haris Ibrahim, were arrested seperately this afternoon, believed to be in relation to a recent anti-electoral fraud forum in Kuala Lumpur.
They were later joined by former Batu Berendam MP and PAS member Tamrin Ghaffar, who also spoke at the forum, after he, too, was arrested by the police in Bangsar this afternoon.
According to PSM secretary-general S Arulchelvan, Haris (centre in photo) was picked up by five policemen as he was lunching with friends in Segambut.
All three were taken to the Jinjang police station.
Lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, who is at the police station, confirmed the arrest of Thamrin, who is the son of former Deputy Prime Minister Ghafar Baba.
“He is in front of me now,” said Malik Imtiaz, who was however, unsure as to the reason the arrest.
Tian Chua claimed he was informed that he was detained under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948.
PKR vice-president Tian Chua as well as Anything But Umno (ABU) chief Haris Ibrahim, were arrested seperately this afternoon, believed to be over the coming weekend’s anti-electoral fraud rally in Petaling Jaya.
Tian Chua, in a tweet, said he was arrested at the low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in Kuala Lumpur, just before the security check.
In a second tweet, the Batu MP claimed he was informed that he was detained under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948.
According to PSM secretary-general S Arulchelvan, Haris (centre in photo) was picked up by five policemen as he was lunching with friends in Segambut.
Both are believed to be taken to the Jinjang police station.
KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 — Batu MP Chua Tian Chang and activist Haris Ibrahim were today held for sedition and taken to the Jinjang police station here for questioning and detention, according to reports.
It is understood both were detained separately in a police crackdown today. This is the third police investigation into sedition since the May 5 general election.
The first was student activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim, who was charged with sedition in the Jalan Duta court complex this morning.