The propose Bersih 5 rally tomorrow
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18, 2016: Police have begun to carry out a slew of arrests and raids on the eve of the Bersih 5 mega rally planned for tomorrow.
DAP National Organising Secretary and Seremban MP Anthony Loke was hauled in by Bukit Aman today for allegedly uttering seditious words during last week’s inaugural Pakatan Harapan (PH) Convention.
Police picked up Loke at a hotel in KL around 2.30pm, before bringing him to the Bukit Aman police headquarters, where his statement was taken for nearly two hours.
Loke was accompanied by Bukit Gelugor MP and lawyer Ramkarpal Singh and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok.
He is being investigated under the Sedition Act for his speech, which he gave during the PH convention. A report by DAP news organ Roketkini quoted him as saying that it is necessary to ‘topple’ the Umno and Barisan Nasional government and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in order to restore sovereignty.
When contacted, Ramkarpal said, Loke will be taken to Seremban police for his fingerprints to be taken, as the police reports against Loke were made there.
He also said Loke may be remanded by the police, and added that it could be in connection to the Bersih 5 rally tomorrow.
DAP Klang MP Charles Santiago was also questioned by police for his participation of two Bersih 5-related events today.
Meanwhile, electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 steering committee chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah and Bersih 2.0 secretary Mandeep Singh were also arrested by police today under Section 124C of the Penal Code, that is, attempts to carry out activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
According to reports, a police team from Bukit Aman as well as officers from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SMM) raided the Bersih office in Petaling Jaya at about 3pm.
Police seized 10 computers, two mobile phones, and documents related to their payroll and bank accounts during the two-hour raid at the office.
In a statement posted on their Facebook page, the police said that the Bersih 2.0 committee failed to fulfil the requirements of the Peaceful Assembly Act, which requires them to notify the police of the protest.
“The notice received by the police failed to be processed because the group failed to gain permission from the owners of the location of their planned protest,” it said.
As such, the police have declared the protest as illegal and it advised the public not to attend the rally.
The Bersih 5 rally is being held to demand clean elections, a clean government, the strengthening of parliamentary democracy, the right to dissent and for the empowering of Sabah and Sarawak. – The Rocket