Police summon Bersih leaders to meeting

Soon Li Tsin
Nov 14, 07

Four Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) leaders have been told to report to the Commercial Crimes Department in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow morning over a police report made against them.

PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah, DAP’s NGO bureau chief Ronnie Liu, and PAS vice-president Mohamad Sabu and party central committee member Dr Syed Azman Nawawi – all of whom are Bersih committee members – received their summons yesterday.
Liu, when contacted, confirmed receiving the summons under Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which allows a police officer to require the attendance of witnesses.
“Yes, we will be going there at 10am. The letter that we got yesterday did not state what they will ask, but we’ll see,” he said.
According to Bersih secretariat member Medaline Chang, eight of the organisation’s committee members have received calls and letters from the police but only four have been hauled up under Section 111.
“Under Section 111, they are compelled to appear before the police. The other letters did not cite that section so we believe it’s not necessary for them to turn up for questioning,” she said when contacted.
She claimed that no such legal obligation was attached to the letters sent to PKR information chief Tian Chua (left), Khairul Annuar Zainuddin and Johari Abdul, as well as DAP parliamentarian Teresa Kok (right).
The meeting will be the committee’s first after a series of postponements prior to, and after, the massive rally for electoral reform, held last Saturday.
On Nov 3, eight committee members were contacted for questioning by ASP Amran Jusin over a police report lodged by an individual in Setapak about the organisation’s status as an illegal entity.
Some were issued notices to attend a meeting on Nov 9. However, the committee members unanimously declined to show up as they were busy preparing for the rally the next day.
A consensus was then reached for the Bersih leaders to be available for questioning after the rally on Nov 12, but the meeting was postponed again.
Bersih – launched in November 2006 – is a coalition of five political parties and 67 civil society groups campaigning for electoral reform.
About 40,000 people massed outside Istana Negara in defiance of a government ban on the rally calling for clean and fair elections. Hundreds of police personnel were deployed in and around Kuala Lumpur, as traffic ground to a standstill.
A memorandum was handed to a palace official by a delegation led by PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, before the crowd dispersed peacefully.