Police summon four politicians over illegal gathering

14 November, 2007

KUALA LUMPUR: Police have summoned four politicians involved in Saturday’s illegal gathering in the city. The four are DAP’s Ronnie Liu, Pas vice-president Mohamad Sabu, Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice-president R. Sivarasa and Pas central committee member Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad.

Syed Azman confirmed this yesterday at parliament lobby. He said the four received letters instructing them to go to Bukit Aman for statements to be recorded.
“We are going tomorrow to the Commercial Crimes Department to give our statements. We have no problems with this and will co-operate with the police,” said Syed Azman.
In defending the gathering, he said Bersih was not a political party but a coalition of non-governmental agencies and political parties.
Syed Azman, who is one of Bersih’s co-ordinators, said during the gathering, not a single party flag was visible except for banners promoting Bersih’s agenda calling for the abolition of postal votes, the introduction of indelible ink during polls, the reformation of the Election Commission and equal access to the media for all involved in the election.
He said 75 non-governmental organisations and five political parties had come together under the Bersih banner.
Syed Azman said Bersih planned to send another memorandum similar to that submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Saturday, to the Malay rulers.
He said Bersih did not have any other choice but to take its case to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the other rulers as the Election Commission and the government had dismissed its cause.
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok has called on Suhakam commissioner Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam to resign for declaring that police did not resort to violence to break up the gathering.
She said Siva Subramaniam should check his facts before issuing any statement as it was evident that police fired tear gas and used water cannons to disperse the crowd.
Suaram executive director Yap Swee Seng said Sivasubramaniam’s statement contradicted the commission’s stance that peaceful gatherings should be allowed by the authorities.
In Kuching, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said police would not hesitate to take action against those taking part in illegal rallies as their act could endanger public safety.
“My advice is for people to avoid taking part in illegal rallies. Offenders could end up in jail,” he said.
He was commenting on the arrest of hundreds of people who took part in Saturday’s rally.