10 December, 2007
KUALA LUMPUR: More than a month after staging an illegal rally which crippled the city, two key players were nabbed in a crackdown yesterday. The two — Pas vice-president Mohamad Sabu and Parti Keadilan Rakyat information chief Tian Chua — were nabbed in Ipoh and Johor respectively.
They are said to be key players in the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih). They are expected to be brought to Kuala Lumpur to be charged for participating in the illegal assembly.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan confirmed the arrest of the two and said they would be charged for their participation in the illegal rally on Nov 10.
However, Pas central committee member Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi claimed that at least 13 people were arrested in a nationwide operation which began yesterday morning.
Dr Syed Azman said he had been receiving calls informing him of the alleged arrests.
Perak Criminal Investigation Department chief SAC II Ismail Yatim said Mohamad was arrested while attending his daughter’s wedding.
“We stopped him along Jalan Tambun at about 4pm to issue the warrant.”
At his request, Mohamad was allowed to go back home with his family to Penang before he surrendered to police. His car was escorted by three police cars to Penang.
A crowd of supporters had gathered outside the Seberang Prai police station where Mohamad had earlier surrendered. Several Federal Reserve Unit trucks were also stationed at the main gate of the police station.
At about 10.30pm, a convoy of seven cars, with Mohamad in one of them, left for Bukit Aman.
Earlier in the day, Tian Chua was arrested in Johor.
When replying to a text message from the New Straits Times, Chua said he was in a police car being brought back to Kuala Lumpur where he would be charged in the magistrates’ court in Jalan Duta today.
It is learnt that warrants of arrest were issued by the Kuala Lumpur magistrate’s court.
The two are believed to have taken part in the rally where some 10,000 demonstrators brought the city to a standstill when they made their way to Istana Negara to submit a memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong calling for electoral reforms.
Police had refused to issue a permit for the rally, which saw traffic come to a virtual halt across the capital as police cordoned off Dataran Merdeka, closed train stations and restricted or diverted vehicles from the city centre.
Following the rally, 241 people were arrested, but none were charged.
Bersih key players nabbed