BERSIH warns of 10 by-election following Najib’s “judicial crackdown”

Media Release by BERSIH on 23 October 2009 at Kuala Lumpur
Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) condemns the selective prosecution and unreasonable conviction of Batu MP Tian Chua. It warns that if the public do not openly protest such repression, it may be used to disqualify up to eight Pakatan Rakyat parliamentarians and two state legislators in total.

Besides Tian Chua, seven parliamentarians are charged for illegal assembly or related offences:  Azmin Ali, Sivarasa Rasiah, Gobalakrishnan (PKR), Tony Pua (DAP), Dr Dzulkifly Ahmad, Dr Hatta Ramli, Dr Lolo, (PAS).  This would mean Pakatan Rakyat (PR) may be left with only 74 seats in Parliament, losing its two-third.
Two DAP state assemblypersons: Ronnie Liu and Lau Weng San, may also become the victim of this wave of “judicial crackdown” for illegal assembly.
If sentenced for fine more than RM2000 or imprisonment more than a year, they would be forfeited their positions and be prevented from running for the next five years after their punishment is served.
BERSIH stresses that, the persecution of Tian Chua on the 203th day of Najib’s leadership shows that Najib’s 1Malaysia is actually an electoral one-party state that would not tolerate the opposition parties to compete on level playing field.
Unfortunately, like in Perak, judiciary as an unelected institution is again used to topple elected representatives. The Magistrate has conveniently privileged the testimony of the plaintiff over that of Tian Chua, while there is no single objective evidence that points to Tian Chua’ alleged biting the policemen. And despite the police officer’s admission of beating up Tian, he is not charged or suspended.
BERSIH calls upon Malaysian public to stand up and be counted to defend democracy. We must not let Najib uses court as a way to force by-election and reduce PR’s seats.