Posted: 16 Jul 2011 08:01 PM PDT
PSM's one-day campaign yesterday urged the public to lodge police reports against the Home Ministry and the police.
The Home Ministry had cited the more than 3,000 police reports lodged mainly by Umno operatives, Perkasa followers as well as their proxies against Bersih 2.0 as the basis for the authorities taking action against the July 9 rally organizers.
However, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) is now turning the tables and asking the public to similarly lodge police reports against the police themselves.
PSM's one-day campaign was targeted nationwide yesterday. The difference with the Umno-generated reports was that these reports on July 16 were generated transparently and by multiracial stakeplayers without a political hidden hand trying to manipulate the process.
The plan of action involved getting the concerned public and NGOs to make police reports in order to exert pressure on the government for the release of six PSM members presently held under the Emergency Ordinance 1969. The EO6 are Choo Chon Kai, Sarat Babu, M Sarasvathy, M Sukumaran, A Letchumanan and Dr D Jeyakumar Devaraj.
Police reports were requested to be made anytime anywhere in the country against the Home Minister, and the Inspector General of Police and his deputy.
Briefly, the police report said that Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, IGP Ismail Omar and deputy IGP Khalid Abu Bakar have made false allegations against the EO6 and PSM, and have violated the human rights of the six detainees as well as additionally that the public fears for their safety in police hands.
The six PSM activists have been kept in solitary confinement and subjected to intense interrogations over the last fortnight by the police, CID and Special Branch from Bukit Aman. The questioning is clearly aimed at trolling for any sort of evidence that can discredit Bersih and the opposition.
The Eo6: USM science graduate Choo, 31, is editor of PSM's Socialist News Daily in Mandarin; part-time law student Sarat, 25, is PSM Youth chairman and previously Perak coordinator for the Jerit's Bicycle Campaign, PSM deputy chairman Sarasvathy, 58, is active in women's groups and contested the Jelapang state seat in the 2008 general election; grassroots men Sukumaran, 50 and Letchumanan, 49 are PSM Sg. Siput branch chairman and secretary respectively while first-time Parliamentarian Dr Jeyakumar, 56, is one of the party founders and Sungai Siput MP.
Under the EO, a person who is suspected to be a threat to public order can be detained for up to 60 days. This initial detention period can be extended for up to two years thus in essence making the EO's provision for preventive incarceration without trial just like the ISA.
The resort to this fascistic order is one measure of the desperation of the ruling regime in its bid to crush all democratic forms of expression that threaten its hegemonic power.
In the run-up to the July 9 rally, dozens of PSM activists were arrested by police for allegedly waging war against the king by attempting to resurrect communism because they had with them T-shirts bearing the images of ex-communist leaders such as Chin Peng, Abdullah CD as well as the iconic Che Guevara (sometimes mistaken for reggae star Bob Marley by ignorant teenagers).
Another accusation is that PSM is planning to topple the government through street demonstrations and revolution ala the Arab Spring uprisings.
The 30 PSM activists were remanded for investigation under Section 122 of the Penal Code and in their charge sheet was also stated that the group had in their possession "subversive documents" – Bersih leaflets.
Among other printed material found on them were PSM flyers calling for the Barisan Nasional to retire, with the tagline 'Udahlah tu, Bersaralah!' Implicitly, these pamphlets which say that the BN has for too long monopolized Malaysia's one-party rule are – likely in the eyes of the Home Ministry – equally 'subversive' as the ones about the Bersih rally.
Timeline of events
June 24: 'Udahlah tu, Bersaralah!' roadshow kicks off
June 25: 31 PSM activists and participants including the bus driver and his son arrested at toll plaza in Kepala Batas; excluding the juvenile, the remaining 30 remanded
July 2: Remand period ends, six of the detainees released from charges under Section 122 but immediately rearrested under EO to prevent them from participating in Bersih rally
July 4: 24 PSM activists charged under Sections 43 and 48 of the Societies Act, and Section 29 (1) of the ISA. Family and lawyers gather outside Bt Aman prevented from meeting EO6
July 5: Suaram hands memo to Suhakam urging release of EO6
July 6: Habeas corpus filed; application to be heard July 22. Police reject Bersih demand for EO6 release, claim they are subversives with links to foreign elements. The mainstream media report unsubstantiated and tenuous link – Korean intern Song Min-young and Filipino Romeo Castillo deported.
July 8: EO6 meet family and friends; brought from their cells into the meeting room blindfolded
July 9: Police restriction order on 90 individuals from Bersih, Umno Youth and Perkasa to thwart their presence in several spots in Kuala Lumpur for the separate rallies and 'loitering' in the case of the latter. Saravasty and Choo's names are on the list even with the two already in police custody
July 10: Dr Jeyakumar admitted to IJN hospital
July 12: The United Nations human rights office calls for immediate release of EO6; PSM starts nightly candlelight vigil outside Bt Aman
July 15: Family and lawyers permitted short visit with EO6; Pakatan MPs Lim Kit Siang, Salahuddin Ayub and Sivarasa Rasiah met with Dr Jeyakumar at Bukit Aman.
The article was originally published by Centre for Policy Initiatives here.
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