Wednesday 29 June 2011

Two Perak assembly reps, 12 others detained

Fourteen political activists were arrested in Sungei Siput, Perak, this morning while distributing national flags at the wet market while wearing Bersih T-shirts and the DAP's Ubah T-shirts.

NONEThey began their walkabout at 9am, but police arrived within 15 minutes to take them to the police station.

Eight of the activists were dressed in Bersih T-shirts, while the others were wearing DAP's Ubah T-shirts. Twelve are from DAP, while two are PKR members.
Among those arrested by police are DAP's Jalong assemblyperson Leong Mei Ming, PKR's Teja assemblyperson Chang Lih Kang and Tan Kar Hing, who is political secretary to PKR's Gopeng parliamentarian Dr Lee Boon Chye.

NONEWhen contacted, Leong confirmed that she had been arrested, but she was not been told under what provision.

“We were told that the police have orders 'from above' to arrest anyone wearing a Bersih T-shirt,” she said.
“If not Bersih, does that mean we should support 'kotor'?” Leong asked.

Chang tweeted that police said their yellow T-shirts were instigating the people to attend the July 9 Bersih rally, and their banners were urging the people to support Bersih.

Leong recounted that within 15 minutes of arriving at the market, a dozen of police officers headed by deputy police district chief DSP Ernest intervened.

High-handed action of police criticised
The police immediately tried to grab a folded banner from a party member, which started a row between them and the police.

“We just unfolded the banner when we arrived at the market, and took a photo with it, that's all. After that, we folded it and just carried it along.

“The police have no right to grab or confiscate our private property,” Leong said, adding that the police even handcuffed one of the DAP members.

“This is totally unnecessary. Why do police have to use such highhanded tactics? This is abuse of power,” she said.

Leong explained that, giving out national flags to express support for Bersih was an act of patriotism. At the same time, it also shows support for Sungai Siput MP Dr D Jeyakumar, who was arrested on Sunday.

Until noon today, police had yet to press charges against any of the 14 arrested.

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