Police have passed the buck to the Immigration to explain the “police file” causing Bersih leaders to be stopped at airport departures over the past month.

Inspector-general of police (IGP) Ismail Omar, when questioned on the matter at Bukit Aman this morning, told reporters to seek clarification with the Immigration Department instead.

niat forum election 120812 ambiga“It is the right and process of Immigration to stop (travellers),” he said.

When asked about the“police file” that Immigration had allegedly cited as the reason, Ismail responded, “Who said that? Who?”

“Can you confirm that (what the Bersih leaders had said) with Immigration?” he said.

“(Are those claims) from the right channels or from hearsay?” he asked, withholding further comment.

To date, Bersih has claimed five committee members, including its co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan (above) have been temporarily stopped by authorities before being permitted to leave the country.

They alleged that Immigration officers had cited police files in their records as justification for doing so.

The coalition for clean and fair elections have decried this as “harassment and intimidation” against its members.

Besides Ambiga, the others stopped were Maria Chin, Wong Chin Huat, Andrew Khoo and Yeo Yang Poh.
Suaram chairperson stopped today

Meanwhile, Suaram chairperson K Arumugam has claimed to be the latest to be stopped when attempting to travel overseas.

NONEAccording to him, he was stopped at the Immigration counter at the low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) at 5.15am this morning for 10 minutes.

Arumugam (left), who was on his way to Chennai, India, said he was at the autogate but it did not open.

“An officer came to my help and took my passport for verification. She said she needed to consult a senior officer.
"After about 10 minutes, she came back and said I am cleared. 

"But she refused to give any details except that I am disallowed to use (the) autogate,” he said in a SMS to Bersih's secretariat, which was made available to Malaysiakini.

He added he is unsure if this “harassment” is related to ongoing investigations against Suaram or his role in Bersih 2.0.