4 July 2011
We, a total of 4 civil organizations, severely reprimand the police’s action to detain 6 Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) leaders using Emergency Ordinance (EO) while the detention period of the remaining 21 PSM detainees was being extended for two more days. We urge the police to immediately release all 27 detainees without condition. Meanwhile, the police should stop oppressing legal and reasonable political activities and violating the people’s human rights.
30 activists of PSM were detained by Penang police officers and were remanded for 7 days for allegedly waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong while the police was not able to find any weapon from them. After 7 days, the police failed to find any evidence to prove them guilty and this has shown that the police are misusing their power to fabricate allegations towards the innocents and have violated their personal freedom.
By using Emergency Ordinance which is “detention without trial” in nature, the police are obviously trying to escape from the responsibility to search for evidences as well as to run away from judicial supervision. Their irrational attitude is well proven in the case.
Similar to the infamous Internal Security Act (ISA), Emergency Ordinance is against natural principle of law, which is to preserve someone’s innocence until proven guilty. Over the years, civil society is demanding the government to abolish these acts which are uncivilized and against the principle of human rights but the government fails to do so. Now, with the police using Emergency Ordinance to suppress the political figures, our nation has officially turned into a police state which is seriously against the Federal Constitution!
We strongly condemn the government’s decision to declare The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) as an illegal organization. Home Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein accused Bersih to be intentionally toppling the government but this is a baseless accusation. Founded in year 2007, Bersih strives to fight for a clean and fair electoral system which includes cleaning the electoral roll, reforming the postal ballot, using of indelible ink, free and fair access to media etc. These are open and democratic demands which shall not be accused as toppling the government at all!
Bersih is forced to go to the street after so many refusals from the Election Committee to reform the unfair and undemocratic electoral system. Bersih is only left with the option to go back to the people and get their support to show the government that huge public is behind the demands, why is this wrong?
We also refute the accusation that Bersih is not registered thus illegal. Everyone is entitled to freedom of association; the government should not use the excuse of registration to deny the fundamental rights of the people. Before the formation of United Malays National Organization (UMNO), many UMNO leaders organized street protests to oppose the Malayan Union. Without the protests of this “illegal organization”, UMNO wouldn’t have existed today. The British Colonial Government then allowed protests against Malayan Union, but Barisan Nasional Government today does not seem to have the breath of mind to allow peaceful assembly to take place. Are we actually heading towards democracy or internal autocracy?
Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
Civil Rights Committee of KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (CRC-KLSCAH)
Persatuan Prihatin Komuniti KL & Selangor
Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre (CSC-LLG)