Wednesday, July 20, 2011

PSM: Police not probing EO6 for Red ties

The Malaysian Insider - KUALA LUMPUR July 20 — The Socialist Party of Malaysia PSM has challenged de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz’s claims that six party members are being detained for links to communism.

PSM lawyer Edmund Bon said it was “very clear” from the 37 affidavits served to the party yesterday in reply to a habeas corpus application that the police were only investigating them for their role in the Bersih rally.

They are being held under the Emergency Ordinance EO.

“Don’t talk about socialism communism all that kind of nonsense ” he told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall KLSCAH here.

“All these are lies because the police themselves have not mentioned a single word about socialism have not mentioned a single word about communism have not mentioned a single word about Chin Peng”.

Bon accused the government of trying to use the six detainees — which include Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar — as “scapegoats” to instil fear in the public so they would not join the Bersih rally which went ahead without police permission.

He also argued that from a legal standpoint the PSM six had no part in planning organising or promoting the Bersih rally as attested to by Bersih 2 0 steering committee members Haris Ibrahim and Dr Subramaniam Pillay who were also present at the press conference.

Bon urged the Najib administration to “have the good sense” to release the six before the habeas corpus hearing this Friday and not let the matter drag on.

“If it goes to court the government will be dragging in another institution to be part of this whole fiasco that the government has created ” he said.

Dr Jeyakumar was among 30 PSM members arrested on June 25 for allegedly planning to “wage war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong” and revive communism in part of a dragnet leading up to the July 9 Bersih rally.

Police found in their possession T-shirts bearing the likeness of former Communist Party of Malaya CPM leaders Chin Peng and Rashid Maidin.

Police later dropped all charges but immediately rearrested Dr Jeyakumar and five others under the EO on July 2 and charged the remaining 24 for possession of Bersih material and involvement in an illegal organisation.

In the aftermath of the chaotic rally Bersih and opposition leaders as well as human rights activists have pushed for the release of the six.

This comes as the Najib administration has embarked on a damage control exercise due to the stinging tone taken by the international press over its handling of the demonstration for free elections.

Nazri however reiterated yesterday that detainees were being held for trying to revive communism and warned that Putrajaya would not brook any attempt to “deify” the ideology.

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