By Kuek Ser Kuang Keng | Malaysiakini
An affidavit filed by the police confirms that the six Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) activists were detained under Emergency Ordinance for their alleged roles in Bersih 2.0, and not for activities related to communism.
At a press conference called by PSM in Kuala Lumpur today, lawyer Edmund Bon (second from right) — who represents the PSM6 — revealed the contents of the affidavit.
It was filed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday by a police officer from the criminal investigations department of the Bukit Aman federal police headquarters.
This was in reply to affidavits submitted by the family members of the PSM6 to support their habeas corpus application, which will be heard on Friday.
The document clearly states the reasons for the detention of the six.
“…it was because I believed there were reasons (to show) that the six were involved as main movers of the illegal organisation Bersih which moved the coalition of Bersih 2.0, so the public will attend the Bersih 2.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur on July 9, 2011,” said Kamarul Zaman Mamat, the police officer in charge of the detention.
Kamarul’s affidavit also said the rally had to be prevented because it would create fear and anxiety among the public, as well as disrupt the daily life of society and harm public order.
To back his claim, the senior police officer said the first Bersih rally in November 2007 had caused havoc, damage to public property and harm to public order.
De facto Law Minister Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz had earlier said the six PSM activists were suspected of having acted to revive communism.
‘Affidavit proves Nazri lied’
Bon pointed out that the affidavit proved that Nazri’s statement was a lie.
“All these are lies because the police themselves have not mentioned a single word about communism, Chin Peng or all that kind of things (in the affidavit),” said the lawyer.
“The government used Bersih 2.0 as a convenient reason and used the six PSM detainees as scapegoats just to create a situation that seems to be like an emergency, to discourage people from coming (out) on July 9 (for the rally).”
He added that the reasons cited by Kamarul were repeated in the affidavits of other police officers, and that none of the 37 affidavits filed by the government mentioned anything about communism.
PSM secretary-general S. Arutchelvan pointed out that Emergency Ordinance was enacted on May 16, 1969, to deal with public order and prevention of crime, rather than to curb communism, which falls under another draconian law — the Internal Security Act (ISA).
Two members of the Bersih 2.0 steering committee who were at the press conference denied the police allegation that the PSM6 were the main movers behind the NGO movement for clean and fair elections.
“This is wholly erroneous and without any factual foundation and substance. They have never been part of Bersih 2.0 movement, the steering committee or any part of the committee that moved the rally on July 9,” said Haris Ibrahim (right) .
His view was shared by P. Subramaniam, who slammed the police for not doing their homework.
Subramaniam said the police had failed to differentiate Bersih 2.0, a purely civil society movement, with the previous Bersih which had been led by both NGOs and political parties.