By Hazlan Zakaria and Lee Chin Suet | Malaysiakini

PSM has drawn similarities between the 2001 crackdown against the Reformasi movement and the recent detention without trial of six of its members under the Emergency Ordinance (EO).

The six (see chart), including Sungai Siput MP Dr D. Jeyakumar, are being held in relation to the police crackdown in the run-up to the outlawed Bersih 2.0 rally for clean and fair elections.

They were arrested along with 24 others on June 24 at the Sungai Dua toll plaza in Kepala Batas, Penang, allegedly for waging war against the Agong. On being released with the others on police bail, they were re-arrested under the EO.

The 24 will have their case heard in Butterworth on Thursday.

“This reminds us of the arrests following the 1997-1998 Reformasi movement. Ezam Mohd Noor, Tian Chua and Hishammuddin Rais were arrested on similar allegations of planning illegal rallies and possession of dangerous weapons like Molotov cocktails,” said lawyer Edmund Bon, who represents PSM.

He was referring to the 2001 arrests of activists at the height of the Reformasi movement. They were accused of plotting to overthrow the government by militant means, along with 50,000 others.

They were said to have in their possession dangerous weapons such as grenade launchers, ball bearings and Molotov cocktails.

He equated the arbitrary arrests and detention without trial of the PSM6 as a replication of outdated police strategy to quell popular dissent.

“If you take an affidavit from 2001 and compare it to the affidavit we have today, it would be the same,” Bon (left) told a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall today.

He criticised in particular the police line of questioning as having ulterior motives — he said they were “intelligence questions” serving “lateral purposes”.

“The questions do not relate to the charge,” he said.

’21 affidavits filed’

He also pointed out a High Court had ruled that the 2001 police action was in bad faith and wrongful, and was confident that the PSM6 case will also be quashed.

“There is no prove of militancy. Where is the proof? Show us the proof,” he challenged.

Bon revealed that PSM had filed 21 affidavits in support of the writ of habeas corpus it had filed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court, asking for the release of the  PSM6.

As yet, there has been no reply from the Attorney General’s Chambers.

“If they don’t file it before Friday, we win,” he said, although he expects the government to file its reply at the “last minute”.

Their application will be heard before Justice Su Geok Yiam at 9am on Friday.