I told Bersih Chairperson Maria Chin after the moving “singing in the rain” at the corner of Jalan Raja, nearby Dataran Merdeka, last night by Bersih supporters that she had to thank the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak for making her an “instant heroine”.
Maria Chin expects to be arrested again by the authorities but she had pledged that this will not shake her spirits and her commitment to fight for fair elections and democracy in Malaysia, as well as the abolition of Special Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).
Will Maria Chin be re-arrested after her habeas corpus case had been officially disposed off this afternoon?
The Prime Minister and the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar should give an assurance that Maria Chin will not be re-arrested as she had been released ten days after her detention.
Will Najib or Khalid give such an assurance?
I had said that Maria Chin’s detention came under the definition of 3Vs – vicious, vengeful and vindictive.
If Maria Chin is re-arrested, then the authorities will be doubly vicious, vengeful and vindictive.
Maria Chin’s release did come as a surprise, especially on the eve of the UMNO General Assemblies this year.
Was Maria Chin’s release because of her habeas corpus application today or was it because the authorities have finally conceded that she is no terrorist (and Parliament had been specifically assured in 2012 that fighting terrorism would be the sole ground for the invocation of Sosma provisions) and that she posed no threat and was not engaged in any activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy under Section 124C of the Penal Code.
Instead of detaining and investigating Maria Chia for engaging in activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy, the authorities should recommend that Maria Chin be given proper recognition for her activities safeguarding and promoting parliamentary democracy, as ensuring that elections are fair, clean and democratic.
But this does not seem to be case, if three police actions yesterday are taking into consideration, viz:
• the police raid of the office of women’s group Persatuan Kesedaran Komunti Selangor (EMPOWER) in Petaling Jaya under Section 124C of the Penal Code for activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy and also under SOSMA;
• the police summoning of five Pakatan Harapan leaders for questioning at the Travers Police Station in Kuala Lumpur on the Bersih 5 rally, namely the chief of PH secretariat Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah; PH State Assembly members Ng Suee Lim (Sekinchan, Selangor); Dr. Xavier Jayakumar (Sri Andalas, Selangor), Norlela Ariffin (Penanti, Penang) and Selangor PKR Youth chief Afzainizam Rahman.
• Police investigation of Northern region Bersih co-ordinator and former Penang State Exco Dr. Toh Kim Woon over the “Free Maria” gathering at Penang Esplanade on Sunday and the Candlelight Vigil over Maria’s detention in Penang on Nov. 21.
I am surprised that the authorities seem to be persisting and even expanding their investigations into alleged Bersih funding by George Soros and the Open Society Foundation (OSF).
I had said that if Maria Chin is to be held under Sosma for 28 days because of a puny grant from Open Society Foundation (OSF) before mid-2011 which had never been used for any Bersih rally, then the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should be detained for life for receiving RM4.2 billion from foreign sources.
Maria Chin is on record admitting that Bersih had previously received funding from OSF in the form of a one-off grant.
She however denied having received any money from OSF since mid-2011 onwards and said the money from the foundation had never been used to fund its rallies.
The Bersih movement is locally funded and fully transparent about its funding.
In contrast, Najib had not only RM2.6 billion, but in fact a total of RM4.2 billion in his personal banking accounts from foreign sources.
As the astronomical RM4.2 billion is some 50,000 times larger than the puny sum which Bersih had received from OSF before mid-2011, should Najib be detained for 50,000 times longer than Maria Chin’s detention under Sosma – which will end up with Najib being detained for life?
Will reason and good sense now prevail instead of a hot-house atmosphere artificially generated as if traitors are to be found crawling all over the country behinds bushes and trees?