DAP National Organising Secretary and MP for Seremban, Anthony Loke is the first casualty of the Bersih 5 crackdown which have seen the arbitrary, indiscriminate and mass arrest of Bersih chairperson Maria Chin, other Bersih activists like Mandeep Singh, Hishammuddin Rais, Muhamad Safwan, student leaders Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof, Muhamad Luqman Nul Haqim Zul Razali and Pakatan Harapan elected representatives Zuraida Kamaruddin (MP – Ampang), Tian Chua (MP – Batu) and Howard Lee (Perak State Assemblyman – Pasir Pinji).
Anthony is held under the Sedition Act for his speech at the Pakatan Harapan Convention the previous Saturday calling for the toppling of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Let me make it very clear that the DAP and Pakatan Harapan is committed to the toppling of the Prime Minister, Datuk Najib Razak and the UMNO/Barisan Nasiuonal government for making Malaysia a “global kleptocracy”, but by constitutional means through the democratic process by the ballot box and not in any violent, unconstitutional or revolutionary manner.
Are the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and the Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali now claiming that any attempt to secure not only the majority popular vote but the majority of parliamentary seats so that the Prime Minister and the UMNO/BN government in Putrajaya could be replaced have now become criminal and even seditious offences, which come not only under the Sedition Act but the new-fangled crime in Section 124B of the Penal Code, which reads:
“ 124B: Activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy. Whoever, by any means, directly or indirectly, commits an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to twenty years.”
If this is the case, then let the Prime Minister or the Home Minister bring an amendment to the Penal Code, the Sedition Act and the Constitution to make it a criminal offence even for MPs in Parliament to talk about replacing the Prime Minister and the UMNO/.BN Government through the constitutional and democratic process – and abandon all pretences of democracy, the rule of law and constitutionality.
Until then, the Inspector-General of Police, the Attorney-General and the Prime Minister should stop abuses of power and the law and constitution and stop arresting those who want to perfect and not undermine the system of parliamentary democracy by enabling a change of
the government in Putrajaya through constitutional and democratic means, as through the ballot box.
No DAP leader in the past 50 years had ever advocated violent and unconstitutional overthrow of the elected government of the day, and no Bersih leader whether from Berish 1 to Berish 5 rallies in the past nine years had advocated any violent overthrow of the government by undemocratic and unconstitutional means.
If Najib still believes in the system of parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, he should direct the Inspector-General of Police to immediately release all the detainees in the Bersih 5 crackdown, including the Bersih Chairperson, Maria Chin, Bersih activist Hishammuddin Rais and Pakatan Harapan elected representatives – Anthony Loke, Zuraida Kamarauddin, Tian Chua and Howard Lee – who are still held in detention.
(Speech at the candlelight vigil for DAP National Organising Secretary and MP for Seremban, Anthony Loke, detained in the Bersih 5 police crackdown at the Sikamat Police District Office in Seremban on Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 9.30 pm)