Mockery by Majlis Bandaraya Melaka in suing Bersih

The suit by Majlis Bandaraya Melaka Bersejarah (MBMB) against six Malacca Bersih 3.0 participants for allegedly causing damage to public property during the Bersih 3.0 protest in Malacca was nearly struck out after the local council’s lawyer arrived late in court.

NONEIn the absence of the plaintiff's lead counsel Zahari Affendi (right) this morning, Malacca Sessions Court Judge Abu Bakar Katar had asked if the defendants wanted to strike out the case.

At this, the defendants’ lawyer J Armadas asked for a short adjournment to allow for Zahari’s arrival, pleading courtesy.

The case was allowed to proceed after Zahari arrived minutes later, but hit another problem after it was found that only one of the six defendants, state MCA Wanita chief Kian Sit Har, had been served with a summons.

The five others who have yet to be served with the summonses were Khoo Poay Tiong, Philip Chua, Yuhaizad Abdullah, Halim Bachik and Abd Ghani Abd Rahman.

With the exception of Kian and Chua who have appointed lawyers for the case, the others had turned up in court today clad in Bersih T-shirts, complaining that they could not appoint their lawyers as they have yet to received the summonses. Abd Ghani was absent due to illness.

NONE“We only saw our names in the newspapers. We don’t know if this suit is referring to us or not, there is no (MyKad) number or address,” said Khoo (left), who is Ayer Keroh state assemblyperson.

Judge Abu Bakar then asked that the defendants be served with the summonses. However, Zahari said there weren’t enough copies of the summonses for them.

Following this, the case was postponed to Sept 19.

The defendants’ lead counsel Ng Kong Peng said outside the courtroom that a meeting will be arranged to allow for the summonses to be formally served before the next mention date.

‘Backward move’

Addressing the media later, Kian described the suit as a “backward” move by the local government.

“The (protest) is over, (so) why do they want to do this? It will only cost votes,” said Kian who had broken ranks with MCA’s top leadership to support the Malacca Bersih rally.

NONEMeanwhile, DAP’s Khoo claimed the suit was an attempting to kill their political careers by bankrupting them.

“It is very clear cut. If we did anything wrong, the police should have taken action against us on that day,” he said.

MBMB is seeking compensation for transporting eight injured personnel to the hospital during the April 28 protest at Dataran Pahlawan, on top of food at the hospital, medical report costs, treatment costs and repairs to barricades used on that day.
The full amount has not been specified.

It is also seeking RM1,500 for cleaning up Dataran Pahlawan, RM100 per person for the cost of lodging, and buying copies of police reports and RM3,000 for enforcement during the protest.

Chua, who is Malacca Bersih spokesperson, said the movement will not be cowed by the suit and will emulate the planned ‘Janji Bersih’ rally in Kuala Lumpur with one in Malacca.

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