Pak Samad, Maria Chin snub police questions over rally

September 06, 2012
Chin (right) arrives at the Dang Wangi police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, August 27, 2012.—File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 ― National Laureate Datuk A. Samad Said and Bersih activist Maria Chin Abdullah refused today to answer questions from investigators when they turned up at the Dang Wangi police headquarters today as part of a probe into last week’s Janji Demokrasi gathering.
 “I refused to answer any questions posed by the police other than my personal details,” Samad told reporters today.

Samad’s co-counsel, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, said that the national literary laureate was not an organiser and was only questioned as a witness.

Police had earlier regarded the two as organisers of the rally following their appearance at the Gabungan Janji press conference on August 24 at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH).
The Gabungan Janji group involves 47 non-governmental organisations, including the Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower) where Chin is executive director.

The press conference had announced that several gatherings would be held in multiple locations on the eve of Malaysia’s national day to lobby the government to implement the eight demands of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih).

The demands include cleaning up the electoral roll, using indelible ink, a minimum period of 21 days for campaigning, free access to the media for all parties, strengthening public institutions, stopping corruption and bringing an end to dirty political campaigning.

Chin, who has now been summoned twice, said that the police asked questions regarding the press conference and her role during their event on Merdeka eve.

“I want to stress that the event was actually for us to celebrate Merdeka Day.
We do not consider it an assembly or a rally,” Maria said.

A firestorm erupted last week after several individuals were recorded tearing up posters bearing images of the prime minister, his wife and Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof at the event at Dataran Merdeka.

Several other people were spotted waving a flag with an alternative design ― now identified as the Sang Saka Malaya ― instead of the Jalur Gemilang at the National Day bash last Thursday night.
Bukit Aman’s CID director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin told The Malaysian Insider that the police were probing the two separate incidents under the Sedition Act.

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