Friday, January 7, 2011

‘Arrest of activists shows BN is scared’

Joseph Tawie

KUCHING: Police “intimidation and threats” will not stop or scare non-governmental organisations, individuals and opposition, bent on informing the people about the widespread abuse under Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s 30-year administration.

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian, in an immediate reaction to the “shocking” arrests of leading activist Nicholas Mujah and Abun Sui in Sarawak last night, said it was a indication that “BN leaders are afraid”.

“The BN leaders are afraid that the truth will now be out. They are trying to intimidate us by such arrests. I won’t be surprised (if) they (Mujah and Sui) will be slapped with ridiculous charges and allegations.”

Vowing to expose the “rotten state of the BN government” to the people, he said: “We will not succumb to intimidation and threat. I urge Sarawakians to rise and change their leader!”

Last night, Home Ministry officials along with an unknown number of Special Branch police officers raided the office of Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia) at Kota Sentosa, here, and picked up Mujah.

Police also seized more than 1,000 CDs on land cases, affidavits and testimonies.

Mujah said that the officials raided the office at 11.30pm and took away the CDs while he was preparing for a land case to be presented to court.

Mujah was then taken to the Satok police station here where his statement was recorded. He was released on bail with one surety at 5.30am today. He is to report to the police on Feb 7.

Along with Mujah, two other activists were also detained – BK Ong and a Sadia staff Nikodemus Singgai.

It is learnt that Mujah is being investigated under the Film Censorship Act.

Seditions Act

In a separate incident in MIRI, land rights lawyer Sui was detained at the airport on arrival from Kuching at 8.30pm last night.

Sui, a native customary rights (NCR) land lawyer, was picked up by police who also confisticated 300 CDs which allegedly contain messages from Bian.

Sui told FMT that he had been directed to report to the police on Feb 7.

Sui, it was learnt is being investigated under the Seditions Act.

Both Mujah and Sui are members of various NGOs which have been in the forefront in the fight for the rights and justice of the natives.

Some 1,300 CDs and VCDs were confisticated in the two separate raids. Also seized were two disc burners and promotional materials.

According to online newportal Sarawak Report, the discs contain recordings of the programme of popular Radio Free Sarawak (which operates as an independent political voice in Malaysia without a government licence) as well as clips from the alternative Sarawak TV, Bebas.

The online station has frequently been drawing attention to land grab issues affecting native communities.

According to the station, the state’s “amended” land laws have resulted in natives land being “alienated”.

Taken from Free Malaysia Today.

Read also: Taib Strikes Back! – Exclusive Photos

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