Friday, October 21, 2016

BARU BIAN: DEATH THREATS AGAINST MARIA CHIN AND AMBIGA INTOLERABLE


PRESS STATEMENT
20 OCTOBER 2016

PKR Sarawak strongly condemns the death threats made against Bersih 2 Chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah, Bersih Secretariat member Mandeep Singh and Hakam President Ambiga Sreenevasan. Splashing red paint on the car of Maria Chin’s son early today is a new low even for these faceless cowards.

Threats against Bersih are worsening, now taking on a terrorist slant as the doctored images show. This is hardly surprising, considering how people like Ibrahim Ali, Ali Tinju and Jamal Yunus have been treated with kid gloves by the authorities and the government leaders. These people become more and more emboldened with each incident. They believe they can issue threats commit violent acts with impunity. When Ibrahim Ali called for BM bibles to be burnt, there was no action taken against him but instead excuses made on his behalf, with the AG saying it was not seditious. The UMNO-connected Jamal Yunus and his red shirts have been allowed to get away with countless acts of intimidation and violence without any consequences. Ali Tinju was arrested and released on bail for threatening Maria with violence last month, but only after an outcry from an enraged public and only a week after the incident. We have yet to know whether charges will be brought against him.

We expect the IGP and his police force to take all necessary steps to trace and arrest the maker of these threats and the paint-thrower urgently, and without fear or favour. All eyes are on them now. They should show the same zeal that they apply when arresting members of the opposition for trivial matters such as speaking up on the 1MDB issue.

Maria Chin Abdullah, Ambiga and the Bersih team have not committed any offences. They are merely exercising their rights and indeed, voicing the demands of Malaysian citizens, as they are entitled to under the law, on issues that are of great concern to many people. Calling for free and fair elections and justice should be encouraged and Maria and the Bersih team should be protected by the law. Bersih does not speak for just a particular section of the population, but for the whole community of Malaysians. All citizens should be outraged that people who champion democracy and justice are subject to such vile threats.

The latest threat and the paint-throwing incident provide us with a test of the government’s neutrality. If no action is taken against the culprits, the public cannot be blamed if they perceive that these actions are done with the tacit approval of the UMNO/BN government. Malaysians must be prepared to bring them down in the next election if Malaysia is to have any hope of redemption.

Baru Bian
Chairman, KEADILAN Sarawak / ADUN N81 Ba’ Kelalan


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