02 May 2015

Ambiga freed after remand rejected, Isham & Rafizi held...

Police have failed to obtain a remand for former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan arrested during the anti-GST protest yesterday, but the 29 youths detained were not as fortunate.

According to lawyer Michelle Yesudas, 23 of the youths were remanded for three days while six more minors were remanded for a day.

"The 29 were arrested for releasing an orange smoke flare (at the protest), as if it is a heavy offence," Yesudas said in a Twitter posting.

Other than Ambiga, others freed after the session today are DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke, PAS central committee member Hatta Ramli, and PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan.

Upon her release, Ambiga appealed to the public not to forget the 29 who will be behind bars for up to three more days, calling their remand "ridiculous".

"They got into the station handcuffed and chained.

"I am very concerned. They are the youths of this country and we owe it to them to find out why they are treated the way they are.

"We owe it to them to ensure that they are not treated like criminals even before a case is made against them," she said.

'Abuse of police powers'

The 29 youths had their remand hearing at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters while the remand application for the protest leaders was done at the Jinjang police detention centre.

The multiple arrests following the peaceful May Day rally yesterday in Kuala Lumpur have sparked an outcry from civil society, calling it an abuse of police powers.

The arrests appear unabated as activist Hishammuddin Rais (left) was arrested shortly after the four were released at Jinjang police detention centre.

"I was arrested at home at 2.30pm. I am now being brought to Dang Wang district police headquarters.

"Seven police officers came to my house... I am accused of illegal assembly under Section 143 (of the Penal Code)," he said in a series of messages.

PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli was also arrested this morning after surrendering himself at the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters.

Police have also summoned PKR vice-president Tian Chua, but has yet to arrest him.

"I told them that I was already on my way to Permatang Pauh; they have not contacted me again," he told Malaysiakini

Cops arrest Rafizi over anti-GST protest...

PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli was arrested today after presenting himself at the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters after being summoned by the police.

He was held under Section 143 of the Penal Code for being a member of an unlawful assembly, according to Rafizi's Facebook posting.

Meanwhile, the police have unsuccessfully sought to detain former Bar Council chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan longer than the 24 hours they are allowed by law to hold her.

A remand hearing was held at the Jinjang police detention centre where the magistrate ordered the police to immediately release Ambiga, DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke and PSM secretary-general Arutchelvan.

Loke and Arutchelvan were detained overnight at the detention centre while Ambiga was held overnight at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters.

The trio were arrested last night for their involvement in yesterday's anti-GST protest.

A team of lawyers entered the detention centre around 11.10am for the hearing while Ambiga arrived in a police van at about 11.50am.

She appeared in good spirits, smiling and waving at the media as the vehicle entered the detention centre.

Also spotted in the vehicle is PAS central committee member Hatta Ramli who surrendered earlier today, on police request. He, too, was released later.

'Protest was peaceful'

Meanwhile, some 40 supporters have gathered outside the Jinjang detention to show support and cheered when Ambiga and Hatta arrived.

Speaking to journalists outside the detention centre later, PSM treasurer A Sivarajan said the anti-GST protest yesterday was peaceful.

He said a smoke bomb going off at the rally was an isolated incident and should not be used as an excuse to crack down on the organisers.

"The protest was peaceful, with more than 10,000 people. None of the people got hurt and none made any police reports.

"This sporadic event (smoke bomb) is anyone's guess. If police said so, then catch that person... for us, it was very peaceful and we finished, we dispersed," he said.- mk

Polis tangkap Ambiga dan peserta himpunan anti-GST...

Polis lewat petang ini mula menangkap mereka yang terlibat dalam himpunan Hari Pekerja menentang cukai barangan dan perkhidmatan (GST) yang diadakan di Kuala Lumpur terdahulu hari ini, menurut peguam.

Pengasas bersama Lawyers for Liberty Eric Paulsen berkata, tangkapan mula dibuat selepas himpunan itu berakhir dan peguam serta aktivis masyarakat sivil, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan merupakan antara mereka yang akan ditahan lewat malam ini.

"Tangkapan beramai-ramai sedang dilakukan selepas perhimpunan aman. @Ambiga_S akan ditangkap malam ini selepas dipanggil ke Dang Wangi. Gila," Paulsen memuat naik status di laman Twitter miliknya.

Peguam Latheefa Koya memberitahu The Malaysian Insider beliau akan menemani Ambiga ke ibu pejabat polis Dang Wangi malam ini.

"Polis kata mereka akan tahan beliau malam ini mengikut Seksyen 143 Kanun Keseksaan. Saya pelik kenapa Ambiga akan ditahan kerana dia bukan salah seorang dari yang berucap tadi. Kita tengoklah malam ini," kata Latheefa.

Ambiga tiba di balai Dang Wangi jam 9.30 malam.

Katanya, dia menerima panggilan telefon dari seorang pegawai polis dari Bukit Aman jam 8 malam, memintanya memberi kenyataan tetapi tidak menyedari dia akan ditahan sehingga dimaklumkan oleh Latheefa kemudiannya.

Mengatakan terkejut kerana dipanggil polis, bekas presiden Majlis Peguam itu mengakui ada bercakap di perhimpunan itu, tetapi hanya sepatah dua kata pada permulaan perhimpunan itu.

Latheefa bertanya kenapa polis hendak menahan Ambiga kerana dia bukan sebahagian dari penganjur perhimpunan itu.

Peguam Michelle Yesudas juga menulis tweet mengatakan beliau kini berada di luar ibu pejabat polis Kuala Lumpur bersama 20 peserta perhimpunan yang ditahan.

"Sekarang di luar IPK KL dengan 2 peguam menunggu untuk berjumpa 20 penunjuk perasaan tetapi tidak diberi akses kepada mereka yang ditahan," katanya.

Paulsen memberitahu The Malaysian Insider, Ambiga dan empat individu lain dipanggil polis malam ini.

Mereka ialah Setiausaha Organisasi Kebangsaan DAP Anthony Loke, ahli sekretariat #KitaLawan  Fariz Musa, setiausaha agung Parti Sosialis Malaysia S Arutchelvan dan pegawai sekretariat Bersih 2.0 Mandeep Singh.

Mandeep, ketika dihubungi berkata, beliau yang pertama menerima panggilan telefon daripada polis memintanya hadir ke balai untuk siasatan mengikut Seksyen 143.

"Pegawai itu beritahu saya, arahan tangkapan dikeluarkan ke atas saya, dan bertanya di mana saya berada, dan meminta saya menyerah diri," kata Mandeep, sambil menambah beliau serta merta menghubungi Latheefa untuk mendapatkan bantuan guaman.

Yesudas juga memberitahu The Malaysian Insider lima yang dipanggil itu bukan sebahagian daripada 20 yang ditahan.

Masih menunggu polis membenarkannya masuk berjumpa 20 individu itu, dia berkata, kebanyakan mereka belia yang ditangkap ketika perhimpunan itu berakhir selepas jam 5 petang tadi.

Katanya, empat daripada mereka dipercayai anggota Pemuda PKR dari Machang, Kelantan.- tmi

Cops summon Ambiga, may be held overnight...

The police are planning to detain former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan overnight for participating in the anti-GST rally earlier today.

Ambiga told Malaysiakini that a police officer had informed her lawyer about this.

"I will be going to the Dang Wangi police headquarters. The police told my lawyer that I will be arrested and held overnight.

"I am shocked by this. It was a peaceful rally," she said.

The gathering in Kuala Lumpur, which brought together 20,000 people to march from various points to Dataran Merdeka and then to KLCC in protest of the consumption tax, had dispersed at 5.30pm.

Ambiga was also the former co-chairperson of Bersih, a movement which held mammoth street rallies in the past to press for electoral reforms. She is currently the patron of NGO Negaraku.

It is learnt that police have also summoned PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan, DAP lawmaker Anthony Loke, PKR's Fariz Musa and Bersih's Mandeep Singh.

Ambiga arrived at the police headquarters at 9.40pm, accompanied by lawyers N Surendran, Latheefa Koya, and Eric Paulsen.

"(Ambiga will be) investigated under Section 143 (for unlawful assembly). She's not even one of the organisers," Latheefa told reporters.

Ambiga herself did not know what information police wanted from her.

"I just said a few words in the beginning (of the protest)," she said.

Meanwhile Arutchevelan, who arrived at 10.50pm, said police had initially told him all was well.

"After the protest, I called the Dang Wangi public order chief, and he said everything went well.

"So I'm amazed they made arrests," he told reporters.

He said May Day is celebrated worldwide and therefore to crack down on the rally was uncalled for.

He added that the Court of Appeal had ruled that protest locations cannot be made a condition for peaceful assemblies

"I'm not sure (if they will detain me overnight),  but I am prepared," he added.

Loke said he was halfway to Seremban when he was called to Dang Wangi.

"They said they cam arrange a police transport from Seremban if I don't come.

"I don't know what's the rush [...] (but) with the huge turn out today I'm sure they're under a lot of pressure," he added.

He too does not know if he would be arrested.- 

Pagoh dan Pekan lebih mundur dari Permatang Pauh...

Pengarah Pilihan Raya KEADILAN, Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail mencabar Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin menegur Datuk Seri Najib Razak yang kini lebih sibuk menghabiskan masa di luar negara.

Gesaan itu dibuat berikutan kenyataan Muhyiddin sebelum ini bahawa DUN Kajang yang disandang calon KEADILAN untuk Pilihan Raya Kecil Permatang Pauh, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail terabai.

“Saya cabar Muhyiddin supaya berani menegur Perdana Menteri yang lebih banyak menghabiskan masa di luar negara berbanding dalam negara.

“Tambah pula Najib memegang dua portfolio, Perdana Menteri dan Menteri Kewangan. Dua-dua jawatan ini membebankan, kemudian nak jaga Pekan lagi, nak menepis serangan Dr Mahathir lagi, kemudian jadi Penasihat 1MDB (1Malaysian Development) yang jauh lebih sibuk daripada tugas Wan Azizah nak jaga Permatang Pauh.

“Jadi saya nasihatkan Muhyiddin, bimbangkan kedudukan Najib daripada susah hati fikirkan kedudukan Permatang Pauh dan Kajang di bawah Wan Azizah,” tegas Saifuddin.

Malah katanya lagi, Ahli Parlimen Pagoh itu kini kerap ke luar negara membawa rombongan-rombongannya ke Australia dan Dubai.

“Muhyiddin pun sekarang ini sibuk bawa rombongannya ke Melborne, Dubai. Jadi tak perlulah sibuk tentang Wan Azizah,” sindir Saifuddin.

Sebelum ini, Muhyiddin membangkitkan kebimbangan kononnya jika Wan Azizah memenangi kerusi Permatang Pauh, pembangunan infrastruktur dan kebajikan di Parlimen itu akan terabai.

Saifuddin turut membidas Muhyiddin dan Najib kerana gagal memantau kawasan Pagoh dan Pekan dan membiarkan Parlimen itu yang kini lebih jauh ketinggalan berbanding Permatang Pauh.

“Permatang Pauh lebih maju dan baik dari sudut kemudahan dan peluang pekerjaan berbanding Pagoh dan Pekan.“Kita akan buktikan sebab ketika ini kita telah menghantar beberapa jurufoto untuk liha 

"Kita akan  buktikan sebab ketika ini kita telah menghantar beberapa jurufoto untuk lihat sendiri sendiri kawasan mereka dan kita akan dedahkan kepada media,” katanya.- keadilandaily

Grilled lobsters and Xiaomi to lure votes...

PKR has been offering grilled lobsters whereas BN is going around the Permatang Pauh constituency with a Xiaomi - a China-made mobile phone - to woo voters.

These are not vote-buying schemes in the by-election, but campaign strategies by the two arch rivals.

BN's Suhaimi Sabudin (right in photo) and PKR's Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail are in a four-corner fight with Parti Rakyat Malaysia's Azman Shah Othman and independent Salleh Isahak.

Azman and Salleh, however, have been silent about their respective campaigns.

The week kicked off with several 'stunts' by Wan Azizah, including a press conference in Kubang Semang where she cried 'victim' while waving a mobile prepaid card.

"I am a victim of GST. I have to pay an extra six percent just to reload my phone," she said.

Lobsters are 'GST-free'

Later in the afternoon, Azmin Ali (right in photo below) donned a blue apron as well as a white cap and grilled lobsters for the residents on Jalan Kg Baru.

And as the smell of freshly grilled lobsters wafted through the air, the Selangor menteri besar said, "These lobsters are GST-free".

"This is not what you eat daily but they are not GST-ed, like your baby’s milk or pampers, your maggi mee or sardines," he added.

Lobsters are classified as basic food under the 'crustaceans' category, which has zero GST.

On Wednesday, Azizah went shopping at a local mini-market in Kubang Semang. After paying the bill, she exclaimed, "I know exactly how housewives feel".

"They are the ones who feel the burden as they purchase these items everyday," she said, cradling a basket of groceries.

Yesterday, she also launched the "Don’t tax my children" campaign, which is bound to resonate well with ordinary folk, who already feel the pinch of rising cost of living.

'Say No to GST' is Pakatan's battle song, a brilliant one, as the party rides on public discontent against the new tax since it was implemented on April 1.

Abang Mie is 'brotherly'

In contrast, BN's style of campaigning seems like a tame affair. Its battle cry: "Enough, this is our turn" sounds like DAP's 'ubah' campaign, and might confuse voters.

From the onset, the coalition has little to play with except to wave the development card.

Race or religious issues - which were often played up in previous by-elections - took a backseat this time.

Suhaimi can only boast of his impressive entourage, which includes the likes of top BN leaders such as Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

But there is nothing explosive or exciting about his campaign.

BN is banking on his pleasant demeanour, for just as Wan Azizah, 63, is motherly, the 44-year old Suhaimi is brotherly.

Posters of Suhaimi show him sporting a simple T-shirt, just like the typical kampung boy.

During his walks, he shakes hands with everyone, even children, and is always similing.

To the Malays, Suhaimi describes himself affectionately as "Abang Mie", to the Chinese, he calls himself "Xiaomi".

By calling himself Xiaomi, Suhaimi gives the impression that voters can have easy access to him.

Dodging queries on GST

However, it definitely takes more than charm to be a parliamentarian.

Suhaimi has been dodging questions on the GST, preferring to promptly exit the scene, albeit politely, when reporters pose the question.

He has also declined an invitation by human rights NGO Suaram to debate with Wan Azizah on the GST issue.

It seems that he prefers to take subtle swipes at Wan Azizah.

He pledges to stay put in Permatang Pauh, hinting that unlike the PKR president, he does not need to juggle between two constituencies.

Wan Azizah, however, has retaliated, saying that she has two heavyweights on her side.

In Kajang - where she is the assemblyperson - Azmin, her deputy chief, is the Selangor menteri besar. In Penang, her closest ally is Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Both have promised to look after her seats if she wins Permatang Pauh again for the fourth time.

It remains to be seen if these political gimmicks would translate into votes.

Reporters are waiting with bated breath for something exciting to happen, but the ‘shocker’ which the home minister promised earlier, has yet to come.

Permatang Pauh goes to vote on May 7, with early voting on May 3.-mk

Story kat SINI dan SINI   


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