Perak: Tangkap!Tangkap!

Sivakumar and 7 Pakatan reps arrested in Ipoh
Humayun Kabir | May 26, 09 9:28am Malaysiakini.com
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Eight Perak Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives and six others were arrested by the Ipoh police about 11.25am for alleged illegal assembly.

They were arrested while walking in a procession from the DAP headquarters to the High Court to observe a suit being filed against the BN state government over the sacking of elected village heads.

perak hunger strike arrest 260509 02Among those arrested were ousted assembly speaker V Sivakumar (centre in photo), DAP’s Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran and state assemblypersons Keshwinder Singh (DAP-Malim Nawar), Chan Ming Kai (PKR-Simpang Pulai), Chang Lih Kang (PKR-Teja), Leong Mee Meng (DAP-Jalong), Thomas Su (DAP-Pasir Pinji) and Lim Pek Har (DAP-Menglembu).

In all, those arrested were one DAP parliamentarian, five DAP and two PKR state representatives, two DAP members, Sivakumar’s two bodyguards and two onlookers who were held at a nearby coffee shop.

perak hunger strike pakatan adun police arrest 260509 02They have been taken to the Ipoh district police station for investigations.

They were all released at 4.20pm and were received by ousted Pakatan menteri besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.

Kulasegaran told reporters that they were released on police bail and must report back to the Ipoh Magistrate’s Court on June 26.

The group had earlier taken part in the launch of Pakatan’s hunger strike which was officiated by Nizar.

perak hunger strike arrest 260509 01Nizar was not among those arrested as he had left for the High Court for the filing of the suit.

Kulasegaran said that the 14 had continued with their hunger strike during their five-hour detention.

In the latest development, several Pakatan elected representatives and their supporters numbering about 30 continued with their hunger strike at the DAP headquarters at about 5.15pm.

State DAP leader Ngeh Khoo Ham earlier told Malaysiakini that he had lodged a police report on the arrests.

Five arrested earlier, probed for sedition

Earlier this morning, five workers were also arrested while making arrangements for the launch of a three-day hunger strike.

perak hunger strike police arrest at ipoh dap office 260509 03They are employees of an event management company, and were setting up a canopy at the DAP headquarters in Ipoh when the police arrived about 6am.

They were however released at 5.40pm must also report back to the Ipoh Magistrate’s Court next month.

Perak police chief Zulkefli Abdullah told reporters that statements had been taken from the 14 and that they would be investigated under the Police Act for taking part in an illegal gathering.

perak state pakatan adun hunger strike launch 260509 02As for the five workers, Zulkefli said that they would be investigated under the Sedition Act for putting up a large balloon with the wordings ‘Daulat Tuanku’ and ‘Bubar DUN’ (Dissolve the Assembly).

Earlier this morning, the police seized the huge balloon which was to have been released to mark the beginning of the hunger strike at 10am.

DAP party workers told Malaysiakini that the balloon was specifically made for the event at a cost of about RM2,000.

Pakatan elected representatives were not at the DAP headquarters when the police raid took place.

perak hunger strike pakatan adun police arrest 260509 03At about 9.15am, a large contingent of police, including some 20 Federal Reserve Unit personnel, were still stationed outside the DAP office. They prevented anyone from going near the canopy.

However the police stepped aside when Nizar arrived at 10.10am.

Other Pakatan elected representatives soon arrived at the DAP headquarters.

The hunger strike was aimed at persuading the Perak sultan to dissolve the state assembly for snap state elections to be held.

A permit to shake hands?

The police subsequently ordered the organiser to remove the canopy and a banner which was put up.

Earlier, a commotion had erupted between Ipoh City Council officers and Pakatan leaders over the attempt to remove the banner.

A visibly angry state DAP secretary Nga Kor Ming then asked the council officers to grant them some time before dismantling the banner.

A noon deadline was set but the banner was removed at about 11.45am.

perak hunger strike police arrest at ipoh dap office 260509 06Another side-show took shape when Nizar was at the DAP headquarters. A police officer prevented him from shaking hands with the police.

This prompted a supporter to ask: “Do you need permit to shake hands?”

Nizar launched the hunger strike at 10.44am.

In his speech, he said the people of Perak did not want a menteri besar appointed by the court, referring to a Court of Appeal decision last week which recognised his rival, Zambry Abd Kadir, as the menteri besar.

“Surveys show that 90 percent of the people want the dissolution of state assembly,” he said.

“People don’t want a menteri besar elected by the court. They want a menteri besar elected by the people. Whatever decision made by the court, people’s power will make the final decision,” added.

Suit filed against BN

At the Ipoh High Court, meanwhile, 817 Pakatan appointed village heads and committee members filed a suit seeking a judicial review over their dismissal by the BN-led state government.

The suit was filed at 11.45am by their lawyer Leong Cheok Keng.

perak hunger strike pakatan adun police arrest 260509 01According to them, their term  is only to end on July 21, 2010 but had been terminated effective April 16 when Zambry became the menteri besar.

About 80 of the aggrieved village heads and committee members were at the court. They were led by Padang Rengas village head Mohd Ridzuan Asit.

The plaintiffs are seeking orders from the court to quash their dismissal and be reinstated to their posts.

They want an injunction to stop the BN state government from appointing others to their posts.

“We also want the court to stop BN from barring others from using the village community halls, and not limit these to BN’s use only,” said Mohd Ridzuan.

They are further seeking punitive, exemplary and aggravated damages, an investigation into the losses suffered by the village heads and the cost of the action.

Nizar, who was present, left the premises at noon after the filing process was completed.

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