10 cops, two trucks, one big question: What happened to Reformasi spirit? - Suaram

Group calls for rectification after police monitor Bersih

08 Feb 2024 10:20am
Police were seen at Bersih's office following their press conference Najib's pardon and #Reformasi100percent demands. Photo: Bersih's X account
Police were seen at Bersih's office following their press conference Najib's pardon and #Reformasi100percent demands. Photo: Bersih's X account

SHAH ALAM - Human rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) has strongly condemned the deployment of a significant police presence, including 10 officers, two trucks, and motorcycles, outside Bersih's office during a media conference, calling it a blatant act of intimidation and a departure from the principles of Reformasi.

The group described the incident as a derailment from the values and spirit of Reformasi, which has gone far enough and should be immediately rectified.

"Ten police officers, two police trucks and a number of police motorcycles stationed outside Bersih's office for a mere press conference calling for faithful implementation of the long-promised reform agenda.

"This is not upholding public order – on the contrary, it is sheer, condemnable intimidation," Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy said in a statement.

He further questioned if this means that anyone who disagrees with the Pardons Board's ruling could end up having their posts removed, their social media accounts watched, or even a Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 investigation.

Sevan also questioned whether Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution or Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim himself is aware of the police's act of monitoring the press conference, adding another layer of concern to the situation.

"Bersih, and also very recently Tony Pua, were clearly targeted by the government for exercising their legitimate right to freedom of expression.

"These actions demonstrate the state’s incapability of accepting constructive criticism, dissent, or even discontent," he added.

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Through these tactics, Sevan claimed that the government has committed a triple betrayal: failing to defend its fight against corruption and justice, contravening its duty to uphold the basic human rights of all, and regressing current painstaking efforts in fostering accountability.

Yesterday, Sinar Daily reported that during a press conference led by Bersih's chairperson, Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz, there was a noticeable increase in police presence around the steering committee’s office.

In response, Bangi MP Syahredzan Johan slammed the deployment of a large number of police officers, describing it as a form of intimidation.

He stressed that such practices should not be tolerated under the Madani Government and urged the authorities to reconsider this approach.

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