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Dec 17, 2007

Bersih activists may be charged tomorrow

via englishsection

- 17 activists campaigning for a clean and fair election may be charged at a Court here tomorrow for allegedly being involved in a recent "illegal assembly".

Those expected to be charged include two women leaders from Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS). They are women's wing chief Nuridah Salleh and central working committee member Dr Lo' Lo' Ghazali.

Others include PAS treasurer Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli, National Justice Party (PKR) information chief Tian Chua and Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) pro-tem secretary general S. Arutchelvan.

"We are not sure yet (what the charges are but), my bail required me to report back to Court (tomorrow) with the rest of the people who were arrested in front of Parliament," Tian Chua told journalists at the lobby of a Court complex here today.

RM4 million suit against the police and government

Tian Chua was there to file a RM4 million suit against the police and the government for his arrest on Dec 11.

Bersih activists had turned up on that day to send a memorandum against a Federal Constitution amendment which many argued will enable the extension of present Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman's tenure.

They were instead arrested and detained for several hours.

The authorities obtained a rare court order to prevent Bersih members from gathering in the vicinity of Parliament on that day.

The Court order however was currently being challenged. The parliament dominated by the current ruling party had passed the amendment which enable EC members to be appointed up to the age of 66 from the current 65.

Amongst demands made by Bersih were for the electoral rolls to be cleaned up from "phantom voters", for the postal votes to be abolished and for equal access to the media for all parties. -Saadon Aksah/ES


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