BERSIH: Why Commercial Crime Department?

Bersih, police meet postponed again
Soon Li Tsin
Nov 12, 07 3:35pm

A meeting slated to be held today between committee members of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) and the police’s commercial crimes department has been postponed again.

Eight Bersih committee members were initially slotted to meet with ASP Amran Jusin on Nov 9, a day before the opposition-backed coalition held a massive rally in Kuala Lumpur.

The eight included PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah, PKR information chief Tian Chua, Khairul Annuar Zainuddin (Jonah), Mohamad Sabu, Johari Abdul and DAP’s Ronnie Liu and Teresa Kok.

The meeting was postponed to today. However, Sivarasa (left) said when he contacted Amran yesterday, he was told that the meeting has been postponed again.

“ASP Amran and I spoke yesterday and he said it has been postponed. He said he will let me know the date later,” he told malaysiakini.

On Nov 3, the committee members received a call informing them that a police report had been lodged by an individual in Setapak about Bersih’s status as an illegal organisation.

Some of them were issued notices asking them to be present at the Nov 9 meeting. However, the committee members unanimously declined to show up as they were busy preparing for the rally.

A consensus was then reached for the committee members to be available for questioning after the rally that is today.

Why commercial crimes dept?

Liu, when contacted, was puzzled by the commercial crimes department’s involvement in this matter.

“It is very strange that this investigation is coming from the commercial crimes department because Bersih is not a commercial entity and we’ve done no crime,” he said.

“We are not sure what they really want. I don’t think they are in a hurry to deal with us either,” the DAP NGO bureau chief added.

On Saturday, over 40,000 of protesters massed outside Istana Negara in defiance of a government ban on the rally calling for clean and fair elections.

A memorandum was handed to a palace official by a delegation led by de facto PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim before the crowd dispersed peacefully.

The demonstrations brought traffic in the capital to a standstill under the watchful eyes of hundreds of police officers and personnel.

Meanwhile, Amran when contacted confirmed the postponement. He said it was made upon the request of Sivarasa.

“The date was initially set for today but one of them requested for another date so we complied. We have not set a new date yet but I will discuss the matter with him soon,” he said.

Bersih – launched in November 2006 – is a coalition of five political parties and 67 civil society groups campaigning for electoral reforms.

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