Malaysian police to question seven Bersih members over weekend rally

Pro-democracy group Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah (centre, left) rallies supporters as they prepare to march towards Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 29, 2015.
Pro-democracy group Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah (centre, left) rallies supporters as they prepare to march towards Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 29, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - The Malaysian police will question seven people from electoral reforms group Bersih on Wednesday over last weekend's rally, it was reported.

Bersih secretariat member Mandeep Singh Karpall told Malay Mail Online that seven people have been summoned to Bukit Aman police headquarters on Wednesday at 10.30 am to help with investigation of the rally.

The seven include himself, Bersih chair Maria Chin Abdullah, deputy chair Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan, treasurer Masjaliza Hamzah, national representative Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, as well as members Farhana Abdul Halim and Adam Adli Abd Halim.

All seven will show up voluntarily at the police headquarters, Mandeep Singh told the news portal.

They will be probed under Section 124C of the Penal Code, which deals with attempts to commit an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy.

Under Section 124C, anyone who attempts to do so or acts in preparation of such activities will face a maximum jail term of 15 years.

The seven will also be probed under Section 141 of the Penal Code for unlawful assembly, which will be read together with Section 120 involving the concealing of an intention to commit an offence that is punishable with imprisonment.

The two-day Bersih 4 rally in Kuala Lumpur kicked off on Aug 29 and ended peacefully at midnight on Aug 30. Similar rallies were held in Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and several other cities worldwide.

The rally, among other things, demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak. The leader is facing intense pressure to step down over his handling of debt-laden state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad and over allegations that US$700 million (S$988 million) in state funds had found its way into his personal bank accounts.

No arrests were made during the rally in Kuala Lumpur, except for four individuals who had allegedly attempted to throw firecrackers at rally participants and a man who had engaged in an obscene act and failed to produce his identity card, according to Malay Mail Online.