KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — Electoral reforms movement Bersih 2.0 has been declared illegal by the Home Ministry effective July 1 for causing “an atmosphere of unrest,” a week before its planned July 9 rally. _ Malaysian Insider, 2/7/2011, Hisham outlaws Bersih 2.0
They were alleged to have committed the act (of being involved in an illegal assembly dubbed Bersih 2.0) at 3.30pm on June 25 at the Sungai Dua Toll Plaza, along the North-South Expressway in Seberang Perai Utara. - Malaysiakini, 4/7/2011, Unlawful group: PSM activists charged
Twenty-four Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) activists were jointly charged today under Section 48(1) of the Societies Act 1966, in connection with the Bersih 2.0 rally scheduled for July 9.
The 24 face an alternate charge under Section 43 of the same Act. The group pleaded not guilty to the charge and bail for each was set at RM8,000.
They were alleged to have committed the act (of being involved in an illegal assembly dubbed Bersih 2.0) at 3.30pm on June 25 at the Sungai Dua Toll Plaza, along the North-South Expressway in Seberang Perai Utara.
Judge Ikmal Hisham Mohd Tajuddin fixed July 21 as the mention date. The 24 include two minors and a woman in her 60s.
Section 48 of the Act states that anyone who acts on behalf of or represents an unlawful society by bringing with them 600 photocopies of pamphlets is liable to a maximum penalty of five years' jail, a fine of up to RM5,000, or both.
Section 43 of the Act stipulates that whoever is a member, attends meetings of or aids an unlawful society is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or both.
The group is also jointly charged under Section 29 (1) of the Internal Security Act for being in possession of subversive documents.
If convicted, the punishment includes a fine of less then RM10,000, a jail term of less than five years or both.
Bail on each of the charges was set at RM4,000.
Bid to reduce bail amount
The PSM lawyers tried to reduce the amount of bail set as the group comprised “poor people who are farmers, estate workers, students and unemployed”.
They also said that several detainees had health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure, and could not afford such an expensive bail.
Deputy public prosecutor Suhaimi Ibrahim argued that the amount of bail was necessary to ensure that the accused would be present at the hearing.
The PSM activists, who have been remanded by police since June 26, were taken to the court in Butterworth at 1.40pm today.
Family members, who had been waiting outside the court building since 8am, shouted “Hidup Rakyat!” (Long live the people) when the Black Maria arrived with the activists inside.
The group comprises those still under detention after 59 PSM leaders and members were detained on July 25.
PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan (left) said the entire episode of making the lawyers and families wait was “sheer cowardice”.
The PSM supporters had been told the detainees would be charged or released at 8am, 11am, 1pm and then at 3pm.
However, until 4pm, the lawyers were still waiting for the charge sheet.
Arutchelvan expressed concern that the banks would not be open to process bail if the charges were made at such a late hour.
“This is an act of bullying. Since we've been here, the police have been telling us that they are waiting for orders from Putrajaya,” he said.
“Clearly, this has nothing to do with the law.”
Meanwhile, Deputy CID chief Mohd Nasir Salleh informed the supporters and families that he was waiting for the DPP to arrive from Balik Pulau.
There was reportedly a massive traffic jam, he said, and told everyone to be patient. - Malaysiakini, 4/7/2011, Unlawful group: PSM activists charged