The Bersih 5 rally yesterday was peaceful and despite the arrests of its two top leaders on the day before the rally, the rally attracted quite a crowd.
Although the rally ended peacefully and police acknowledging it to be so, the swoop on the civil movement’s leaders, politicians and activities who attended the rally continued, late into the night post-rally.
The day before the rally, 12 people were arrested, including the Red Shirt leaders.
Those arrested so far (at the time of publication) are:
Bersih leaders Maria Chin Abdullah, Mandeep Singh and Hishamuddin Rais,
DAP’s Seremban MP Anthony Loke, former Pandamaran assemblyman Ronnie Liu, and members Jimmy Wong and Lee Khai Ming;
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) leader S. Arutchelvan, and activists Luqman Nul Hakim Zul Razali; Student leader Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof and former student leader Muhammad Safwan Anang;
PKR MPs Tian Chua and Zuraida Kamarudin, Pasir Pinji assemblyman Howard Lee Chuan Howard, activists Fahmi Reza and Hishamuddin Rais,,
Red shirt leaders Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos, Razali Zakaria, Ariffin Abu Bakar, Armand Azha Abu Hanifah.
Except for Maria whom police confirmed as having been detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma), a law which deals with terrorism and carries the death penalty, it is not clear under what charges the others would be slapped with. For now, those arrested yesterday have all been remanded.
The Star reported a PKR leader as saying that they are expecting a few more arrests of opposition leaders.
One also wonders if the new party Bersatu’s ex-Umno top leaders – such as former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, Tan Sri Muhyiddin and former Kedah MB Datuk Seri Mukhriz -would also be picked up by the police.
If indeed the arrests yesterday and the day before had had to do with the rally, then the 3M’s were definitely the ones inciting people to attend Bersih 5. As a matter of fact, they were the main speakers at the grand finale of Bersih 5.
Then again, if the authorities do swoop in on the 3Ms, it would not serve well for Umno-ites as the Annual General Meeting of the party is looming on Nov 29, and votes are needed to keep party positions.
It is a known fact that there is still Umno support for Mahathir, Muhyiddin and Mukhriz, albeit silently. As this will be the last Umno AGM before the next general elections, it is very important that post bearers get to keep their posts so that they can vie in the general elections.
One can only watch how the situation will unfold in the next few days. It looks like the calm after the storm will be replaced by another storm.
Source : Zakiah Koya@The Heat Malaysia Online