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Monday, June 27, 2011

‘Those arrested had nothing to do with Bersih, communism’

Sulaiman Kamal | 5:02 PM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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PSM said their members were arrested for promoting their "Udahla tu... Bersarala'' campaign but the police are trying to link it to Bersih to prevent its rally.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members who were detained by police had nothing to do with Bersih.
They were detained while promoting PSM’s “Udahla tu… Bersarala” campaign which was directed at Barisan Nasional, clarified party secretary general S Arutchelvan today
However he added the police are trying to link both activities together to prevent the July 9 Bersih gathering.
“We (PSM) support Bersih fully, however the ‘Udahla’ campaign has nothing to do with the Bersih rally,” Arutchelvan told reporters at party headquarters in Brickfields here.
“The police will find whatever means they can to prevent the Bersih gathering. They are using this issue to prevent the Bersih rally. Everybody knows that,” he said.
He added that the allegations made against PSM were “a planned action” by the police to create a phantom enemy in order to facilitate the call for emergency where the government could carry out mass arrests.
Arutchelvan said that due to the timing of the PSM roadshow which fell close to the July 9 Bersih rally, PSM members did promote the rally.
“We do tell the people about Bersih rally but our campaign has nothing to do with Bersih,” he said.
The ‘Udahla’ campaign isto highlight the pitfalls of the BN government which has ruled for 54 years.
The roadshow for the campaign – which had been planned since February this year- began on Friday with one convoy leaving from Ipoh to campaign in the northern region and the other embarking from Johor to campaign in southern peninsular region.
Barely hours into the campaign, PSM ran into several glitches. A total of 28 people were detained in Johor on Friday and released at 4am on Saturday after having their statements recorded.
They were detained under three charges- illegal assembly, sedition and for publishing pamphlets and leaflets against the Printing and Publications Act.
Thirty one members, including Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, were detained early Sunday morning in Penang. Thirty of them have been remanded for seven days by the Butterworth Magistrate’s Court while 16-year-old S Ragu has been released unconditionally.
‘Bogey communist threat a cold war script’
In addition to the three charges, the convoy detained in Penang was also slammed with an additional charge – Section 122 of the Penal Code for allegedly launching war against the King.
This was believed to be due to seizure of various items related to the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) as revealed by Penang deputy police chief, Abdul Rahim Jaafar yesterday.
T-shirts of communist leaders like Rashid Maidin were found in the bus of the convoy in Penang.
PSM also lashed out at Abdul Rahim and Home Minister Hishammudin Hussein for “reusing a stale script of the Cold War era” in trying to link PSM’s struggle with the MCP. The MCP have been disbanded for decades now.
“It is hilarious that the government is trying to link PSM with Communists merely based on T-shirts and other mechandise that bare images of communist leaders”, he said .
“These T-shirts that bare images of past communists leaders are sold everywhere. They are available in Chow Kit, Central Market. I myself am wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt now,” he said refering to the popular Argentinian socialist leader.
Malaysian leaders have been seen to be friendly with communist regimes in China and Vietnam, he said.
“Even Mahathir has been photographed with Fidel Castro. So what is the problem here?,” he asked.
He added that PSM’s struggles are widely known and differ from the communists and other left-winged parties.
He said that these desperate technique from the government will not disuade the party from continuing its struggle.
Also at the press conference were PSM president Mohd Nasir Hashim and party treasurer A Sivarajan.

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