IGP explains Maria's detention not related to politics or rally

24 Nov 2016 / 11:58 H.

SEPANG: Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah's detention under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) had nothing to do with politics or the Bersih 5 rally but offences related to national security, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar (pix) explained today.
He said Maria Chin was arrested for "activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy" under Section 124 (c) of the Penal Code after certain documents were found during a raid by police at the Bersih office in Petaling Jaya last Friday.
He said police are also aware that the Bersih organisation had received funds from the Open Society Foundation (OSF) – a foundation run by business magnate George Soros.
"We found the documents which pointed towards offences which are detrimental to parlimentary democracy. We will not disclose details of their contents. That was enough for us to detain her for the offence. It had nothing to do with politics or the rally, " he told a press conference today at the KL International Airport here on his return from Manila after meeting Philippines police top brass to discuss joint security measures to curb crimes and kidnappings along the east coast of Sabah.
"We chose to use procedures under Sosma as it is a serious offence related to national security. Sosma allows us to detain her for 28 days. We are aware that Bersih had received funding from the OSF which even Maria Chin had admitted to. We know the OSF has caused the collapse of many countries.
On claims that Sosma was meant only for terrorism and was wrongly invoked on Maria, Khalid said there were parties that had confused the public on the matter.
"The government never said Sosma was meant for only militants. Perhaps they had mistakenly referred to Pota (Prevention of Terrorism Act) which is solely for the detention of terrorists. The action we have taken is all within the perimeters of the law," he said.
Denying claims of Maria being ill-treated in detention, Khalid said standard operating procedures (SOP) in accordance with detention laws were observed in her detention at a lock-up.
"To date, she has had three visits by doctors who rendered her medical treatment. Her detention complies with lock-up rules and the Prisons Act.
"She complained that she was made to sleep on a wooden plank. If she requires a mattress then she can make a request for one," he added.
Khalid said police have received 15 reports to date on the activities of Bersih 5 and investigations are ongoing.
"We too want to know what Bersih is all about ... if it's a registered organisation, a company or an association," he said.
On Bersih rival group, the Red Shirts' call to launch a "Bersih 7" ostensibly to save Selangor, Khalid said police will act against its leader Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos if he is caught flouting the law.
"We will take serious action against them, as well as those who are holding candle-light vigils at Dataran (Merdeka). Do not challenge us or be upset when we act on you," Khalid warned.
Meanwhile, on his meeting with Philippine National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa, Khalid said Philippines police had agreed to set up a communication channel between district police along east Sabah and Southern Philippines police stations as well as station a PNP liaison officer in Kota Kinabalu to coordinate efforts to secure the state's eastern zone.

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