Malaysia govt defends Bersih 3.0 suit against opposition

28-May-2012 Intellasia | The Malaysian Insider | 7:01 AM Print This Post

Putrajaya has defended its decision to sue Bersih 3.0 for damages resulting from its April 28 rally, saying it was “obvious” that the polls watchdog had violated provisions in the Peaceful Assembly Act 2011.

De facto law minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz brushed aside critics of the move, pointing out that the Act was now in place and those who breach it must be duly punished.

“Obviously, they have broken the law. And nobody is above the law,” he told The Malaysian Insider yesterday.

The Padang Rengas MP added that Bersih 3.0 leaders were clearly aware of the provisions in the Act, which came into force just days before the rally, and should not feign surprise at being sued for damages.

The federal government is suing the steering committee of Bersih 2.0 for alleged damages amounting to RM122,000 that were incurred during the April 28 rally. - file pic. (Themalaysianinsider.com)

“They were aware and they knew the consequences of their actions. So now, whether people may think it is right or wrong, this is for the court to decide. Let the court decide,” he said.

“Furthermore, those who are now saying that they are against the government’s suit are the same people who supported those who broke the law in the first place,” he added, referring to Bersih 3.0.

He said the government would proceed with the suit despite the criticism and would continue to use the law whenever necessary.

“We will go ahead. And action will be taken against anyone who breaks the law, regardless of their affiliations,” he said.

The federal government is suing the steering committee of Bersih 3.0 for alleged damages amounting to RM122,000 that were incurred during the April 28 rally organised by the electoral reform movement.

The 10 Bersih leaders, spearheaded by Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, are the first persons to be sued for damages under the Peaceful Assembly Act, less than a month after the new law aimed at allowing public gatherings “in accordance with international norms” was enforced.

But Bersih 3.0 said yesterday that it is well-prepared to defend itself in the suit and is even starting a special fund to finance the legal costs.

“We are ready to defend it and defend it vigorously. We have found a lot of lawyers who are ready to take our case,” Ambiga told reporters during a press conference outside her house here.

Putrajaya has defended its decision to sue Bersih 3.0 for damages resulting from its April 28 rally, saying it was “obvious” that the polls watchdog had violated provisions in the Peaceful Assembly Act 2011.

De facto law minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz brushed aside critics of the move, pointing out that the Act was now in place and those who breach it must be duly punished.

“Obviously, they have broken the law. And nobody is above the law,” he told The Malaysian Insider yesterday.

The Padang Rengas MP added that Bersih 3.0 leaders were clearly aware of the provisions in the Act, which came into force just days before the rally, and should not feign surprise at being sued for damages.

“They were aware and they knew the consequences of their actions. So now, whether people may think it is right or wrong, this is for the court to decide. Let the court decide,” he said.

“Furthermore, those who are now saying that they are against the government’s suit are the same people who supported those who broke the law in the first place,” he added, referring to Bersih 3.0.

He said the government would proceed with the suit despite the criticism and would continue to use the law whenever necessary.

“We will go ahead. And action will be taken against anyone who breaks the law, regardless of their affiliations,” he said.

The federal government is suing the steering committee of Bersih 3.0 for alleged damages amounting to RM122,000 that were incurred during the April 28 rally organised by the electoral reform movement.

The 10 Bersih leaders, spearheaded by Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, are the first persons to be sued for damages under the Peaceful Assembly Act, less than a month after the new law aimed at allowing public gatherings “in accordance with international norms” was enforced.

But Bersih 3.0 said yesterday that it is well-prepared to defend itself in the suit and is even starting a special fund to finance the legal costs.

“We are ready to defend it and defend it vigorously. We have found a lot of lawyers who are ready to take our case,” Ambiga told reporters during a press conference outside her house here.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/putrajaya-defends-bersih-2.0-suit-says-obvious-group-broke-the-law/

 


Category: Malaysia

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