Free Malaysia Today
By Teoh El Sen
KUALA LUMPUR | Oct 31, 2012
PETALING JAYA: The government’s harassment against Bersih leaders continued with the eighth steering committee member of the polls watchdog being stopped by the authorities at the airport.
In the latest incident which happened on Saturday, Arul Prakash (photo, left) was held briefly by immigration officers for about 30 minutes at the LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) while traveling to Singapore.
“I was told that my name was blacklisted,” he told FMT today.
He said that an immigration officer witheld his boarding pass and passport, and made photocopies of them.
He also made a few calls, said Arul.
“After awhile they told me I can go. But when I asked why I was stopped, they simply said: You have to check with PDRM (Royal Malaysia Police),” said Arul, who is also Pusat Komas executive director.
Arul said he regarded this as harassment from the authorities, and speculated that it was probably due to him being a defendant in the government’s civil suit against the electoral reform group.
On Oct 12, Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar seemed puzzled when quizzed about a police order to the immigration to stop Bersih leaders from flying out of the country.
Prior to that, Immigration Department director-general Alias Ahmad had confirmed with FMT that his officers were stopping certain travellers at airports based on a list furnished by the Bukit Aman police headquarters.
Aside from Arul, other Bersih leaders stopped on separate occassions so far were S Ambiga (co-chairperson), steering committee members K Arumugam, Toh Kin Woon, Maria Chin Abdullah, Wong Chin Huat, Yeo Yang Poh and Andrew Khoo.
They were all held for about 10 minutes before being allowed to depart.
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