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Kit Siang drops suit against cops, govt

KUALA LUMPUR, 7 May 2009: Lim Kit Siang today withdrew his civil suit against the police and the government to declare as invalid a court order obtained by the police disallowing the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) activists from assembling at the Parliament grounds.

Deputy Registrar Norazlin Othman struck out the suit in chambers.

She also ordered that costs to be taxed by the court.

On 12 Dec 2007, Lim, now the Ipoh Timur member of parliament (MP), filed the suit naming the Sentul district police chief, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Malaysian government as defendants.

In his statement of claim, he said the ex-parte order obtained by the police from Kuala Lumpur magistrate Azniza Ali to disallow the assembly was unclear in its intent.

Lim claimed that the assembly was initiated to send a memorandum entitled “Say No to the Save Rashid Amendment of the Constitution” to MPs, including himself.

The Dewan Rakyat had debated on and approved the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2007 which extended by one year to 66 years the mandatory retirement age of members of the Election Commission, whose then chairperson, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, was 65.

Lim claimed that six Bersih activists and former Dungun MP Datuk Mustafa Ali were detained by plainclothes police at the parliament lobby although they were there after having been permitted to enter the grounds by police manning the roadblock outside Parliament House.

He claimed that as the opposition leader then, he had the responsibility in the interest of justice to ensure that Mustafa and the six Bersih activists allowed into the Parliament compound were not detained as per directive of the Dewan Rakyat. — Bernama

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