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Wong Chin Huat released

KUALA LUMPUR, 8 May 2009: Political scientist and activist Wong Chin Huat was released on police bail at 3.35pm today at the Bukit Perdana police station.

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) representative was held for three days by the police after he was arrested on 5 May for alleged sedition.

“I need to thank whoever that made the decision to arrest me for making 1BLACKMalaysia a success … Thanks to all this negative publicity, the message is much clearer … Malaysians must know how to stand up for their rights,” said Wong after he was released today.

The Monash University Malaysia journalism lecturer was referring to the Bersih campaign calling on Malaysians to wear black on 7 May to mourn the “ongoing Perak coup”. The campaign was launched in the morning of 5 May before he was picked up by police.

Wong said Jais Abdul Karim from Permuafakatan Warisan Islam, otherwise known as Pewaris, had lodged a police report against him on 4 May after getting hold of his draft statement for the 1BLACKMalaysia launch.

Wong said the police told him that the report was lodged against him because the statement he wrote may “incite people to go against the government”.

However, Wong said he was merely exercising his right and personal liberty when he wore black and called on other people to wear black.

“The government needs to learn to accept civil disobedience as part of modern political life. You may disagree with me, then, come and debate with me. If you think 1BLACKMalaysia is not the right way to present Malaysia … get other people to wear other colours, by all means,” he said.

Wong said his detention was a deliberate attempt by the authorities to create a chilling effect to prevent other Malaysians from wearing black.

“My arrest is not because I’ve defied or intended to subvert any institution. On the contrary, what I’ve stood for has always been that this country needs to have a peaceful, democratic, and liberal political process,” said Wong.

In addition, the political scientist said only a totalitarian state would want to control what colour its citizens could wear.

Wong said even though he was remanded for three days, he was only questioned by the police yesterday for an hour.

Wong thanked his family, friends, colleagues, students and others for their support during his three-day detention.

Upon his release, all his possessions were returned to him except his personal computers. Wong has to report to the Jalan Duta police station on 22 May to find out if he will be charged when his bail ends.

The activist, who is also a columnist with The Nut Graph, said he would continue to wear black. Wong has been wearing black, except for the past two days in detention, since the Barisan Nasional takeover of Perak on 6 Feb 2009.

Out of the 69 people who were arrested yesterday for being in the vicinity of the Perak Darul Ridzuan building, 54 were released yesterday while the rest were freed on bail today.

Also released today were 20 people, including five lawyers, who were arrested yesterday at the Brickfields police station during a candlelight vigil in support of Wong.

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7 Responses to “Wong Chin Huat released”

  1. Sam says:

    Wong, many young men and women have learned a lot from your voice and your courage. Remember, you may not have seen us but there are many out there who admire your stand and guts. Please remain strong and don’t let these bullies intimidate you.

  2. Eric says:

    Kudos to Chin Huat, out and black already.

    Funny how PRDM will act so fast when Pewaris lodges a report based on utter nonsense and will just do just nothing when you and I do the same for an actual crime. Malaysia really has two sets of law, one for BN and one for actual Malaysians.

    “1BLACK Malaysia”

  3. Ritchie says:

    Eric,

    Malaysia has one set of laws for the BN and Muslims, another for everyone else. Welcome to the regime! That’s what has gradually happened in the history of this country. We are now hijacked by a colonial-like, religious, chauvinist ketuanan regime that is bent on silencing any form of dissent against its rule and practice.

    It happened in Egypt, Lebanon and others where a group invades a nation and deconstructs it with replacement history and enslaves it to obedience. It is a political and religious ideology that makes itself the measure and dominance over all other races and one that aims to eradicate all ‘non-ketuanan’ elements of socio-ethnic cultural significance. Do you get the picture?

    True unity cannot place or develop when there are religious, intellectual or socio-cultural attempts to discredit peoples or faiths within its political and social framework.

  4. elaine says:

    As you have put it right, your arrest has actually earned free publicity for the ‘wear Black’ or 1 BlackMalaysia campaign. The paradoxical way of life is teaching us to be hopeful and remain postive. Thankyou Wong Chin Huat for your courage and being a man of conscience.

  5. Aris says:

    When one is arrested for one’s opinion and the right to affect one’s view point by wearing black, it is a reflection of how far our country have gone down the road of controlled thought. Our Government is learning from the Myanmar junta and it is a sad day for Malaysians when wearing black or whatever colour is a reason for being arrested.

  6. THERESA says:

    Disgusting, the way our mighty police acted. On one hand we have robberies and snatch theft cases increasing and the only reason – our mighty Musa said not enough policemen but on the other hand we see the huge number of police force in Perak. Contradicting actions. We Malaysians are not blind. Syabas Chin Huat for your efforts to create a fair democratic country and I pray to God that justice will prevail.

  7. CHEW EE KHEE says:

    We need more people like Wong to stand up to enlighten us and to show us how suppressive this so-called democratically-elected government has been.


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