KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — The police said today they have not ruled out the possibility of re-arresting activist Maria Chin Abdullah under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 over the Bersih 5 rally.
News reports quoted Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar as saying that the PAA investigation against the head of electoral reform group Bersih 2.0, which organised the street demonstration on November 19, was separate from the ongoing investigation under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).
“We will detain her if necessary,” Khalid was quoted saying by New Straits Times Online.
He added that the police have gathered enough information on Maria after she was released yesterday, 10 days since she was detained under Sosma on November 18.
“Although police have the power to detain someone for 28 days under Sosma, (we) gathered enough information from her. However, the investigation is ongoing,” Khalid was quoted saying.
The national police chief also reportedly said that the office of women’s group EMPOWER was raided yesterday over its alleged receipt of foreign funds.
“From what we analysed, EMPOWER had also received funding from foreign bodies, including the Open Society Foundations, so it is our job to collect evidence from EMPOWER too,” said Khalid, referring to the non-profit founded by US billionaire George Soros.
“If we love our country, we have to be careful whom we deal with, especially foreign bodies,” he added.
The police seized documents from EMPOWER yesterday in a probe under Section 124C of the Penal Code related to activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy, the same law with which Maria is being investigated under. Maria is also a member of EMPOWER.