IN THEIR OWN SWEET WAY IN THEIR OWN SWEET TIME
The head of Bersih and former president of the Malaysian Bar will be formally arrested then charged with a range of offences for her part in organizing and participating in Bersih 3.0. When such an arrest will occur is currently the subject of wide speculation.
The fact she will be arrested then charged over a number of offences is not disputed, although sources close to government will not confirm or deny the story and sources suggest it is a tactical decision on government’s part not to comment on the subject for the moment.
Sources reveal to GRK that the charges contemplated against Ambiga Sreenivasan are of a more serious nature than those for which Anwar Ibrahim and three other political operatives of the Pakatan Rakyat were recently charged. It is believed that the timing of any arrests will be kept a secret although, the government is believed to be confident they have ample evidence on which to move against Ambiga at any time of their choosing.
Other sources confirm the decision by government to move against Ambiga and the Bersih Pakatan leadership is a pre emptive political move to diffuse rising tensions amongst nascent Malay groups who believe government has been terribly lenient on Bersih.
Many young Malays and now a growing number of prodigal Indians believe Bersih is a group that has overtly advocated the overthrow of government through street demonstrations, a vicious, deliberately misleading media campaign designed to cast the Malays in an unfavourable light. Many of the Indians who were interviewed recently believe Bersih is a middle class movement of elitists whose objects do not coincide with their bread and butter issues.
RESTLESS MALAYS AND A FIGHTBACK
Members of two Malay organizations in Kuala Lumpur and Penang respectively have indicated to us that whilst Bersih may have rights which they are prepared to accept and acknowledge, the threat by Bersih to disenfranchise the primacy of Malays in Malaysia’s multicultural mix is reminiscent of what preceded the May 13 race riots in 1969.
Both individuals of the Malay organizations speaking on condition of anonymity have vowed to take their fight using the same methods and means as Bersih to opposition states as Penang and Selangor and seek the removal of the governments in those states.
One of the two, a young Malay lawyer, has foreshadowed court action against the Selangor state government for funding the illegal Bersih 3.0 rally in breach of a court order and in breach of the constitution. He alleges Ambiga in fact did admit to receiving money from the Selangor State government for Bersih’s campaign when there is no record in parliament in that state of any debate on the issue or resolution ever having approved of an allocation of state funds for such a purpose.
Another source at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra Australia. The ANU is home to many supporters of the Bersih movement which includes some of its faculty members. The source has revealed the existence of a team of researchers lawyers, public relations and media workers both Malaysians and Australians, working on an anti (Malaysian) government campaign in the event of such an eventuality (as the arrest of Ambiga) occurs.
It appears as if Ambiga and her followers in Bersih have been preparing for such a response from government all along.
Another source in Perth Western Australia has also confirmed the existence of similar cells at campuses in Western Australia whilst an academic at a Melbourne university when queried about the existence of similar anti Malaysian government groups at their campus responded by saying that their “students have better things to occupy their time at campus with“.
Interestingly it is now known that many key participants in the Bersih rallies had visited Rumania, and other European countries where group leaders and tacticians active in the “Springs” in the middle east and north Africa were trained in street protest and the art of “media focused stress tactics” in street protests used so effectively in the Arab world.
A number of “citizen journalists” financed by major cable TV media organizations have also been identified as have some NGO’s who are believed to have channelled funds to Bersih. The sources of funding for these NGO’s are also the subject of government scrutiny.
“It is not as easy as getting bank details” commented an investigator. ” As an example these are highly sophisticated networks whose individual member’s credit cards are debited from abroad where refunds for thousands of small fictitious “purchases” which were not really made are returned in bloated amounts to the purchaser ( a Bersih operative) the task becomes more difficult to establish”.” We are also looking at the accounts of some lawyers whose accounts were suddenly bloated in payments for matters funded by multi lateral bodies where the work was over invoiced or did not occur”.
Nonetheless there appears to have been much headway made by investigators confident of uncovering the trail.
KEEPING IT OPEN: NO REPEAT OF THE ANWAR PR DISASTER OF 1998
A source close to the Malaysian government confirms that foreign diplomats in Malaysia have already been briefed about government’s intentions towards Bersih and other subversive movements operating within Malaysia in this regard. At least one foreign diplomat who asked not want to be named or identified commented “this is a strictly internal matter and Malaysia is a friendly country and a sovereign state. As long as due process of the law is observed it should not be a matter for any adverse comment by others“.
There has been wide speculation for sometime now that the government would be moving against Ambiga Sreenivasan and the current serving president of the Malaysian Bar for inciting violence, sedition and breaches of various public order ordinances.
MORE THAN JUST A PEACEFUL MARCH
Sources close to government reveal that the Malaysian government had at one stage considered ordering a nationwide curfew and mass arrests when intelligence reports revealed a plan to hijack the Bersih 3.0 event by extremists within Bersih, a breakaway faction supposedly aligned with the DAP youth and Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that in pre emptive swoops prior to Bersih 3.0, Malaysian police detained several members of extreme factions aligned to Bersih 3.0 and the PKR and confiscated a wide array of crude weapons from them including materials to make Molotov cocktails or petrol bombs just hours before the rally was scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur and other major cities of Malaysia.
The evidence against Ambiga and her group is from all accounts based on intercepted wiretaps by police and other state security apparatus.
Other sources critically and more effective ones include informers planted within Bersih and PKR and a range of other sources of information gathered over a period of time.
It appears that the government has been biding its time and giving as much rope as was needed for Ambiga and her group within Bersih and the so called coalition of opposition to hang themselves with.
Prosecutors have been working pouring over numerous documents, evidence of conversations, discussions, correspondences, interrogations of witnesses, participants, couriers, banking transaction and volumes of other evidence relating to unlawful activities of Bersih their operatives. It is not just Ambiga and Bersih’s external sources of support and funding that are at the heart of police investigations now.
Nothing specific about the charges has yet been disclosed.
As information comes to hand we will continue to publish it.