Malaysian police have arrested Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S. Arutchelvan, formal President of Malaysian Bar Council Ambiga Sreenevasan and member of parliament for Seremban Anthony Loke at a May Day demonstration on May 1.
The arrests are part of the recent wave of crackdown on anti-GST (anti-poor goods and services tax) and aim to further curtail dissent in the country.
Another 29 young people were arrested soon after the May Day rally. More people have been call to report themselves to the police otherwise will be subjected to arrest.
About 20,000 people took part in the May Day Rally this year in the capital city Kuala Lumpur, with the theme to demand for the cancellation of the newly introduced Goods and Services Tax (GST). The protest was largely peaceful, but the police reacted with arrests after the rally and intended to punish the protesters by remanding them in lock-up.
Before these new arrests, 79 people had been charged in Petaling Jaya Session Court for illegal assembly and criminal trespassing for staging a sit-in protest against GST at the Customs Office in Kelana Jaya on March 23.
The GST is a regressive tax that forces all the people in Malaysia including the poor to pay taxes in order to cut taxes on the rich. The GST will burden the low-income population and worsen the widening gap between the rich and the poor in Malaysia.
Please send your protest to Malaysia authorites. Send protest letters to the following:
Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak
Prime Minister of Malaysia
Office of The Prime Minister of Malaysia
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building Federal Government Administrative Centre 62502, Putrajaya MALAYSIA
FAX: +603 8888 3444
Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi
Minister of Home Affairs
Ministry of Home Affairs Block D1 & D2, Complex D,
Federal Territory, 62546
Fax : +603-88891613/ +603-88891610
Tan Sri Dato' Sri Khalid bin Abu Bakar
Inspector-General of Police
Ibu Pejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia,
50560 Bukit Aman,
Please send a copy of your protest letter to email@example.com (for record keeping pruposes) - Sample letter is included below, you may modify it.
You can also hold protest in front of embassy of Malaysia in respective places to demand for the immediate release of ALL anti-GST protesters.
You can find the location of Malaysian embassies around the world here: http://www.kln.gov.my/web/guest/malaysian-mission
Any enquiry, please contact Chon Kai, Coordinator of PSM International Bureau, at +60195669518 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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We/I condemn strongly the recent arrests of activists and protesters who participated in May Day Rally in Kuala Lumpur.
Those being arrested including Arutchelvan (Secretary-General of Socialist Party of Malaysia, PSM), Ambiga Sreenevasan (Formal President of Malaysian Bar Council), Anthony Loke (Member of Parliament for Seremban) and at least another 29 people.
We/I believes the recent arrests are political motivated and intended to silence opposition against the newly introduced regressive GST.
Hence, we/I call upon the government of Malaysia:
- To release all May Day protesters immediately and unconditionally.
- Stop crackdown of the right to freedom of assembly.
- Suspend the implementation of the GST.