A Malaysian activist has been arrested for sedition after organising protests over the government’s bid to wrest control of a northern state, his lawyer said Wednesday.
The Barisan Nasional coalition and the Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance are headed for a parliamentary showdown Thursday in Perak state, which has been in political limbo since defections upset the balance of power in February.
The opposition, which won control of Perak in elections a year ago, has refused to stand aside and the coalition must Thursday oust its parliamentary speaker in order to regain control of the assembly.
Wong Chin Huat, a spokesman for BERSIH which campaigns for free and fair elections, was picked up by police late Tuesday after a press conference where he advocated a campaign of civil disobedience.
“They arrested Wong under the sedition act and confiscated his laptop computer and handphone,” his lawyer Edmond Bon told AFP.
“The police did not specify why he was being held under the act but we were told it related to his press conference earlier,” he added.
Wong, along with several other Bersih leaders, had urged the public to wear black on Thursday to mark the sitting of the Perak assembly.
“We urge all Malaysians to wear black on May 7. It will be a peaceful but powerful message of civil disobedience,” he said at the press conference.
“We the people are politicians’ bosses and no politicians defiant of public opinion can escape punishment at the next poll,” he added, calling for fresh elections in Perak to resolve the impasse.
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