Saturday, 25 July 2015

S4S, Sadia may be charged

AG awaits police report before deciding on taking action against organisers of 722 Freedom, Independence Walk

KUCHING: Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) and Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia), the organisers of the July 22 parade here, may face police action if an ongoing investigation proves that they have breached the law.

According to Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, the Attorney-General would determine whether the ‘722 Sarawak Freedom and Independence Walk’ rally held here last Wednesday, which was attended by about 5,000 people, was illegal.

The decision would be made after the police had completed their investigation into the matter including recording statements from the organisers, he added.

“While the event was done in accordance with the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, the organisers however still needed police permission to determine the proper venue for the event,” he said.

“I am not saying the parade was illegal but have the organisers received any police approval prior to the event?

“If the police said no but the organiser still proceeded with the parade then it is clearly against the police directive,” he told reporters after attending a Ramah Tamah Aidilfitri at SMK Bandar Baru Samariang yesterday.

Meanwhile, Peter John Jaban, one of those who organised the rally, claimed that he was questioned by the police for six hours yesterday.

“Twelve other coordinators were similarly questioned,” he said.

He said the S4S was not a registered entity and that people had come from throughout the state voluntarily to express their feelings peacefully.

Peter said future rallies would be more entertainment-oriented.

“We may even seek government aid. We will use a new slogan, ‘We are Sarawakians’, instead of ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians’ to show that it was an event for all Sarawakians, irrespective of race.

“We will welcome more people to participate, including members of political parties, as long as they do not turn up with their respective symbols and slogans,” he said.

Peter said the gathering was not about getting Sarawak to secede from Malaysia.

“It was all about Sarawak getting fairly treated as a founding member of the Federation of Malaysia,” he said.

He said that at no time during his speech at the rally did he touch on secession.

“The goal was clear. We celebrated Sarawak. All we want is a fair deal for our state as promised to us under the Malaysia Agreement 1963,” he said.

On another matter, Wan Junaidi said Petaling Jaya MP Tony Pua was among three individuals barred from leaving the country but Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli on the other hand was not barred.



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