SPEAKING to a crowd of about 300 in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur last night, Pakatan Harapan president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail reminded the people not to allow the struggles of jailed opposition leaders, like Batu MP Chua Tian Chang be in vain and to make a stand at a rally scheduled for next week in the capital city.
PH’s anti-kleptocracy rally is being held to mark the end of a nationwide tour by the opposition coalition to inform Malaysians on the scandals surrounding state investment company 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
“We should not allow Malaysians continue to be victims of a cruel and oppressive government, where the innocent are victimised for pointing out and correcting their faults.
“Let us together rise and make a stand this October 14, as this is the people’s aspiration,” she told the crowd at a rally in solidarity with Chua, popularly known as Tian Chua, who is serving a one-month jail sentence for a trespassing charge related to the Bersih demonstration in 2012.
In her address outside Chua’s service centre, which is also the Batu PKR office, Dr Wan Azizah said no one should be victimised for exposing the faults of the government.
Tian Chua was sent to jail after he withdrew his appeal for failing to obey police orders to vacate a restricted area at the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) in 2012.
The Batu lawmaker, however, maintained his innocence, saying he was brought to Pulapol by the police after he was arrested, along with 500 more people, during the Bersih peaceful assembly on April 28, 2012.
“If the price for changing this repressive and corrupt system is to go to prison, I shall say I am more than ready to accept.
“At the same time, I would like to emphasise that accepting my prison sentence is not an admission of wrongdoing.
“On the contrary, I intend to highlight the wrongs of this very government, and call on the people not to be intimidated and frightened by the instruments of oppression.”
Dr Wan Azizah described Tian Chua, who is a PKR vice-president, as a person with a good heart, one who has always been loyal to the party, in good times and bad.
He said when he knew he was going to jail, his main concern was not about him being incarcerated but on his pets.
“When he knew he was going to jail, his main concern was about his pets. He has two weasels at home and wondered who would take care and feed them while he was gone,” she said.
In his speech at the event last night, PH chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Tian Chua had called him before his court appearance last week to inform him he would not be appealing his jail sentence as he had lost confidence in the judicial system.
Dr Mahathir told the crowd that Tian Chua was concerned that if he appealed, the jail sentence would be enhanced.
“This is the situation now. We must restore the country to one that obeys the rule of law,” said Dr Mahathir, who dismissed the charge against Tian Chua as baseless.
He urged those present at the rally last night to vote PH into power so that it could set up a government that respected the rule of law.
He said a first step people could take was to attend the anti-kleptocracy rally on October 14.