Arrested in hotel room for wearing Bersih t-shirts

KUALA LUMPUR: In a blatant invasion of privacy, the police arrested four people on holiday in Cameron Highlands by entering their hotel room at 1am on Sunday. The reason for the arrest: they were wearing Bersih t-shirts inside their hotel room.

Those arrested were Seputeh MP’s Teresa Kok’s aide Teh Hoong Keat, 25; Lan Suet Ling, 23; Chin Kah Wai, 25; and a mutual acquaintance who requested anonymity.

But the baffling part is that while they were held at the police station for three hours, no statements were taken, and their Bersih t-shirts were given back to them and told “to wear it as we please”.

Teh told a press conference today that the police arrested him and the three others when they were in their room at Cool Point Hotel in Cameron Highlands.

Relating his ordeal, Teh, who was flanked by Lan and Chin said about 15 plainclothes policemen arrived and knocked on their hotel room at about 1am on Sunday after being tipped off by the hotel management that they were in possession of the Bersih T-shirts.

“They just entered the room when I opened the door. One officer identified himself as chief inspector Basar Safar and said we needed to follow him to the police station for being in possession of banned material,” said Teh.

However, Teh said Basar refused to inform them whether they were under arrest.

“One female officer then took our MyKads to note our details but refused to return it. She told us they will only be returned if we followed them to the police station,” added Teh.

Left with no choice, the four changed to a casual clothing and handed over their Bersih t-shirts to the police before following them.

However, Teh said the police merely left them to sit on a couch for about three hours before releasing them.

“At about 3am, another officer took our personal details again and told us that we can go back,” said Teh.

Unhappy with the episode, Teh accused the police of being unjust for invading their private space.

OCPD must say sorry

Another aide, Chin, said he was baffled when the police released them without taking any statement despite being held at the police headquarters for more than three hours.

“They even returned our Bersih t-shirts and told us to wear it as we please,” said Chin.

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, who was present at the press conference, accused the police of infringing and invading the private life of a citizen.

“The youths were wearing the shirts in their hotel room. If the police say they acted not according to law, then even tourists should be wary of Cameron Highlands as a tourist spot.

“The Brinchang police OCPD must apologise for this,” said Lim.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/07/18/arrested-in-hotel-room-for-wearing-bersih-t-shirts/#idc-cover

Posted on July 19, 2011, in Happenings, In news. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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