Fr Paulino Miranda, the parish priest of the Church of the Divine Mercy in Shah Alam, is among those who have been asked to appear in court on Thursday to be charged in connection with their participation in an Abolish ISA vigil/Bersih anniversary commemoration.
The Catholic priest was among 23 arrested during the vigil on 9 November 2008 and later released on police bail the same night. Their bail was not extended when they reported at the police station on 24 November – and they thought then that no further action would be taken. But since last Friday, several of them including Paulino have received phone calls from the police informing them that they will be charged at the PJ Magistrates Court at 2.00pm on 22 January. Among them were a few vigil participants who were campaigning in the Kuala Terengganu by-election.
The authorities appear to be tightening the screws on those participating in the Abolish ISA vigils.
In Kuala Terengganu, I ran into Bukit Mertajam MP Chong Eng, who told me she had received a phone call from the police informing her that they want to record her statement in connection with her participation in one of the Penang Abolish ISA vigils.
The emcee for one of the Penang Abolish ISA vigils, Paula Khoo, is due to report to the police on the third day of Chinese New Year to find out what action, if any, police want to take. When she last reported to the police, they extended her police bail.
The weekly Abolish ISA Masses have resumed at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Penang. The first Mass of 2009 was held last Wednesday. Another Mass is expected to be held this Wednesday.