Are elections on the horizon? Charges against the 30 activists have been dropped, according to a lawyer involved in the case.
According to MP Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, another lawyer in the case had received an email from the DPP to say that all charges had been dropped. It’s a DNA – “discharge not amounting to an acquittal”. Jeyakumar is requesting an official letter to confirm this.
The 30 activists were due to face charges under the Societies Act (for promoting an “illegal society”) and the ISA (for possession of “subversive” material) at the Butterworth Court on 10-14 October. It now seems unlikely that Arau Police will add sedition charges. (Some of the PSM activists had earlier been asked to go to Perlis to give a statement to police to assist in investigations.)
On 15 September, Najib announced that the ISA would be repealed. And today, the Malaysian Insider reported that the Najib administration had apparently hired Tony Blair’s public relations team. But the Najib administration faces an uphill task in restoring lost credibility. As one activist said, “Even the fence-sitters have got off and gone to the other side.”
In any case, the dropping of charges, if confirmed, is a most welcome development. An official apology, however, is due to the 30 activists for their incarceration without trial and for the ludicrous allegations made against them such as “waging war against the king”.