Petition for release of Bersih chairman reaches target of 40,000 signatures

Maria Chin Abdullah

PETALING JAYA - An online petition opposing the use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) against Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah has reached its target of 40,000 signatures.

The #MansuhSosma and #BebasMaria petition on demands the unconditional release of Maria and the repeal of Sosma.

"When tabling the Bill in Parliament in 2011, the Government assured and promised Malaysians repeatedly that Sosma would not be used on the basis of differences in political ideology, but it is evident today that the administration led by Prime Minister Najib Razak is reneging on its promise.

"In our view, this is a clear abuse of legislative and executive powers," read the petition.

Several people voiced their support for Maria and called for her release in the comments section of the petition.

Commenter Sherlene Qua said Bersih 2.0 was asking for clean governance and elections, adding: "Maria was leading Bersih with these in mind. Should she be caught under terrorism when she is merely fighting for a cause?"

Maria was detained on Friday under Section 124C of the Penal Code for the offence of attempting to commit activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy.

She was detained under Sosma the next day, as Section 124C falls under "security offences".

Maria is now being held at an undisclosed location and could be detained for 28 days under Sosma.

On Tuesday, she filed a habeas corpus application to the Kuala Lumpur High Court challenging her detention.