Tian Chua’s office raided (updated) February 5, 2007Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Human Rights, Malaysia, Note2Self.
(Updated) At around 1300 H, we had a ‘friendly’ tip-off that the police would do a search of Tian Chua‘s office and home. This was unexpected.
We had, at that time, gathered under the shade of a tree in front of the Bukit Aman Police HQ, waiting for the four men – Dr. Hatta Ramli, Tian, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and Ronnie Liu – to wrap up their statements. It was a lively fiesty group of opposition members, lawyers, NGOs, students and journalists.
Some of us went to the Suara KeADILan office straight after lunch. The staff had been informed earlier to expect the police. The editor-in-chief looked more annoyed than frightened, while the young reporters were thrilled to bits.
“Wah… kita sekarang macam Malaysiakini,” said one of them, referring to the time when the online news portal was raided by the police. The rest prepared their arsenal of cameras, video cams and tape recorders.
At 1500 H, two police officers entered the office. I decided against sending out SMSs to alert people – it would take too long. Instead I wrote a short blog-post in less than 30 seconds and with the spare time emailed to Suaram and a couple of people, while the office folks delayed the police by asking them to recite the section of the Officials Secrets Act (OSA), which allows them to search and seize without a warrant.
In that 20 minutes, the police found nothing to seize, but they were enamoured by Zunar’s latest cartoon book. One of the men said he would take it if it was free. “But sir, that would be bribery,” I said.
They proceeded to Tian’s abode in Sentul. Tian, Latheefa Koya (lawyer) and Eric Paulsen (former staff of Suaram and now a UN rights worker) went in the police car while I squeezed into the reporters’ car.
We arrived at Sentul via a shortcut in about 15 minutes. Tian’s secretary, Pei Nee, was already there. The police arrived shortly. I got on to one of Tian’s computers and updated my blog and sent out another email to Suaram and co.
The police were impressed by the hall, which had a big white board and a long table.
“Oh! This must be the Ops (operations) Room,” said ASP Rajakopal. We stifled our giggles as it was hardly the case.
The police were there for 15-20 minutes and found nothing to be ‘seized’.
(1557 H): Police have arrived at Tian Chua’s abode in Sentul.
(1500 H) After today’s police questioning of four men at Police HQ, Tian Chua’s office in Brickfields is being raided by
four two (2) police officers.
Right now, the office people are asking for a warrant but were informed there need not be one under the OSA.