‘Missing’ Bersih supporter free at last

By Kuek Ser Kuang Keng

While all 1,697 Bersih 2.0 supporters arrested during Saturday’s rally have been released, Sarawak activist Hii Tiong Huat, who was arrested a day before the rally, was said to be ‘missing’.

NONEAccording to the information released by the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, Hii has been missing since his arrest.

However Malaysiakini has learnt that Hii, who was remanded at the Bukit Jalil police station, was freed late this afternoon on police bail.

He was the last Bersih 2.0 supporter released apart from the six Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) activists detained under the Emergency Ordinance.

Hii was freed at Dang Wangi district police headquarters at around 6pm, but without the yellow T-shirt he was wearing when he was arrested four days ago.

The T-shirt, which has his name printed on it, was confiscated by the Bukit Jalil police station while his self-made signboard and a Malaysia flag used during the protest were kept at the Tun HS Lee police station.

According to Malaysian Election Observers Network (MEO-Net) coordinator Ong Boon Keong who visited him earlier today at the police station, Hii had refused to give a statement to the police.

“He wanted to seek legal advice before giving a statement. However, no legal access is being allowed for all Bersih detainees,” Ong told Malaysiakini.

Ong said that he had to get Hii a new T-shirt so that he could leave the police station.

“Hii will call a press conference tomorrow. He claimed that he was assaulted by the police during his detention until he fainted,” Ong told Malaysiakini.

The maverick activist from Sibu was arrested at Petaling Street last Friday after holding a one-man protest by holding up a self-made signboard and a Malaysian flag.

Hii, who had contested in the recent Sarawak state election as an Independent, had put up the same gimmick in Sibu city for two days before he flew to Kuala Lumpur, but had been ignored by the local police as they are used to his eccentric behaviour.

A hero in cyberspace

His maverick but brave action had earned him praise and made him a hero in cyberspace after a 13-minute video showing his confrontation with the police before the arrest was uploaded onto video-sharing portal YouTube.

In less than four days, the video clip has received more than 270,000 views and 1,900 comments.

Ong said he was told by the police that Hii was being investigated under the Societies Act 1966.

“Hii said the remand order lasts until Wednesday. Police were cooperative to allow some food and drinks to be brought in for him. I will wait at the police station to see if he will be released today.

“The police have not yet decided whether to charge him or not,” he added. – Mkini

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