High court strikes out injunction to stop Bersih, Red Shirts gathering

 |Nov 17, 2016
Red Shirts are out to protect a legitimate federal government while Yellow Shirts are out to oust it.
Red Shirts are out to protect a legitimate federal government while Yellow Shirts are out to oust it.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has dismissed the injunction application filed by three traders association to stop the Yellow and Red shirts rally to take place on Saturday.

In passing his remark, Judge S. Nantha Balan said that the plaintiffs have failed to comply with Section 9 (c) of Societies Act 1966 which reads “society may sue or be sued in the name of such one of its members as shall be declared to the Registrar and registered by him as the public officer of the society for that purpose, and, if no such person is registered, it shall be competent for any person having a claim or demand against the society to sue the society in the name of any office-bearer of the society”

Nantha pointed out that it is a mandatory to comply with provisions of the act.

On second point, the judge said despite the knowledge of the gathering, the plaintiff issued an eleventh hour submission and also the plaintiff claimed a police report has been lodge by the traders but the proof of the report was not submitting before the court.

He added that the plaintiff also failed to show monetary evidence on any damages that could have incurred based on previous Bersih gatherings.

Apart from that, Justice Nantha cited Section 18 of Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 as the authorities or police have the powers to avert the situation and diffuse any tension that could arise.

The law enforcement authorities have the better power to regulate and re-direct the groups during any gatherings.

He even defended that the court today will not raise the issue whether the gathering was illegal or not.

Based on all the weak submission by plaintiffs, the judge dismissed the case without any merits.

The defense counsel also asked for no cost in relation to the plaintiff’s submission.

In opening remarks made by plaintiff lawyer Mugunthan said that the Yellow and Red shirt gathering on Saturday will affect the business surrounding the vicinity area near to Dataran Merdeka.

Both Yellow and Red shirts will hold demonstrations on Nov, 19.

He argued that the stalls paintings and equipment could be affected due to the demonstration.

Mugunthan also pointed out that the protestors will increase and there are possibilities of scuffle to happen during the protest.

He also suggested that both Yellow and Red shirts should seek their grievances elsewhere, perhaps in a legal manner.

Defense counsel Gurdial Singh Johar.
Defense counsel Gurdial Singh Johar.

Meanwhile, defense counsel Gurdial said “Why the plaintiff is only applying for last minute injunction as the Bersih gathering has been announced three months ago”.

Gurdial also put forward that the application made by the plaintiff did not comply with Section 9 (c) of Societies Act 1966.

He also asked the plaintiff to show prove whether any damages incurred during the previous Bersih gatherings.

Gurdial also pointed out the state or any enforcement authorities has the powers to dictate on the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and not through third party individual as done by the plaintiff today.

Red shirt’s counsel Nasir however said that “If there is Yellow gathering at a point, the red shirt too will gather’.

He also said to the court that the police authorities have not given any notification where the Red Shirt and Bersih should gather.

If a notification is given, the red shirt is willing to consider, Nasir added.

Justice Nantha also argued with the plaintiff “why the plaintiff took the last hour to file and injuction”.

He also told the plaintiff to show proof on the compliance as per the Societies Act 1966.

Ambiga and Maria Chin seen at the KL High court today.
Ambiga and Maria Chin seen at the KL High court today.

The plaintiffs were represented by lead counsel V.Mugunthan, Rabia Abdul Halim and Faridah Farihan.

Meanwhile for Bersih was represented by Gurdial Singh Johar, Ambiga Sreenevasan and Red Shirt were represented by Nasir Yusof and Fauzi Abdul Samad.

The trader association jointly filed the injunction suit are Medan Mara Business Premise Tenants Association, Tuanku Abdul Rahman Street Traders and Hawkers Association and Masjid India Modern Malay Bazaar Traders Association and also Masjid India Traders association.

The defendants named in the suit are Maria Chin Abdullah, Bersih and Adil Network Sdn Bhd, Bersih 2.0 steering committee, Red Shirts leader Jamal Yunos  and Gabungan Merah Malaysia.