Maria Chin unafraid of death threats

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PETALING JAYA: Unfazed by death threats, Bersih 2.0 Chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah today vowed to carry on with the electoral watchdog’s convoy and the upcoming Bersih 5 rally.

“We will not be cowed by fear and threats of violence. We will proceed with our plans for both the convoy and rally.

“Let us show the tyrant that we will not be intimidated into giving up our calls to unite and shape a new Malaysia,” she told reporters outside the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters.

Chin had earlier lodged a police report over the death threat and was accompanied by Bersih 2.0 supporters.

Chin also revealed that the death threats had targeted her three sons.

“They had also threatened to chop our heads off.”

Also present was opposition leader Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, DAP’s Teo Kok Seong, social activist Hishamuddin Rais, PKR’s N Surendran and Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) Executive Director Cynthia Gabriel.

Earlier today, Chin received a death threat from an anonymous individual via WhatsApp regarding the upcoming Bersih 5 rally on Nov 19.

The threat came in an Islamic State-styled doctored image which depicted a man dressed in black holding a dagger to Chin’s neck.

Similar images also included the faces of Bersih 2.0 Committee Member Mandeep Singh and Human Rights Society Chairperson Ambiga Sreevenasan.

Chin said that if the police could easily track down netizens who uploaded damaging statements and images, then tracing the culprit who sent the WhatsApp threat to her should not be a problem.

Supporters were seen holding up a placard that said: “Hentikan provokasi ganas (stop violent provocation)” and “Jamal pergi neraka (Jamal go to hell)”.

Wan Azizah said these threats should have never happened in a peaceful country like Malaysia.
“In fact, this is the fifth time it happened to Bersih.

“It seems like the government is taking sides.

“When the opposition makes threats, they will quickly take action but when the Red Shirts start any provocation, no action is taken against them.

“We want the authorities to conduct all investigations and take firm action as this is a criminal act.”

Amanah President Mohamad Sabu, better known as Mat Sabu, reminded that this was a serious threat and hoped that Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar would not take this issue lightly.

“I remind the IGP that this is serious and (he should) take extremism seriously.

“This is not about political parties or NGOs. This is about security, and acts such as these must be eliminated.”

Prior to this, it was reported that Chin had feared for the safety of her family after Mohd Ali Baharom, better known as Ali Tinju, warned the activist to “watch her back” or she may no longer “walk on this earth”.

Ali had also threatened to make Chin’s “legs point upwards and her head point downwards to the ground”.

Meanwhile, in Kuching, Sarawak Bersih 5 Rally and Convoy Organising Committee Chairperson Ann Teo also lodged a report in Simpang Tiga at 6pm.

Present to show their support were representatives from PKR, DAP and several local NGOs.

Teo said the group wanted to show solidarity with Maria.

“We condemn threats and intimidation against people who are involved in peaceful rallies, people who advocate for free and fair elections, in particular activists like them.

“We are sure the Malaysian Communications and
Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has all the resources available to investigate this kind of threat.”

The group also lodged the report as they believed the threats have far-reaching implications, said Bersih Committee
Member Simon Siah, who believed Sarawakians will also be affected soon.

“Maria Chin and her children are in danger because of this.

“ISIS should not be glorified at all. Why are Malaysians doctoring these kind of images? This is deplorable.”