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Friday, January 9, 2015

Activist Hishamuddin Rais fined RM5K, spared jail

Activist Hishamuddin Rais, 64, was fined RM5,000 by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today for urging people to hold street demonstrations to topple the government on May 13, 2013.

Failure to pay the fine would land Hishammuddin behind bars for six months.

Earlier today, Hishamuddin was found guilty by judge Azman Mustapha.

Azman said Hishamuddin should not have instigated people to take to the streets based on the outcome of the general elections.

In an immediate reaction, lawyer Michelle Yesudas said the decision was not surprising as everyone who were arrested for protesting the general elections had been found guilty.

“It has been an ongoing trend that everyone who spoke on the May 13 event, had been found guilty,” she told The Rakyat Post, dubbing the mass arrests as a crackdown since the last general elections.

“Now one by one they are being found guilty for harmless statements. If you study the content of Hishamuddin’s speech, you will see there was no crime in it because it did no damage, there was no military coup.

“I fear the next would be Haris Ibrahim (Asal Bukan Umno (ABU) chief),” she said.

She added that this was clearly a political decision.

Hishamuddin, 64, made the statement at the Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall in Jalan Maharajalela, where he and five other Pakatan Rakyat politicians and activists, had allegedly incited the public to overthrow the Barisan Nasional Federal government, whom they said had narrowly won the polls, by organising street protests.

They were charged with sedition on May 29, 2013.

The others are PKR vice-president Tian Chua, PAS leader Tamrin Ghafar, ABU activist Haris Ibrahim, Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia president Safwan Anang and student activist Adam Adli Abd Halim.

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