Malaysia: Ex-Sabah Bersih chief ordered to enter defence over 2015 rally

    Former Sabah Bersih chief Jannie Lasimbang (left) with Bersih members and her counsel outside of the Sabah High Court. Lasimbang says the court’s decision today is unfair. – The Malaysian Insight pic, August 18, 2017.

    FORMER Sabah Bersih chief Jannie Lasimbang was today ordered to enter her defence after the appeal against her role in organising the Bersih 4 rally was allowed by the Sabah High Court.

    High Court judge Yew Jin Kie set aside her acquittal on charges under the Peaceful Assembly Act, after raising doubts over the term of “ownership” on the venue used for the assembly held last year.

    “I find the challenge of ownership perplexing that City Hall (DBKK) is not the owner of the said ‘taman’.”

    Although by the virtue of the term “owner” not defined under the act, but under the state local government law, the authority and control and care of public spaces comes under the local council, town board or municipal council and, therefore, the confirmed consent is required from the mayor of City Hall, she said.

    Yew said Lasimbang was supposed to produce the letter of consent from the owners before going ahead with the rally.

    No additional charges were brought against Lasimbang.

    Lasimbang was acquitted of all four charges for her role as the Bersih chairman organising the Bersih 4 rally without a permit at the Tanjung Lipat public park on August 29 and 30, 2015.

    Later, Lasimbang said the judge’s decision was unfair.

    “Under the local law, the public park is administered by the local government on behalf of the public.” – August 18, 2017.

    Source: The Malaysian Insight