Malaysia

Traders want Ambiga punished, demand compensation

By Ida Lim
May 05, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 — About 60 traders in the Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman area today staged a protest to demand that action be taken against Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and compensation for losses incurred during last weekend’s Bersih 3.0 rally in the capital.

“I appeal to the Inspector-General of Police to act against Datuk Ambiga (picture), she’s the root of the problem, don’t catch the small fry,” said Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah, president of the Malaysian Association of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs representing the traders.

“I dare the Home Ministry to kick Ambiga out of this country. If they take no action against her, we will gather outside her house,” he threatened.

Yesterday, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) said that a local television station had aired Ambiga’s house address, which the latter had alleged was the likely cause behind the death threats she had received before last year’s Bersih rally.

Mohd Ridzuan said it was the inaction of the IGP and Home Ministry after last year’s Bersih rally that resulted in last weekend’s Bersih rally.

He blamed the rally for the losses suffered by traders, saying that they were “afraid to come out and do business”.

Association deputy president Hasmizi Abu Hashim said 317 traders submitted claims for RM807,205 in losses after last July’s Bersih rally.

The traders pledged their support for Datuk Seri Najib Razak, saying they will not vote for Pakatan Rakyat and echoed the prime minister’s claim that Bersih was intended to “topple the government”.

The peaceful Bersih sit-in protest last Saturday turned chaotic when police fired tear gas and chemical-laced water at the crowd after protesters had breached the barricade at Dataran Merdeka.