Parti Bumi Kenyalang chief held over anti-PAS protest

Desmond Davidson

Voon Lee Shan, president of the pro-independence Parti Bumi Kenyalang, gestures at the Kuching court house. He will face sedition charges over an anti-PAS protest in Kuching yesterday. – Pic courtesy of Priscilla Lau, November 24, 2022.

VOON Lee Shan, president of the pro-independence Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK), was brought to court this morning to face charges over an anti-PAS protest in Kuching yesterday, party members said.

Voon is now facing charges under the Sedition Act 1948, said party secretary-general Priscilla Lau.

Lau said Voon will be charged together his son Danny and party colleagues Lue Cheng Hing, Phang Aik Hua and Chan Chee Wee over a street convoy they staged yesterday afternoon to protest Gabungan Parti Sarawak’s (GPS) decision to align itself with Perikatan Nasional (PN), which has the Islamist party as a coalition member, to form the federal government.

Some of the vehicles in the five-car convoy that started from Padang Merdeka in the city centre and ended at Gala City some 6km away, were plastered with political banners in both English and Chinese.

One banner read “Say No to PAS”.

Voon, who was reportedly arrested around 11pm when he went to the Kuching district police headquarters in Simpang Tiga to turn himself in after being informed that police were looking for him, posted in a WhatsApp group that he had been arrested under the Sedition Act but “police did not tell me what activities or words that I said were against the law”.

He claimed “more than 10 officers came with police vehicles fully armed to arrest us”.

“We are only carrying out political work peacefully and I don’t see anything wrong.

“In the past few days after the general election, many Sarawak folk expressed their concern about the possibility of GPS forming the federal government with PAS.

“Despite many Sarawak folk expressing their views in the press or social media, (the) premier (Abang Johari Openg) and his colleagues still want to proceed with their plans.

“(The) public is concerned because PAS is seen as an extremist party and their style of politics and ideology are not acceptable to Sarawak folk.”

Voon was a candidate in the just-concluded election, contesting in Bandar Kuching on a Parti Sarawak Bersatu ticket, which PBK had forged an ad hoc working relationship for the polls.

In the three-way contest, where incumbent Kelvin Yii of DAP retained the seat, Voon lost his deposit after only picking up only 1,760 votes.

Sarawak folk have reportedly launched at least three online petitions to urge GPS’ non-Muslim MPs and PN’s sole MP in the state, Ali Biju (Saratok), to pressure the four-party coalition leaders not to support PN in forming the new federal government. – November 24, 2022.

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