Court dismisses traders’ injunction application
KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court yesterday dismissed an interim injunction filed by traders in the Dataran Merdeka area to stop the Bersih 5 and Red Shirt rallies.
High Court judge S. Nantha Balan said there was no merit in the application.
He also fixed Dec 1 for case management.
Three groups representing some 1,000 traders had sought an interim injunction to prevent the rallies from being held around Dataran Merdeka tomorrow.
The groups are Persatuan Peniaga Bazaar Melayu Moden at Jalan Masjid India, Persatuan Penyewa Premis Perniagaan Medan Mara and Persatuan Peniaga dan Penjaja, Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
The plaintiffs named Maria Chin Abdullah (Bersih chairman), Bersih, Adil Network Sdn Bhd, the Bersih and Adil steering committee, Red Shirts leader Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos and the Red Shirt Movement as defendants.
In an immediate response, Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah said while she welcomed the court decision, Bersih had always been sensitive towards the traders.
“In fact, Bersih 4 had proved that businesses had better income during the rally.”
Meanwhile, InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said police will respect the court’s decision.
The plaintiffs claimed the rally would cause a reduction in revenue or cause loss of revenue.
“We are caught in the middle. We just want to do our business,” said lawyer for the plaintiffs, V. Mugunthan.
He said the number of protesters could swell to beyond 100,000 and there is likelihood of damage to his clients’ properties.
He said shops, stalls, window panes and equipment had been destroyed in previous rallies.
Bersih lawyer Gurdial Singh Nijar asked for evidence of such damage.
“Where is the evidence of shops being destroyed?” he said.
Gurdial also questioned the delay in filing the statement of claim and application for injunction, adding that the plaintiffs should have filed the action immediately when the rally announcement was made on Sept 14 or when the notification was made on Oct 28.