Maria’s Sosma-inspired decision to step into the political fray

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INTERVIEW | Last week, Malaysians were greeted with the news that then Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah was contemplating venturing into politics, which culminated in her announcement this morning that she is seeking to run in the 14th general election.

According to Maria, however, the idea came to her over a year ago, when she was put under solitary confinement in a small windowless room with no mattress.

She was detained at Bukit Aman between Nov 18 and Nov 28, 2016, while being investigated under Section 124C of the Penal Code for purportedly engaging in activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy.

“I was thinking inside. I had time. The idea was there and I was thinking to myself: How can we push the reform agenda?

“Because we’ve tried. It's not that we don't try, and it's not like we don't want to talk to them (the government). We have tried to talk to them. Then we have taken the agenda to the streets.

“I think the (Bersih) protests were big enough that in any other country, something would have happened, but very little had actually happened here.

“So now it is actually bringing our voice to parliament and see what we can do...