KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 — Social activist Fahmi Reza does not plan to take one sen from the money he won from his court battle with the police and the KL City Hall, saying today the entire sum of RM38,000 will be donated to activism.
The 38-year-old graphic designer who first made the announcement on Facebook yesterday, confirmed with Malay Mail Online this morning that the money will go into a fund to help protest movements fighting against injustice and power abuses in Malaysia.
“It has never been about the money from the get-go,” he said in a statement.
“This case has always been about the importance of speaking up when there is injustice, to stand up and fight when we are victimised by the authorities, and for us to be courageous in our struggle to defend our freedom and basic rights,” he added.
Yesterday, the Court of Appeal dismissed DBKL’s challenge against a High Court ruling last year on the #OccupyDataran protest that saw Fahmi awarded compensation, damages and costs for wrongful detention.
Fahmi was part of the student group that had occupied the historic Dataran Merdeka in 2012 to seek higher education reforms.
Commenting on his win today, the activist told Malay Mail Online that he hopes his victory will give others the courage to exercise their rights and speak out when they are wronged.
"I thought it was important for me to come out and stand up against this injustice. I chose to fight back.
"I hope this verdict will inspire others to do the same," he said.
On December 29 last year, the High Court ruled that Fahmi’s arrest was unlawful, and ordered both DBKL and the police to pay the activist compensation of RM5,000 and RM3,000 respectively.
The court also ordered them to pay exemplary damages: of RM20,000 from DBKL, and RM10,000 from the police.
They were also ordered to pay costs of RM20,000 and RM10,000 respectively.
Only DBKL had appealed the High Court ruling.
#OccupyDataran staged their camp-in after some 500 tertiary education students marched through Kuala Lumpur on April 14, 2012 to demand the abolition of the National Higher Education Fund.
Fahmi was detained by DBKL officers on April 22, 2012 when they were trying to clear the historic square of the #OccupyDataran campers.