12:16PM Apr 27, 2012
A group of well-known intellectuals and activists has called upon Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to exercise his discretionary power to allow the Bersih 3.0 electoral reform rally to proceed unhindered.
The statement was signed by ten individuals from activist and academic backgrounds as well as veterans of the civil service, labeling themselves concerned citizens over the crackdown against the peaceful assembly.
They include A Bakar Sulaiman, Ahmad Farouk Musa, Marion D’Cruz, Thasleem Ibrahim, Azmi Sharom, KJ John, Lim Teck Ghee, Kee Thuan Chye, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and Zaharom Nain.
They noted with concern and disappointment, the many hurdles thrown in the face of Bersih by the police and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), as well as threats of violent opposition against the peaceful gathering from various groups.
"We recognise that these agencies (DBKL and police) are either under the direct control or influence of your government," the group said in a statement.
They argued that the premier could simply order the police and DBKL to make way and facilitate Bersih's peaceful and democratic agenda, which is a representation of the rakyat's will.
This, the group said, would be in line with the "reformist agenda" and transformation pledge that Najib claims to profess.
"If you believe in democracy and clean and fair elections, now is the time to prove it. Allow Bersih 3.0 to go ahead peacefully".
The group said that since the prime minister has power over the agencies, he would held accountable for any untoward occurrence.