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Monday, April 30, 2012

International Fact Finding mission & Malaysia elections

The International Fact Finding Mission in a press conference had scathing remarks about the election system in Malaysia, with one labeling the EC as backward:



Key recommendations and grave concerns
Media access for opposition politicians
Importance of verification of voters
Minimum election campaign
Ensure one vote one value (regarding fair approportionment)

Mohamad Nasir Tamara Tamimi (Indonesia)
Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo (Pakistan)
Clinton Fernandes (Australia)
Mobashar Jawed Akbar (India)

Crucial basis of democracy
Freedom from fear
Freedom of peaceful association

Malaysia does not deserve democracy
Slander should not be permitted as part of electoral rect....
No party should be allowed to excite community hatred
Oldest tactic: provoke the victim in order to blame the victim

urge Australia to play a leading role as part of the Commenwealth to ensure free and fair election

It was a peaceful demonstration and a case of the victims being victimized
Running away from tear gas cannisters only to be met by more canisters
Media completely biased and unfair

In other countries, buses were provided to gather the people to make success of the rally
Election Commission looked so backward

UMNO Secretart General

BERSIH 3.0: No barbed wires at place of breach

Caught this screen shot of a video clip of protesters streaming into Dataran Merdeka at a point where inexplicably there were no "barbed" wires (actually razor-bladed wire)

BERSIH 3 no barbed wires at barrier breach

I was here before the rally started and the "barbed" wires barrier stretched the whole breath of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, if I am not wrong. So did the police deliberately left that section without the razor-bladed wires to encourage the protestors to enter Dataran Merdeka?

Another eye witness account on what happened at BERSIH 3.0 and suspicions over who had rolled back the razor-bladed wires ("barbed" wires). Further confirmation that violence was probably planned and encouraged by authorities, from a commentator's comment over at Haris's People's Parliament blog:


I was at D Merdeka. But was at the front of DBKL when the melee started. But my brother and nephew were close to the truck on which were Anwar and Ambiga. According to my brother Anwar had gestured moving on towards Raja Laut. Ambiga had gestured that the sit in was over. It was about then that the barricades were breached. My nephew who was close to the breach felt himself pushed through it and he was in. The cops up front had receded. The major question my nephew has burning in his mind is, how come the razor wires were rolled up rather neatly and left lying by the side like as if someone who is familiar with piling it up had done it.
There is a tie up between the time the breach happened and the time Ambiga announced the rally over.
Until then any agent provocateurs would have remained quiet, thinking their job to begin only at 4.00. But when Ambiga prematurely announced the rally over the breach had to happen. According to a friend who also made through the breach at the Raja Laut entry point, discovered the cops missing. My brother finds all the DBKL staff locked in their building.
Later on at night, past 9.00pm there were 3 identical looking buses parked along Jalan Ipoh, in front of the Police Station that is under reconstruction. They had 1 Malaysia insignias on them. I saw 3 guys in mufti and another 3 in BERSIH T shirts chatting away. Agent Provocateurs? I wonder.

BERSIH 3.0: Further confirmation violence was planned

After extensive readings, I had already made up my mind that the authorities had planned and provoke the violence that marred BERSIH 3.0 rally. Here is one more evidence that it was so:

Calling out to all who were at the Bar Council yesterday.

Apparently some unidentified person or persons had removed the razor-sharp "barbed" wires of the barrier between the police and the protestors between the Bar Council building and Loke Yew building.

Tell me, for what other reasons that those intimidating barrier was removed if not to encourage the protestors to barge forward and thus be blamed for causing the violence?

Here is a screen shot of a video clearly showing a police officer hit a protester who is already lying on the ground and helpless:

BERSIH 3 photo showed police officer beat downed protester

The incriminating segment is at 0:06 second of the video clip below. After watching the video again, it was so obviously clear that the police were very brutal, hitting and kicking the poor victim again and again and surrounding him, beating him mercilessly:



Malaysia turnaround for the better?

I have never heard, read or seen any police ever admitting some facts favorable to the opposition, but today is the very first time I read that confirms Officer’s death unrelated to Bersih, police confirm.

I have even witnessed a Selangor Police Chief lied that the police did not charged at participants of a candlelight vigil on the anniversary the first BERSIH rally for free and fair election. I was at the rally and managed to video record the vigilers singing Negaraku and the police charging at the participants.

After violence erupted in the BERSIH 3.0 rally, there were rumours that police spread the false news that a policeman had died result of the rally to provoke the police into violence. The fact that the a senior police had admitted such and this lead me to believe that Malaysia may have turned the corner and starting to head to better times.

Boycott Star newspaper, unfair portrayal of BERSIH 3.0

When the Star newspaper had a free 1 month subscription, I despite my many years of boycotting the paper, I had decided to subscribe.

However, after extensive readings of what transpired before, during and after BERSIH 3.0 rally, I regretfully decided to continue my boycott and hope many more potential subscribers will join me in efforts to restore some semblance of true journalism.

BERSIH 3.0: Victims of police brutalities accounts & injuries

Just listen and see the injuries suffered by victims of police brutality during the BERSIH 3.0 rally in the video below:



After extensive readings and now strengthened by the victims accounts, there is no doubt in my mind that the violence that marred the rally is the result of deliberate provocations of the participants to create fear and probably to deter future rallies.

BERSIH 3.0: Police plotted and provoked violence?

Sounds likely from readings of what happened before, during and after the breaching the razor-bladed wires and barriers surrounding Dataran Merdaka that authorities provoked the violence that marred the BERSIH 3.0 as confirmed by members of the International Fact Finding Mission.

(Sorry, looks like there could be some mix-up because I left an earlier post unpublished but listen to the video of the press conference below and my attempt to put in print some of what I could catch from listening to the video:



According to some reports, inexplicably, a section of the barrier was left with no "barbed" wires plus just before the breach, the row of police just behind the barrier started to move back as if to encourage the protesters to breach the barriers.

Key recommendations and grave concerns
Media access for opposition politicians
Importance of verification of voters
Minimum election campaign
Ensure one vote one value (regarding fair approportionment)

Members:
Mohamad Nasir Tamara Tamimi (Indonesia)
Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo (Pakistan)
Clinton Fernandes (Australia)
Mobashar Jawed Akbar (India)

Crucial basis of democracy
Freedom from fear
Freedom of peaceful association

Malaysia does not deserve democracy
Slander should not be permitted as part of electoral rect....
No party should be allowed to excite community hatred
Oldest tactic: provoke the victim in order to blame the victim

urge Australia to play a leading role as part of the Commenwealth to ensure free and fair election

It was a peaceful demonstration and a case of the victims being victimized
Running away from tear gas cannisters only to be met by more canisters
Media completely biased and unfair

In other countries, buses were provided to gather the people to make success of the rally
Election Commission looked so backward

UMNO Secretart General Tengku Adnan opined that Malaysians are not ready for democracy.

EC Deputy Chairman caught lying

The Malaysia Election Commission Deputy Chairman Wan Ahmad was caught lying when questioned by the International Fact Finding team on his UMNO membership.

He had told the team that no current member of the EC is a member of any political party. However, just a few days ago he had admitted in a response to Sinar Harian that he is an inactive UMNO member.

This showed how incompetent our Election Commission officials are and there is no question as per BERSIH demand that they should resign!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Can you believe this? Hishamuddin said seizure of journalists cameras standard operating procedure?

I had always thought that Home Minister Kerismuddin is not smart, especially when he was caught on camera in a press conference with the cow head protesters saying silly things trying to justify the rowdiness and the stepping on the cow head by those protesters.

However, this take the prize. This silly Kerismuddin admitted the seizure of journalists (and manhandling) is police standard operating procedure? How can a lawyer and Home Minister admit that and put the police in scorn?

BERSIH 3.0: Police attack journalists recording brutality against protesters

A female reporter, Merdeka Review reporter Chen Shaua Fui, was manhandled by four male police personnel at about 7.30pm, when she tried to photograph police personnel beating up protesters who were eating at a restaurant.

“Police dragged out two people who were eating, arrested them and beat them up. I wanted to take a photo but was warned by police not to, so I didn’t.

“Then they went to another restaurant where two others were having their meal. The police asked them to take off their shirts, arrested and beat them. I wanted to take photos and that’s when they grabbed me,”

An Al Jazeera videoman was also ‘punched’

Al Jazeera reporter Harry Fawcett said that he was “manhandled” by several uniformed police personnel when he had tried to capture what looked like police assaulting protesters.

He told Malaysiakini that a group of 10 to 15 police personnel surrounded him and Al Jazeera videographer Ray Jones at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

“We saw two or three police officers hold a guy while another was kneeing him either in the face or in the chest, it wasn’t clear.

“When we went to record it, I found that we were surrounded by police who were extremely aggressive. They held my arm and gripped my shirt. When I turned around, the camera was on the ground,” he said when contacted.

He said Jones told him that he was “punched at the back of the head” by police personnel and the camera was “smashed” to the ground.

“The camera was wrenched from him and our wireless microphone and battery pack was taken. The camera was smashed to the ground, and we coudn’t take the tape out. It was inoperable,” he said.

Minutes before the incident, Fawcett and Jones were also stopped from recording another incident where police allegedly assaulted protesters, and were also stopped by police.

“A group of protesters tried to enter Dataran Merdeka... two or three police officers would hold one guy while another punched his body. We were about 100 metres away from the scene,” he said.

Others hurt during the rally were Malay Mail photographer Arif Kartono, reportedly assaulted by several uniformed police personnel and Al-Hijrah videographer Mohd Azri Mohd Salleh, reportedly assaulted by protesters.

At least two media personnel, including Malaysiakini's photojournalist Koh Jun Lin, were also arrested in what appears to be an unprecedented heavy-handedness on journalists by the authorities.

Do you have photographs or video clips depicting police brutality during Bersih 3.0? Contact photo@malaysiakini.com and let Malaysiakini help you share them with Malaysiakini readers.

Source: Female reporter 'grabbed' by four male cops at rally

BERSIH 3.0: Mobashar Jawad Akhbar said violence provoked by police?

Mobashar Jawad Akhbar, a prominent Indian journalist and editorial director of India Today said that the violence in the BERSIH 3.0 rally for free and fair elections could be provoked by the police to create situations and images that will play well in the official media in order to blame them. According to Mobashar, this was a common old trick.

He said: "The crowd has been building overnight, they have ample time to be violent if they wanted to. It was very peaceful until the very end. I do believe that the provocation was perhaps done in order to create images that will play well in the official media,”

He said that this provoking the victims in order to blame them later, was “one of the oldest tricks” employed by various authorities and noted that the crucial essence of democracy is the freedom from fear, which he said is “non-negotiable”.

“Democracy does not function when ppl do not have right to assembly,” he said, praising the protestors for rising above fear.

BERSIH 3.0: Police attacks, not disperse crowd

The Malaysian Bar Council said that the police used excessive force and had actually attacked, not disperse the crowd of protestors:

'Dataran barrier breach no excuse for use of force'


2:01PM Apr 29, 2012

The police cannot justify the "grotesque use of force" at yesterday’s Bersih 3.0 rally by blaming the breach of the barricades in Dataran Merdeka, said the Bar Council.

“The crowds that had gathered for the Bersih 3.0 rally reflected a broad cross-section of Malaysian society, and were peaceful.
NONE“The reported breach of police barricades in some areas does not justify the police unleashing the full force of their arsenal upon crowds that were peaceful,” said Malaysian Bar vice-president Christopher Leong (left).
He said the “grotesque use of force” by the police showed that they “do not have the maturity, discipline and restraint required of a professional force”.
“In this regard the Malaysian Bar strongly disagrees with the Minister of Home Affairs’ assertion that the police acted professionally,” said Leong in a statement today.
The rally, the saw an estimated 150,000 Malaysians of all ages march to Dataran Merdeka at the heart of Kuala Lumpur yesterday ended peacefully at 2.30 with the organisers calling for the protestors to disperse.
However, some protestors breached the barricades that the authorities had erected to cordon off the Dataran, Bersih’s original venue for their sit-in protest, and provoked the police into firing tear gas and water cannons at the crowds.
471 were arrested by the end of the day, including activists and members of the media.

Court order ‘flawed’

Leong also faulted the court order barring the public from assembling at the city’s iconic square, venue of the country’s independence gathering.
NONE“The court order excluding members of the public from Dataran Merdeka is arguably defective in law due to a lack of specificity.
“Given that the Bersih 3.0 rally had been announced on April 4, 2012, there was no need to have obtained the order ex parte. 
“There had been ample opportunity for the relevant parties to be heard before deciding if such an order deserved to be issued,” said Leong.
The police had obtained thecourt order from the KL Magistrate’s Court at the last minute, that was in the judge’s own words, issued as “immediate action”.
NONELeong added that the order was granted over a situation “of the authorities’ own making” for having denied Bersih the use of the city square in the first place, despite the home minister having prior to that stated twice that the rally was not a security threat.
Leong charged that the police furthermore overstepped the ban order by closing roads beyond what was stipulated.

As a consequence, he said, the “restriction in access gave rise to a tense situation that contributed to the unnecessary violence that occurred”.
‘Cops hostile to monitoring’
The lawyer said while the Bar did not approve of the “belligerent conduct” of some of the protestors, the police on the other hand “displayed a lack of restraint and proportionality”.
NONEHe alleged that the police had acted not to disperse, “but is instead designed to attack, a crowd”.
Leong added that the lawyers’ monitoring teams also “witnessed numerous acts of police brutality” and said the police’s attitude was not merely to arrest, but was “punitive in nature” that he said “aggravated” the tense situation that unfolded in the latter part of the day.
He regretted that the police displayed “a general lack of cooperation” towards the Bar’s monitors and were at times even “hostile”

BERSIH 3.0: Malaysian Bar Council Statement

The Malaysian Bar is appalled at the abuse of the legal process and grotesque use of force by the police in connection with the Bersih 3.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, April 28, 2012.

The crowds that had gathered for the Bersih 3.0 rally reflected a broad cross-section of Malaysian society, and were peaceful. The police were initially restrained, although they did try to stop people from reaching various pre-announced meeting points. However, the attitude of the police underwent a sea-change at 3:00 pm that day.

The reported breach of police barricades in some areas does not justify the police unleashing the full force of their arsenal upon crowds that were peaceful.

The police have shown in this incident that they do not have the maturity, discipline and restraint required of a professional force. In this regard the Malaysian Bar strongly disagrees with the minister of home affairs’ assertion that the police acted professionally.

The court order excluding members of the public from Dataran Merdeka is arguably defective in law due to a lack of specificity. Given that the Bersih 3.0 rally had been announced on 4 April 2012, there was no need to have obtained the order ex parte.

There had been ample opportunity for the relevant parties to be heard before deciding if such an order deserved to be issued. In addition, the order was obtained with respect to a situation of the authorities’ own making, by their unjustifiable denial of access to Dataran Merdeka. It is important to bear in mind that the minister of home affairs had previously announced that the Bersih 3.0 rally was not a security threat.

Nonetheless, having obtained the exclusion order, the police proceeded to disrespect the order by unilaterally closing additional roads and restricting access to other areas not covered by its terms. The terms of the order itself, the closing of the roads and the restriction in access gave rise to a tense situation that contributed to the unnecessary violence that occurred.

As has been done with some other public assemblies in the past, the Malaysian Bar deployed lawyers and pupils-in-chambers to act as monitors during the rally, numbering approximately 80. Our monitoring teams reported witnessing the use of an array of heavy-handed tactics by the police, including the indiscriminate discharging of multiple rounds of tear gas without any obvious provocation, and arbitrary use of water cannons.

Police fired tear gas directly at the crowd. They also manoeuvred their firing pattern to box in the participants rather than allowing them to disperse quickly. This is not action to disperse, but is instead designed to attack, a crowd. When items were thrown at the police, the police stooped to return like for like.

The Malaysian Bar does not countenance the belligerent conduct shown by a number of the participants. However, we express deep and serious concern as to how the police responded. The police displayed a lack of restraint and proportionality, reminiscent of their actions at the Bersih 2.0 rally on 9 July 2011. Instead of displaying action to calm the situation, they instead aggravated it and contributed to the escalation of the conflict.

Although organisers of public gatherings must bear some responsibility when things get out of hand due to their action or inaction, this does not and cannot excuse the response of the police.

The monitoring teams also witnessed numerous acts of police brutality, such as assault of arrested persons. Instead of merely apprehending suspects, the attitude of the police was punitive in nature.

The reported attacks by the police on members of the media, both local and international, and the confiscation and/or destruction of their photographs and video recordings, speaks to police action in covering up or preventing a full and accurate record of the Bersih 3.0 rally and the responses of the police.

Regrettably, the police also showed a general lack of cooperation towards the Malaysian Bar’s monitoring teams, and were hostile in their attitude and approach at times. This is most unprofessional and unbecoming, and serves as an unhealthy development with negative connotations for the future.

The Malaysian Bar notes that yesterday’s events have not occurred in isolation, but stem from the fundamental problems that gave rise to the Bersih 3.0 rally in the first place, namely the ongoing and outstanding issues relating to the electoral roll, and the lack of confidence in its integrity and that of the electoral process in Malaysia.

Those who look upon Dataran Merdeka as a symbol of freedom will view the exclusion from Dataran Merdeka as freedom denied. The promise by the government to respect democracy and human rights, and implement reforms, was tested yesterday.

The government’s response and actions during the Bersih 3.0 rally provided an indication of whether the new reform legislation will be perverted and abused in its use and implementation, where the wide powers vested in the authorities call for measured, proportionate and mature exercise. The events of 28 April 2012 do not bode well in this regard.

Transformation and real recognition of democratic rights come at a price, namely constant vigilance. The cost of not transforming and not allowing Malaysians the proper exercise of our democratic rights is too high. In Malaysia’s march towards developed nation status by 2020, which is only eight years away, the constitutional right to clean, free and fair elections cannot and should not be sacrificed.

BERSIH 3: What & Who caused the violence?


Today, as was expected, Malaysia's synchophantic printed newspapers ignoring the positive aspects of BERSIH 3.0 and highlighted some violence especially an overturned police patrol car featured on its front page. What caused this, a damaged and overturned police car:

BERSIH 3.0 Overturned police car

It was this, the police patrol car recklessly speeding along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, losing control and crashing into the demonstrators causing injuries. Below is a photo of the patrol car as it dived into the protestors walking along the sidewalk:

BERSIH 3 police patrol car crashing into demonstrators

Below is the video which caught the patrol car speeding:



Here is the video of the injured protestor being placed on an improvised stretcher and being ferried away by an ambulance:


Today, as was expected, Malaysia's synchophantic printed newspapers ignoring the positive aspects of BERSIH 3.0 and highlighted some violence including an overturned police patrol car. What caused this, a damaged and overturned police car:

BERSIH 3.0 Overturned police car

It was this, the police patrol car recklessly speeding along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, losing control and crashing into the demonstrators causing injuries. Below is a photo of the patrol car as it dived into the protestors walking along the sidewalk:

BERSIH 3 police patrol car crashing into demonstrators

Below is the video which caught the patrol car speeding:








Malaysiakini plea for photos & videos showing police brutality

Malaysiakini, being unable to publish photos showing police brutality during yesterday's BERSIH 3.0 rally for free and fair election is now appealing for those who have such photos and video clips to send them to photo@malaysiakini.com

Malaysiakini is doing this because its journalist Koh Jun Lin was arrested along and his memory card containg photographs of the rally were confiscated

Nayati Shamelin Moodliar abducted. Father begs for return

Update: Nayati has been released by his kidnappers and is now with his parents. Police has set up a special task force to track down the kidnappers. Anyone with information please contact the police at 03-2115 9999 or visit the nearest police station.

Here is a photo of Nayati Shamelin Moodliar, a 14 year student of the International School in Mont Kiara who was abducted when leaving the school. Do help spread the photo around and hopefully assist in efforts to locate and help return the boy to his desperate parents.

Nayati Shamelin Moodliar abducted from International School in Mont Kiara

Watch the video below as his father tearfully plea for his return:



If anyone knows of his whereabout or have information that may help in locating and returning him to his parents, call 012-365 6202 or 019-233 3065

Nayati Shamelin Moodliar parent phone number



BERSIH 3.0: Police attack journalists

Did the Malaysian police coordinated an attack against journalists, local and foreign, to prevent journalists from recording police aggression, violence and assaults on participants of BERSIH 3.0 rally to be recorded and publicized?

According to Surendren of PKR, that was the case as reported in Malaysian Insider, PKR: Najib to blame for attacks on media at Bersih.

This was collaborated by Alzajeera's journalists and crew whose camera was busted by the police and Aljazeera's Harry Fawcett had to report using the Skype for iPad application.

Malaysiakini journalist Koh Jun Lin was also arrested along with several other members of the press while covering the rally at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur. Koh's memory card containg photographs of the rally were confiscated, while another photographer said police destroyed his memory card after he refused to delete photographs of a melee.

Listen to his first-hand account of "police violence" in the video below:



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Press pixmen nabbed over assault pictures

Press pixmen nabbed over assault pictures

6:40PM Apr 28, 2012

Several newspaper photographers have been arrested while photographing scenes of alleged police brutality.
It is unclear how many photographers are arrested. Among them isMalaysiakini photojournalist Koh Jun Lin.
“My camera and memory card have been confiscated,” Koh said.

"They said they wanted it as evidence."

The police were engaged in about three hours of cat-and-mouse with pockets of protesters after Bersih 3.0 organisers urged participants to disperse at 3pm.
Violence involving both the police and protesters escalated as the minutes went.
One photographer told Malaysiakini that after he refused to delete photographs of a melee, a police personnel removed his memory card and destroyed it.
It was confirmed by Guang Ming Daily that one of their photographers was arrested while taking photographs of the process of an arrest and alleged police assault

7,000 including Penang CM rally at Esplanade

7,000 including Penang CM rally at Esplanade

Susan Loone
2:31PM Apr 28, 2012

At least 7,000 people gathered at the Esplanade in George Town this afternoon and Aliran president Francis Loh was the first to address them.

Loh expressed surprise over the number of people who turned up.
NONEHe said he thought only 200 to 300 would turn out, and was encouraged by the number of people committed to clean and fair elections.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Pakatan leaders were also present.

There were no disturbances whatsoever throughout the rally.

Around 2.20pm, everybody was asked to sit down, including the hantu(phantoms) present, and the crowd laughed.

The crowd then began chanting, Bersih! Cuci! and Bantah! three times each.
The crowd then got excited and shouted sit down at those who were standing. And every time a group sat on the ground, the rest of the crowd broke into applause and cheered.

'Crowd not really from Penang'

Later about 2.30pm, the crowd swelled to about 7,000; bottles of water were distributed, litter bags were provided, and participants did not leave the field filthy after the protest.

A regular ice-cream vendor when asked, said cheerfully: "Business is good. I wish there are events like this at least once a week."

A special branch police officer whom Malaysiakini spoke to complained that the crowd was “not really from Penang”.
“They came from Sungai Petani and elsewhere, I saw them walking from the peer,” he said.
Other than chanting Bersih songs and the national anthem, the event included the reading of national laureate A. Samad Said’s poem by Aliran’s Mustafa K. Annuar.
NONEMembers of women’s group Women Crisis Centre were seen participating in the affair, with anti-Lynas supporters who wore green and carried posters and banners promoting the cause against radioactive risks.
A group of Malaysians from Los Angeles, the US, were also on the field carrying posters with slogans ‘allow overseas voting’ led by engineer Caterine Chow, a first time voter.
“If I can make it, I would surely come back to vote but we need to be prepared. We hope the authorities can make it possible to vote from where we are,” she added.

Rumours of trouble

Meanwhile, the crowd grew ecstatic as Lim addressed them.
He praised the crowd for their courage in turning up at the venue despite “rumours of trouble” created by certain quarters.
Lim joked: “There might have been some who are anti-Bersih, but when they saw the 10,000 strong crowd they must have left.”
He told those who opposed Lynas and a dirty election “you know what to do”, referring to the upcoming 13th general election.
“Do you want your life to be dirty?” he asked, and the crowd responded with a resounding “no".
“What I say is not important, but the fact that you are here at the sit-in, braving the rain and the fear of trouble is testament to why we need Bersih,” he added.
Then he prodded the crowd to shout “Bersih so loud that even Rosmah (Mansor) in Putrajaya can hear you”.
The crowd, including Lim, dispersed at about 3pm, when rain started to pour.
However, several protestors continued to stay on the field conducting their on activities.
Malaysiakini later saw a smiling Penang Perkasa Youth chief Risuan Azuddin on his motorcycle with several bikers near the Esplanade.

Anwar's clarion call: End polls fraud now

Anwar's clarion call: End polls fraud now

Hafiz Yatim
2:27PM Apr 28, 2012

De facto PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim has urged the people to end corruption and fraud in the Election Commission and the government.
The opposition leader said this at Mesjid Negara, where the crowd included his wife and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, as well as a group of international observers.

Anwar stressed that the time has come to purge polls fraud.

NONE"We must move and free people's mind and also Dataran Merdeka, which has become Dataran Penjajah," he said.
"There is enough corruption and fraud for us to call for cleaner elections, which is what we and the rakyat want."
PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu welcomed the international observers from the Philippines and Indonesia and he too urged the people to free Dataran Merdeka.
Mat Sabu said the time has come to free Dataran Merdeka, which was a symbol of independence, and break the shackles of the BN.
DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang paid homage to all the races for coming together in the demand of the people for free and fair elections.
"I also am encouraged by the many young people who have stepped up to support this noble cause," he said.
The gathering here plans to walk towards Dataran Merdeka after the Zohor prayers.
[More to follow]

Bersih: Some protesters' behaviour 'unusual'

Bersih: Some protesters' behaviour 'unusual'

S Pathmawathy
6:02PM Apr 28, 2012

Electoral reforms pressure group Bersih says it is shocked by allegations that some of its supporters had acted violently during the Bersih 3.0 rally today.
Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan described allegations of violence committed by the movement’s supporters as “highly unusual”.
Among the acts of violence witnessed includes the overturning of a police vehicle, which she said could have been instigated by agent provocateurs.
"We have this suspicion (because) this is a highly unusual behaviour on the part of our supporters," she told reporters at a brief press conference in KL Sentral.
[More to follow]

250,000 at Bersih 3.0, Ambiga claims success

250,000 at Bersih 3.0, Ambiga claims success

S Pathmawathy
6:13PM Apr 28, 2012

Electoral reforms pressure group Bersih 2.0 said that their rally was a success, claiming that 250,000 Malaysians had joined their Bersih 3.0 rally to call for proper electoral reforms.
"In that sense it was a success," said the coalition for clean and fair chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan at a press conference after the rally.
"The atmosphere was wonderful and the numbers that were there - it was tremendous.

Police erect roadblocks on key roads into KL city centre

Police erect roadblocks on key roads into KL city centre

8:40AM Apr 28, 2012

Police have erected roadblocks in major roads leading into the Kuala Lumpur city centre in the bid to stop protesters from congregating in Dataran Merdeka at 2pm today.
Roadblocks are reported in Ampang Elevated Highway, Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Mahameru, Jalan Pudu, Jalan Bangsar and Jalan Tun Sambathan.
Tens of thousands are expected to take to the streets of Kuala Lumpur in a rally dubbed 'Bersih 3.0' to demand, among others, electoral reform and the resignation of the Election Commission.
Protestors are gathering at six core locations, namely Jalan Sultan, Pasar Seni, Masjid India, Masjid Negara, Brickfields and KLCC with other additional points around the vicinity.
Bersih 3.0 protestors at KLCC are expected to be joined by Himpunan Hijau 3.0 supporters which will first march to the Australian High Commission to protest the RM700 million rare-earth processing plant in Gebeng, Kuantan by Australian-based company Lynas before proceeding to Dataran Merdeka.
Protestors are also gathering slightly earlier at Jalan Sultan to support a video shoot opposing the MyRapid Transit (MRT) project which will cut through the historical street.
All protesters will eventually move towards Dataran Merdeka, a venue which the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has banned for demonstrations and have pre-empted the rally by sealing it off with barricades and barb wires.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Mohamad Salleh had also announced yesterday that demonstrators may gather at their locations but barred them from marching, an order protestors are expected to defy.
Police have also obtained a court order barring the public from entering Dataran Merdeka.
Bersih 3.0 organiser had yesterday said they will respect the court order but will try to get "as close as possible" to the iconic square and still harbours hope that the police will allow a last minute goodwill gesture for demonstrators to occupy the site for a sit-in protest.    
[More to follow]

BERSIH 3.0 Karpal Singh visited Dataran Merdeka on eve

Karpal Singh, despite his wheelchair-bound condition, visited Dataran Merdeka last night and was greeted with loud cheers by the eager and early participants of BERSIH 3.0

BERSIH 3.0: Ready for BERSIH 3.0 for truly free and fair elections

Done my obligatory income tax return for 2011 so now don't have to worry about being unable to comply due to detention.
Bought salt and vinegar.
Put salt into zip-lock plastic bag formerly used to contain medicine
Soaked hand towel with vinegar and water
Emptied camera memory card and charged battery
Filled bottle with water
Now ready for BERSIH 3.0

April 27: BERSIH 3.0 has already started

The eager crowd has already started the rally, BERSIH 3.0 even before the official start time of 2pm April 28. See video below:

BERSIH 3.0: Dataran Merdeka at dawn 28 April

Police get court order, Dataran off-limits for 4 days

2:32PM Apr 27, 2012

The Magistrate’s Court has issued a court order barring Bersih 3.0 from the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur tomorrow until May 1, said Bersih.
According to the order issued yesterday evening, the ban includes roads leading to the iconic landmark and its surrounding lands.

NONEIssued by the KL Magistrate’s Court, magistrate Zaki Asyraf Zubir justified the ban as Bersih had failed to obtain the City Hall’s permission to use the premises.
“This court has found that Bersih 3.0 will carry on its rally even without approval from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) or informing the Dangi Wangi district police chief.
He ruled that “decisive action is required to avoid an act that will threaten public order or endanger public life or safety” should the rally proceed.
NONEZaki said “a ban order is absolutely necessary” considering the urgency of the request.
“Therefore, any gathering at Dataran Merdeka, that is the land bordering Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, Jalan Raja and Jalan Kelab except the area occupied by the Selangor Royal Club... is hereby banned, and the public are warned against attending, being present or taking part in any gathering from April 28, 2012 to May 1, 2012,” read the order.
The order was served upon Bersih chairperson S Ambiga, “the organisers” and “the public”.

Signed 'under protest'

According to the document sighted by Malaysiakini, the coalition for clean and fair elections signed receipt of the document at noon today “under protest”.

Meanwhile, early this morning DBKL began a lockdown of Dataran Merdeka where the sit-in protest is to take place.

The developments today contrast with Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein earlier saying twice that the rally was “not a security threat”.

Bersih is however adamant on its sit-in tomorrow to call for electoral reform, adding that recent amendments to the Election Offences Act was reason enough to justify the rally.

Organisers are expecting the crowd this year to be more than double last July, when tens of thousands took part.
NONE"We believe the sit-in will be safe because if a lot of people turn up and the numbers are huge enough, the police will be forced to behave themselves," organising committee member Wong Chin Huat (right) toldAFP.

"If the authorities come down hard on us with violence, it will go to show the world how this country is run by the Najib administration.”

Bersih co-coordinator Ambiga Sreenivasan accused the city's mayor of abusing his power by banning the rally.

The coalition has rejected an offer to hold the protest in alternative venues, including stadiums, saying it is too late to change the location.

"We will march to the barrier. We will not break the barriers or create any situation in the hopes that the government will lift the barrier and allow the sit-in to take place," she told a news conference.

Bersih has emerged as a key pressure group against Najib who took office in 2009 and pledged political and economic reform in a bid to reverse some of the ruling coalition's 2008 election losses.

NONE"A larger turnout for Bersih will see Najib make some modifications in his election strategy," Ibrahim Suffian, a director at research firm Merdeka Center, told Reuters.

Later this afternoon, the City Hall put up a banner at the banned site which reads: "Thank you for respecting the law. No rally in Dataran Merdeka."  
Dataran closure an 'insult'

Meanwhile DAP national organising secretary Teresa Kok criticised the home minister’s “flip-flop” in considering the rally a security threat, asking, “What has changed?”

“(Hishamuddin’s) U-turn decision regarding the peaceful assembly tomorrow is symptomatic of the Malaysian government’s lack of respect towards its electorate and its high-handedness in dealing with dissenting views,” said the Seputeh MP in a statement today.
She said the police’s resolve to take action against rally participants made Malaysia a “police state” controlled “menacingly” by BN.
She added the latest developments showed that Prime Minister Najib Razak is “insincere with his ideologies of transformation” and slammed the KL mayor as a “tool of the BN government”.

PAS Youth also slammed the lockdown of the Dataran, calling it an “insult to Malaysians”.
NONE“PAS Youth regrets that DBKL and the government do not respect the rakyat of this country,” said its information chief Riduan Mohd Nor in a statement.
While tourists were allowed to visit the Dataran at any time, it was ironic that the rakyat were barred from going there, he said.
“The people are saddened because the government treats the people as a security threat that needs to be countered endlessly,” said Riduan.
“It seems this is how BN treats the rakyat, just as orphans who can be abandoned,” he said, adding sarcastically that DBKL may as well “close Dataran for good”.

VIDEO | 2.57 mins

The full court order [PDF file]

NONE

BERSIH 3.0: The night before

It is not even morning of the 28th of April and BERSIH 3.0 has already started:

EC President & Deputy UMNO membership details

Here is the Election Commission President and Deputy President's UMNO membership numbers and branch details:

Nama ABDUL AZIZ BIN MOHD YUSOF
No KP 500124105279
No KP Lama 2698922
No Keahlian UMNO 113804
Kod Cawangan 09920036 = SRI AMPANG BARU
Kod DUN 09920 = LEMBAH JAYA
Kod Bahagian 099 = AMPANG
Negeri SELANGOR


EC deputy chief Wan Ahmad Wan Omar is a member of the
Pasir Mas Umno Division

Nama WAN AHMAD BIN WAN OMAR
No KP 490101035179
No KP Lama 2756290
No Keahlian UMNO 2374564
Kod Cawangan 02213049 = KUBANG BUNGGOR
Kod DUN 02213 = CHETOK
Kod Bahagian 022 = PASIR MAS
Negeri KELANTAN

So now you know why they have been acting like the Election Commission is a branch of UMNO/BN. For this scandal, they must accede to BERSIH 3.0 demand to resign.

Catchy BERSIH 3.0 tukar lagu UMNO song

Very nice and catchy song by unknown composer and singer. Listen to it and enjoy:



BERSIH 3.0 tukar lagu UMNO

Lagu UMNO yang telah diubah
dan dirosakan

Friday, April 27, 2012

BERSIH 3.0 Jom Mendaki Bantah at Mount Everest


Hurray, another global site for BERSIH 3.0 rally for free election has been added by 2 enterprising Malaysians who are climbing Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. Photo below show them unfurling the Malaysian flag Jalur Gemilang and a BERSIH Mendaki Bantah (BERSIH Climb Protest) as a variation to BERSIH Jom Duduk Bantah (BERSIH Sit Protest)

BERSIH 3 on Mount Everest

They will be putting up more flags and banners as they climb, thus BERSIH 3.0 is going to climb higher and higher and hopefully reach the highest point in the world.

BERSIH 3.0: DBKL not closing roads leading to Dataran Merdeka

DBKL (Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur) has been reported to say that roads leading to Dataran Merdeka will not be closed in anticipation for BERSIH 3.0 Jom Duduk Bantah rally for free and fair election tomorrow.

Let us see how the police will handle the crowd and what will happen tomorrow.

I have finished with my Income Tax returns and thus can now participate in the rally tomorrow with peace of mind.

SUARAM's URGENT ARREST TEAM FOR BERSIH 3.0

For those who are going for Bersih 3 tomorrow. We have given our names and contact numbers.

This what we want you to do:

If you see or witness anyone being arrested at your respective place, please send an sms to the number(s) given.

SUARAM URGENT ARREST TEAM

OFFICE NUMBER: 03 77843525 (DIANE)

NO TEMPAT SUARAM PIC NOMBOR
1 CENTRAL MARKET

NALINI

SARAH

019 3043159

018 3181179

2 MASJID NEGARA SYUKRI 011 15542640
3 JALAN SULTAN MAISARAH 012 218 7476
4 MASJID INDIA ANDIKA 016 224 7255
5 BRIEKFIELDS THEVA 013 3845740
6 KLCC HASBEE 014 9254010

You only have to type:

a. Name

b. IC Number/passport number

c. Police station that the person is being taken to or detained

SUARAM will send the sms to the lawyers as well as to the our person in charge in office.

You may also call our office and you can talk to Miss Diane and please give details to her.

Its easy .... Dont panic when you are arrested by the police or stopped by DBKL. All you need to do is CALM DOWN and Call US!

High stakes for Bersih 3.0 rally

High stakes for Bersih 3.0 rally

Bridget Welsh
8:08AM Apr 27, 2012

COMMENT As the buzz surrounding Bersih grows louder, the stakes are rising. As the week began, many wrote off Bersih 3.0, suggesting that the outrage and momentum did not echo the sentiments of last July. They suggested that the playing the rally card again would backfire.
Yet, as the week unfolded, and with the DBKL's (City Hall's) response to the occupation of Dataran Merdeka and students calling for free tertiary education, the tide slowly began to turn. It was BN which appeared to be playing a bad hand.
NONEWhile there was a decentralisation of who was on the frontline for the BN this time, local authorities rather than national leaders, the end result was the same - a failure to address deep-seated concerns about electoral integrity and unwillingness to accept the protest that has arisen by the failure to address these concerns.
While many remain undecided, the ground is moving. Like the earlier two rallies, Bersih 3.0 has evolved into an event that captures a broad range of concerns, from the environment, religious rights, 1Care health insurance scheme and corruption to electoral reform and free education.
The core of these issues involves a call for better governance and greater consultation with Malaysians. This has been the central nerve of Malaysian politics since 1998-1999, as leaders who are seen to be engaging in reform win power and those who don't lose support.
This was the case in 2004 and 2008. The Bersih 3.0 rally will shape whether this will be the case in 2012 (or 2013).
Over the last few weeks, analysts have used online/social media and forums to highlight the need for electoral reform, pointing to serious problems in the electoral roll, electoral system, electoral rules and the independence of the Electoral Commission (EC).
By any measure and international standards, these problems are credible and cannot be dismissed. Many of these problems have been around for a long time; the EC's independence was lost in 1962, for example.
Gerrymandering and malapportionment have been serious issues for decades, and were exacerbated after the 1969 racial riots. What makes the ‘old' issues more salient is the competitiveness of the upcoming polls, as these factors have been shown to influence outcomes in the past.

chart on gerrymandering 02
Malaysia has long been touted as an example of electoral authoritarianism, where the electoral system is used to buttress the support of the incumbent in power.
Foreigners could well decide GE

What makes electoral reform even more potent this time around is the changes that have been brought into the system since 2008, often without proper review or adequate debate.
Here is where the discussion of the electoral roll fits in. To my knowledge, there is no place in the world that allows this many foreigners to vote for the strategic purpose of winning office.
Few can understand why authorities would sell out the interests of its citizens as a whole by bringing in non-Malaysians to vote. This is especially hard to understand when so many Malaysians abroad are clamouring to vote, but were denied this by both the EC and Malaysian courts.
azlanStrategic political citizenship is sadly not new in Malaysia's history, as Sabahans can attest to. Little attention is given on its long-term impact on the country's social fabric and the marginalisation of different communities as the right to vote is given to immigrants for political expediency.
Foreigners, new postal voters, procedures that limit transparency in voting and more have raised serious red flags about Malaysia's electoral processes and the sad fact is that if elections are held in these circumstances, the victory would not be a genuine one. It would be a hollow mandate fabricated through manipulation.
To use an analogy that football fans can understand, there is no longer a referee. The opposition has been told that they can only stand in their own side of the field and all the players in the incumbent team are offside near their rival's goal. This is not a fair fight, but a fixed one.
Where has the sense of integrity gone? Does the BN need a victory so bad that it would play on such an unlevel field?
The reason these issues are so important is, to quote Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, the next election will be "the mother of all elections".
Of the 222 seats up for grabs, I believe 170 are competitive - a swing of 10 percent either way will make a marked difference given the new configuration of younger voters and changing terrain. Of these 170 competitive seats, nearly 90 of these are "highly competitive" - meaning that in the fluid conditions of Malaysian politics, either side can win.
Up until Bersih, it was my view that BN had the advantage.
Prime Minister Najib Razak - through his hard work and use of finances (another problematic area in Malaysian elections - BR1M's cash handouts involved 5.3 million households at a cost of RM2.3 billion, for example) had made headway and was steering BN into a comfortable win, relying heavily on seats in Sabah and Sarawak.
While there were the unknowns of infighting within his party, Umno, the inability of the opposition to formulate a unified message and move beyond capitalising on negative angst against the BN and Umno, continued to work in BN's favour.
The big issue that boosted Najib was perceptions (not necessarily reality) that the economy was stronger than in 2008, as well as the impact of the attacks on Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.
Now, this dynamic is again in flux. The competition has risen sharply, as seats in the BN's hands are less secure. The recent questionable changes involving the electoral process are even more important, and contentious.
The battle for the middle ground
When Bersih 3.0 first began, it attracted the base that voted for the opposition, those that have already made up their minds.
The BN's response - a hardline one that denied access to Dataran Merdeka, showcased the use of the police via DBKL, involved denial of electoral problems through the EC's explanatory report as "anomalies" and even featured taxi drivers linked to BN in an appeal to move the venue elsewhere - involved three key elements:
1) Denial of problems.
2) A traditional attempt to tar the protesters as a threat to stability.
3) The failed attempt to use the racial card.
It mirrored the well-honed old political style. At its core, there are some in Umno who see similarities between Merdeka Square and Tahrir Square, and are worried this arena will be a focal point for change. These sort of concerns led to the siege mentality last July.
Yet, it has evolved into a new dynamic. To understand Malaysian politics today, it is important to appreciate its diversity and pluralism.
The days where power can be decided by a group of leaders meeting in private are gone. It is the people who have the power, not the politicians. Both sides are using numbers and people to win support. The BN-linked NGOs have come out to voice their own concerns, as have some of their beneficiaries. The opposition too is using its own links.
Yet this rally involves many politically-engaged Malaysians who are not tied directly to any party. Their focus is on the issues they represent. Many of these form what in political science is known as ‘critical citizens' - those who view both sides with scepticism and want the system as a whole to improve.
This is what makes Bersih 3.0 so important, in that it is a reflection of Middle Malaysia - the middle ground led by critical citizens. In Middle Malaysia, there are four groups in particular that will shape the electoral outcome.
NONEThe first is youth. Young voters are crucial in the results, as they make up at least two million of the new voters. They are distributed across seats, although disproportionally less likely to vote as they are outstation. Malaysia remains one of the handful of countries in Asia which have a voting age of 21, considerably higher than the global average and this disenfranchises its youth.
They have now become more politically active, reminiscent of the 1960s. Today the issue of free education and treatment of students has made Bersih 3.0 highly emotive among many younger Malaysians, and their turnout will be a test for how the ground is moving.
The second group is middle-class voters. Many of these individuals had never been to a protest before July 2011 and if they show up in high numbers, then it will highlight the challenge the government faces in winning over key opinion leaders in various communities.
These are the doctors, the civil servants, the bankers and clerks, the community leaders who have social capital and can shape opinions. They make up the heart of critical citizens, informed and engaged in issues.
The third group that will matter this time round will be the regional events nationally and internationally, especially in East Malaysia.
These are not only the ‘fixed deposit' areas, but are where many of the electoral problems are most acute, especially foreigner voters. Greater activism outside of Kuala Lumpur will illustrate that the concerns are not confined to the urban core, but national (and international) in scope.
Finally, the fourth group that will matter is the police and other security groups such as Rela (Volunteers Corps), whose actions will reflect on their professionalism. A crackdown will only serve to reinforce the sense of unfairness and the need for better governance that is essentially underlying the Bersih 3.0 rally.
As such, tensions are high and anger has risen on both sides, making Bersih 3.0 more intense than earlier rallies.
Competition for reform within Umno
Even when the dust eventually settle on Bersih 3.0, another fault line in Malaysian politics will be showcased - the ability of Najib to showcase himself as the champion of reform.
After Bersih 2.0, he made promises and many of them took the form of new bills. Some of which opened up space and many of which only served to bring in more draconian measures. Whether it involved free assembly or electoral changes, the end result is that the measures introduced are not yet fundamentally about reform.
They focus on form not substance, taking away old laws such as the Internal Security Act, while introducing more questionable - although untested ones, such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill. The same focus on form underscores the government's last-minute conciliatory offer of four alternative locations for Bersih 3.0.
NONEWhy this focus on form rather than substance? Cynics would suggest that this reflects the inability to trust Najib and his promises. Others would suggest that this reflects the reality in the system that he has to operate. He was a hardliner who is now claiming to be a reformer and/or adopting reformist rhetoric to win power. He is a product of Umno.

The majority of leaders in his party still are hardliners, and the handful of reformist leaders such as Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin are facing challenges inside the system, especially as they are showcased to defend the system they are in.
The bigger question that comes out of the handling of Bersih 3.0 will be whether Umno is capable of reforming.
What is interesting to date is that Najib has stayed largely out of the fray, handing over the spokesman role to his cousin, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein. This issue is a national one and as a national leader, questions are being raised about his position.
He chose to go out of town in the last round, and the end result was that he came off as mishandling the event. Can he afford this again given that his campaign to date has been about his national leadership?
What happens tomorrow is not just about the opposition or Umno-BN. It is also not just about electoral reform, given the wide spectrum of concerns. Everyone will attempt to gain political capital.
Politically, Bersih 3.0 will reveal whether Malaysia will become more polarised or compromises can be reached. It will either provide momentum for the opposition, or signal an early election by Najib if turnout is low, in which he will win, in part due to the problems engendered in the system.
Ultimately this rally is not just about politics. The Bersih 3.0 rally is about Malaysia's future - about whether a national leader will lead, about whether the field will be fair enough to be respectable, about whether a government treats its people with a modicum of respect and about whether politics in Malaysia will be a politics of the street or effective dialogue with a reasonable leadership.
Too much of late in Malaysia has been about negativity, anger and insecurity. Bersih 3.0 is moving politics away from that negativity to the promise of a better future for Malaysians, or at least trying to do so. Najib's reaction to Bersih 3.0 is perhaps his most serious leadership test yet.


DR BRIDGET WELSH is associate professor of political science at Singapore Management University and she can be reached at bwelsh@smu.edu.sg.

Bersih and the rakyat, come what may

Bersih and the rakyat, come what may

Josh Hong
11:36AM Apr 27, 2012

One is entitled to accuse those who are determined to take to the streets tomorrow of being obstinate troublemakers or even ‘fanatics’, but the crux of the issue is: is Dataran Merdeka so sacred that any unauthorised use of is tantamount to sacrilege?
NONEI have seen Mat Rempit play with their precious lives there umpteen times, and the police were nowhere to be seen even though these unruly youths pose a far greater threat to the public. So what is holding Dewan Bandaraya KL back from giving the green light to the Bersih 3.0 sit-in protest?
Someone must be trying to pull the government’s leg. But if the Najib Abdul Razak administration is truly serious about serving the people and gaining their trust, it must stop dithering over a simple event.
From Wong Chun Wai of The Star to Tay Tian Yan of Sin Chew Dailyto the now largely irrelevant Chew Mei Fun (Chew who?), much praise has been heaped on the prime minister as a man of principle and high calibre. But when Najib cannot even rein in a little Napoleon called Ahmad Fuad Ismail, it only shows that his promises on electoral reform and ‘best democracy’ are nothing but hyperbolic and farcical.
Will any of these ‘media professionals’ and political has-beens now dare to tell Najib he must not place himself at the mercy of some recalcitrant bureaucrat, who does not even have a popular mandate to sit in his mayoral office in the first place?
Najib’s apprenticeship has entered its fourth year, and he has broken a Malaysian record by becoming the longest-serving provisional prime minister in the country.
hussein onnHussein Onn (right) went to the country two-and-a-half years after he took over the administration, while Mahathir Mohamad called a general election within one year of succeeding his predecessor, although his Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah campaign will forever remind him and the Malaysian people of his utter failure as a visionary-wannabe.
Even Abdullah Ahmad Badawi - who is not a leader with a backbone made of steel - did not hesitate to ask for a fresh mandate: he dissolved Parliament barely four months into his premiership, and won rather handsomely on a post-Mahathir positive sentiment.
Given the disastrous results in the last election, Najib naturally would want to procrastinate as much as possible to give himself more time to strategise and, more to the point, to pacify the various factions within Umno by dishing out more goodies. But he should at least see it right to allow the sit-in protest to happen. The fact that he has not been able to do so only proves that he is a mediocre PM who can only ensure victory by all means - be they foul or fair.
Split down the middle
The country is split down the middle now. While the calls for greater democratisation are growing louder by the day, there still remains a sizeable number of Malaysians who remain sceptical and wary of street protest. They may be those who are afraid of chaos, although the past has made it crystal clear that mayhem was almost always the result of an excessive police crackdown and a paranoid government.
Then there are people who are used to all the privileges that they have been enjoying for decades - whether it is the bumiputra status that comes with economic security or the readily available largesse by virtue of being ‘the right crony’ - and hence refuse to change.
For this group of people, their resistance to peaceful street protest originates more from a deep-down fear of losing their advantages than from any genuine concern for public order.
But there has to be a paradigm shift in Malaysian politics because the nation cannot afford to live forever under political fear. As tax-payers and free-minded citizens, Malaysians have the right to express their opinion even in the form of public action, including claiming back Dataran Merdeka from Umno’s and, by extension, Barisan Nasional’s monopoly, which has built so much myth of national liberation around it at the expense of the country’s future.
One only has to witness the way their leaders are eating high on the hog.
What matters most is that civil society and the general public must not be absent from the meaningful event. The issue is not about Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Hadi Awang or whether a non-Malay can present a better, alternative government, but about transparency, integrity and justice.
It is also about giving Malaysians a chance to drive out their fear and empower themselves politically. One needs no hero in this endeavour, for everyone can take charge of everyone’s own life by being wise, gentle yet bold in demanding a say in national affairs.
When East Germany was experiencing an upheaval in 1989 that would eventually consign the iron regime of the communists to history, many attributed the amazingly speedy democratic process to Mikhail Gorbachev.
President Richard von Weizsacker, West German president at the time, went a step further by crediting both the reform-minded Soviet leader and the brave East German church which had been working behind the scenes to protect political dissidents and provide them with a platform to spread their ideals.
aung san suu kyiEven the Lady would be nobody without the faithful and persistent masses in Burma.
If Malaysia was one day to be free of Umno’s tutelage, we might one day look back and congratulate each other by saying, ‘Well done, Bersih and the rakyat’.
For that to happen, one must stand up and be counted now, come what may.


JOSH HONG studied politics at London Metropolitan University and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. A keen watcher of domestic and international politics, he longs for a day when Malaysians will learn and master the art of self-mockery, and enjoy life to the full in spite of politicians.

Last-minute call on PM to give nod to Bersih do

Last-minute call on PM to give nod to Bersih do

Hazlan Zakaria
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.

International fact finding Mission should comment on EC response

An international fact finding mission invited to Malaysia by Anwar Ibrahim has voiced 3 concerns regarding Malaysia's electoral system.

The team met with EC officials today and Wan Ahmad Wan Omar Wan Ahmad, said the EC clarified on questions raised such as fair media access to political parties, a clean electoral roll, overseas voters and delineation of constituencies.

“Since they have met political parties, it is fair that they come to us to seek clarification.

“We welcome election observers and fact-finding missions from abroad to get correct and accurate information from us.

“As the 13th general election draws closer, definitely many election fact-finding mission delegates and observers from overseas are coming to meet political parties here.

“If they obtain information only from political parties, such information or facts are likely to be biased,” he told Bernama.

“After getting our explanation, I noticed that they (the delegates) have a better understanding of the electoral system and process in the country. Several delegates said they felt that the EC had given an honest explanation,” said Wan Ahmad.

Is that so Wan Ahmad, a better understanding? Perhaps you are right. They understand better how EC had helped UMNO/BN maintain federal power for 50 decades by rigging the elections although Wan Ahmad remarks seemed to be on a positive note which we don't agree with.

In any case, Malaysiakini since they published Wan Ahmad's views should also get a response from the fact finding mission.


The team is made up of delegates from Germany, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand, South Africa, Turkey, Indonesia and Tunisia.

CIJ: Dailies' near-blackout of Bersih may be political

CIJ: Dailies' near-blackout of Bersih may be political

4:12PM Apr 27, 2012

The coverage by several major dailies for this year's Bersih rally saw a huge drop compared with last year's, and may involve political interference, according to a study by the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ).
Based on its study, identical to one it conducted prior to last year's Bersih rally, it concluded that people might see the newspapers as purposely restricting their coverage, or acting under political pressure from the parties which own them.
newspaper reports on bersih2 rally 100711 new straits times"This can only fuel speculation that (the four papers) are deliberately toning down their Bersih coverage - at best, of their own accord, or at worst, due to interference from the government or the political parties which own them," it said in a statement today.
The press NGO monitored articles from four major newspapers from April 14, - English-language dailiesThe New Straits Times, The Star andtheSun and, Malay-language Utusan Malaysia.
However, it did not include other major Malay-language dailies such as the Berita Harian, or any of the other Chinese or Tamil language newspapers.
The results of its study indicated that the coverage of Bersih in the two weeks before the rally this year had fallen sharply compared with the same period last year.
Drop in coverage sharp
Utusan Malaysia showed had a 97 percent decrease in Bersih coverage, with published 316 articles in 2011 and only nine this newspaper reports on bersih2 rally 100711 utusan malaysiayear.
New Straits Times had a similar drop of 92 percent, with 97 articles last year and only eight this year.
The Star's also saw a huge dive, at 91 percent. It only had nine articles this year compared with 104 last year.
theSun recorded the smallest at 62 percent, with 10 articles this year compared with 26 last year.
The group also analysed balanced coverage of the rally among the newspapers, finding that first two's were largely negative, that of the other two were more fair.
Coverage by Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times were mostly negative across both years, while The Star saw a rise in the number of neutral articles published this year.
At odds with global ranking
theSun had the most balanced coverage this year, with eight neutral articles, and one negative and one positive .
It also noted that apart from theSun, no other newspaper published Justice Rohana Yusuf's court order to Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein last Wednesday, according to CIJ.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court order requested Hishamuddin clarify his stance on Bersih, as he had declared the organisation illegal in 2011 but allowed the Bersih 3.0 rally.
The poor performance of the print media in reporting accurately is at odds with Malaysia's rise in several global rankings of media freedom as well as the promise of liberalisation behind recent amendments to the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA), it contended.
"These statistics are a clear example of how the print media is still not free to report fairly and accurately in Malaysia.
"CIJ calls for a complete repeal of the PPPA and a review of the ownership of the print media by political parties," it said.

KL police: Bersih 3.0 can gather but not march

KL police: Bersih 3.0 can gather but not march

S Pathmawathy
4:13PM Apr 27, 2012

Supporters of Bersih 3.0 are permitted to gather at the meeting points but are prohibited from marching to Dataran Merdeka as provided for by the recently enforced Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA), said Kuala Lumpur police chief Mohmad Salleh.
He said any group moving to Dataran Merdeka to join the banned sit-in tomorrow will face police action, and possible arrest.
The police obtained a court order last night barring the coalition for clean and fair elections from sitting-in at Dataran Merdeka tomorrow.
Mohmad said supporters and organisers are prohibited from marching from the meeting points to anywhere too close to streets bordering the venue.

"Seeing that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) rejected Bersih's application and the police received intelligence and information that the organisers are adamant on going ahead, considering issues of safety and peace we had applied for a court order under Section 98 of the Criminal Procedure Code," said Mohmad at the police contingent headquarters.

The order bars all activities at Dataran Merdeka from tomorrow till  May 1, he  said, adding that any violation of the order carries a maximum jail term of six month or RM2,000 fine or both under Section 188 of the Penal Code.
The organisers had identified six gathering locations - Masjid Negara, Jalan Sultan, Jalan Masjid India, Central Market, Brickfields fountain, Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC).
Participants of environmental coalition, Himpuanan Hijau, plan to  make their way from KLCC to Dataran Merdeka to join forces with Bersih.

Asked if there will be road closure or road blocks leading to the gathering points, that, Mohmad told reporters, would depend on tomorrow’s situation.
No restrictions have been place on t-shirts and other paraphernalia related to Bersih or Himpunan Hijau, he said, unlike the July 9 rally last year when yellow coloured Bersih related materials were outlawed.
At a simultaneous press conference at another location, Bersih chief Ambiga Sreenevasan said that they will adhere to the court order but will try to get as close as possible to the iconic field.

The security move against the coalition, however, contradicts Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein's assurance that the rally is not a secuirty threat.

DBKL, under orders from Mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail, said in a statement that the restriction will be enforced according to the  Local Government (Dataran Merdeka) (Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur) By-Laws 1992 and section 65 of the Local Government Act 1976 until Sunday 6am.

City hall has since barricaded the historic square and both DBKL and the government have repeatedly urged Bersih to change the venue of the sit-in to other venues including Stadium Merdeka which was ironically off limits to the tens of thousands during last year’s July 9 rally.

azlan

Bersih 3.0 'now a security issue', says KL mayor

Bersih 3.0 'now a security issue', says KL mayor

Nigel Aw
12:41PM Apr 27, 2012

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has passed the buck to the police, saying that Bersih's insistence on holding its rally at the historic Dataran Merdeka has “become a security issue”.
NONEKL mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail (left) said today this meant the police should intervene to assist DBKL to uphold the law.
"Now it appears there is a confrontation between what they (Bersih) want and what is not permitted by law, between those who want to rally and outsiders who are opposed to it.
"I can say that there is now an element of security," Ahmad Fuad said at the DBKL headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

In light of this, Ahmad Fuad said he will be meeting with Kuala Lumpur police chief Mohmad Salleh later today to determine their course of action in a joint operation.

‘DBKL to police: You know what to do’
“When there is a security issue, it is under the jurisdiction of the police and the police must assist DBKL.
“Even though from the statements the police have issued... I believe that the police are always ready (to assist us)," he said.
In contrast to the previous Bersih rally on July 9 last year, the police have adopted a hands-off approach.
Admitting that DBKL’s manpower was limited, he added that the police should know what has to be done.
“If the police provide us with large manpower, then perhaps we will not even require DBKL officers, but if the police tell us to handle it ourselves... then we will see how large the crowd is on that day,” he said.
Ahmad Fuad added that at a meeting with Bersih leaders on April 25, the group had made clear to him if Dataran Merdeka was  prohibited the venue as their rally site, they would sit on the roads.
‘Street sit-in is not peaceful protest’
“If they sit on the roads then it is no longer a peaceful rally, how can they guarantee that nothing unfortunate will happen?” he said.
He also criticised Bersih for rejecting the alternative venue of Stadium Merdeka offered to them on the grounds that there would not be enough time to inform protesters.
“If they cannot even inform their supporters, how are they going to control the large crowd that they claim will come to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow?” he said.
Asked about the possibility of  confrontation with Bersih supporters tomorrow, Ahmad Fuad said DAP vice-chairperson Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim’s statement that the rally would bring more bad than good would rightly reflect the situation.

“I don’t want to comment but from what Tunku Abdul Aziz said, it is a scenario that could happen,” he said.

Tunku Abdul Aziz had yesterday broke ranks with party members, expressing concern that the Bersih demonstration may lead to chaos.

Ahmad Fuad added that as of now, there are no plans to close any roads but if it were to be done, the likely ones to be affected would be Jalan Raja, Jalan Tun Perak, Jalan Hishammuddin and Jalan Lebuh Pasar.

NONE