BERSIH 3.0: Reform storm gathers in Malaysia


April 28, 2012

asiatimes online: Bersih Rally

BERSIH 3.0 Reform storm gathers in Malaysia

By Simon Roughneen

Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square)

Almost 10 months after security forces forcibly broke up an electoral reform protest in the national capital, a chaotic repeat looms. The Malaysian government and city authorities will attempt to close off the city center square–Dataran Merdeka– where activists hope 100,000 people will gather this weekend to seek sweeping changes to the electoral system.

The rally organizers, known as BERSIH (Malay for “clean”) 3.0, are a coalition of  NGOs and human rights groups who say they want Malaysia’s electoral laws amended. Opposition members of parliament allege that tens of thousands of irregularities persist on the electoral register, while BERSIH has dismissed the election commission as toothless and called for the election commission to resign. The rally is being held ahead of anticipated snap polls later this year.

During a BERSIH rally last July 9, more than 1,600 people were arrested and scores injured, including opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Police fired tear gas and water cannon at tens of thousands of peaceful protestors at various locations in Kuala Lumpur. The crackdown hit Prime Minister Najib Razak’s reform credentials and signaled his United Malays Nasional Organization (UMNO) party’s resistance to meaningful electoral reform before the next polls, which must be held by April 2013.

The stage is set for new clashes. Kuala Lumpur Mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail announced on Thursday that Dataran Merdeka, or Independence Square, will be closed from 6 am Friday to 6 am Sunday after Home Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said protesters had refused offers that four stadia elsewhere in the city could be used for the rally.

Cynthia Gabriel, Director of SUARAM, a human-rights organization and part of the BERSIH 3.0 steering committee, told Asia Times Online that the protesters should be allowed to convene at the square. “This is a last-minute effort to make it as difficult as possible for us logistically to hold the rally,” she said. “We have promised that the protest will be peaceful, and in any functioning democracy the right of citizens to stage a peaceful rally is enshrined in law.”

The government’s move is being seen as a test of BERSIH’s resolve. “Merdeka Square is a matter of principle – backing down at the last minute will obviously cause confusion and also a loss of momentum,” said Greg Lopez of Australian National University.

The rally comes almost a month after the Malaysian government proposed 22 electoral reforms that Bersih considers insufficient. Political analysts believe Saturday’s rally could take place less than six weeks before parliamentary elections that might be held on June 5.

Gabriel (left) said “only the issue of indelible ink has been addressed” (which would prevent voters from casting a ballot multiple times) in the proposed electoral changes. She and other BERSIH leaders advocate that an election not be held until the latest possible date, allowing the government sufficient time to pass and implement more substantive reforms into law.

Beginning in September 2011, Najib’s government announced a series of reforms, including of the repressive print media codes and notorious Internal Security Act (ISA) that allowed for indefinite detention without trial.

The changes “underline my commitment to making Malaysia a modern, progressive democracy that can be proud to take its place at the top table of international leadership”, said Najib, speaking on the eve of celebrations marking the founding of the modern Malaysian state in 1963.

However, Opposition Member of Parliament Dzulkefly Ahmad of the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) dismisses Najib’s reform drive. “What the big print gives the small print takes away,” he told Asia Times Online, suggesting that the reform announcements were more about electioneering than substantive change.

Electoral maneuvers

Analysts believe that a big turnout on Saturday could influence whether the government calls the elections soon. If the lockdown succeeds in keeping supporters away from the rally, a low turnout could give the impression of a waning desire for political change and thereby spur the government into holding an early snap poll. Under present laws, the government needs to give only a week’s notice before holding an election, giving the opposition little time to prepare a nationwide campaign.

The UMNO-dominated Barisan Nasional (BN, or National Front) ruling coalition has governed Malaysia since independence. The present opposition coalition led by Anwar Ibrahim, a former UMNO insider, achieved its best-ever result in 2008, denting the government’s two-thirds parliamentary majority for the first time in the multi-ethnic, multi-religious state.

Around 60% of Malaysians are either ethnic Malay or other “indigenous” groups and are mostly listed as Muslim. Another 25% are ethnic Chinese and 7% mostly Tamil-speaking Indian-Malaysians. Party and voting allegiances have not traditionally been cast on strict ethnic lines, however, with UMNO and PAS competing for the “Islamic” vote and with separate Chinese-dominated parties in both the BN and opposition coalitions.

Earlier in the week, the Kuala Lumpur Mayor slammed BERSIH as an opposition front, something the protesters have consistently denied. “It is a natural consequence that opposition parties back any civil society drive for free and fair elections,” reasoned BERSIH organizer Gabriel “as the perceived cheating in any poll would be disadvantageous to them”.

On Friday, government-linked media played up opposition senator Tunku Abdul Aziz’s description of BERSIH as “irresponsible” for refusing to back down on the rally venue. The Democratic Action Party (DAP) representative’s comments highlighted that despite government claims BERSIH and the parliamentary Opposition are not locked in a seamless alliance.

Indeed, the Opposition Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance) coalition itself is an unwieldy amalgam of Anwar’s centrist Keadilan party, the secular Malaysian-Chinese DAP and the sharia law-favoring PAS, whose divergent interests are perhaps only held together by the prospect of displacing BN from power.

Asked if the Opposition could win in a free and fair vote, Member of Parliament Ahmad said, “I don’t know,” conceding that “Najib is making himself look so earnest with all these reforms.”

Looking ahead to eventual elections, Yang Razali Kassin of the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, said BN would go all out to win back its previously held two-thirds majority and the four out of 13 federal states lost to the opposition in 2008.

“In that sense, the opposition will be on the defensive,” he said. The Prime Minister’s popularity has jumped after recent increases to civil service salaries, one-off cash transfers to low-income families and recent reform announcements.

After the negative response to last July’s crackdown on the BERSIH 2.0 rally, analysts believe it would be counter-productive and counter-intuitive for the government to back a similar crackdown on Saturday.

However, Home Affairs Minister Hussein was by early Friday speaking of the proposed rally as a security issue, hinting that a repeat of last July’s crackdown was possible if BERSIH tried to access Independence Square.

For now, political analysts feel that the governing parties are well placed to win any upcoming election. “The real issue is how big will BN win,” said Lopez, adding that the opposition had failed to make inroads into the government’s voter-heavy stronghold of east Malaysia, where the election could be won or lost.

Simon Roughneen is a foreign correspondent. His website is http://www.simonroughneen.com.

Copyright 2012 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved.

PRESS STATEMENT: DAP’s Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng chastises Tunku Abdul Aziz

With a politically-motivated Elections Commission (EC), Malaysians face the dirtiest general elections in history. As all other efforts to clean up the electoral process has failed, civil society has no other choice but to group under BERSIH to involve all Malaysians to press for clean elections in the BERSIH sit in protest tomorrow.

I am therefore compelled to publicly chastise Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz’s irresponsible remarks opposing BERSIH’s right to assemble peacefully and conduct a sit-in protest at Dataran Merdeka at 2pm 28.4.2012 to press for clean, free, fair and independent elections. Tunku’s remarks is not the DAP stand but his own personal view. Senator Tunku is alone amongst the entire DAP Central Executive Committee in his stand on BERSIH 3.0 at Dataran Merdeka.

Tunku has not notified the party leadership that he would be making his position publicly. By making his stand public, Tunku has contradicted the principle of collective leadership and decision-making where whilst one can disagree, but as leaders we all have to abide by the majority decision made by the party leadership.

This has placed the party in an embarrassing position of being criticized by our own Senator for fully endorsing BERSIH’s sit-in protest as an exercise of a basic human right of peaceful assembly.

By opposing BERSIH when so many Malaysians are working hard to effect change for a clean electoral process, Tunku has undermined their efforts and given a gift to BN and the tainted Election Commission.

I have conveyed to Tunku Aziz the party’s rebuke and the unhappiness of almost all DAP members at the public expression of his personal views against BERSIH’s sit-in protest. I have also impressed upon him that whilst DAP allow differences of opinion within the party, publicly opposing a policy decision taken by the party in the manner Tunku has conducted himself does more harm than good.

For the electorally abuses by a politically inclined Election Commission, where its top officials were UMNO members that has allowed itself to be used as a tool by BN, DAP fully supports and will mobilize its members for the BERSIH sit-in protest for clean elections on 2pm 28 April 2012 nation-wide. DAP urges all Malaysians to join the BERSIH rallies nation-wide, especially at Dataran Merdeka.

DAP strongly condemns the actions and warnings by the government, especially Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur, to ban this peaceful sit-in protest by instilling fear of untoward incidents.

The use of fear tactics only betrays the real character of the BN government as dictatorial and tyrannical. As American President Thomas Jefferson said,

When a government fears the people, there is liberty;
When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.

The time has come to ensure a bright and clean future for our children free from fear. Only a clean election process untainted by abuses committed by the EC can give birth to clean leaders who give hope to all Malaysians.

Press Statement by DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng
April 27, 2012

38 thoughts on “BERSIH 3.0: Reform storm gathers in Malaysia

  1. Today’s the day!
    __________
    Go out there in Perth and show solidarity with us here in KL. Good luck, Kathy. Semoga kita berjaya.–Din Merican

  2. I’ll bet everything I owned that there won’t be BERSIH 4 if the present government present the power of government to the opposition today. Din Merican, even a 2.1pointer political non-graduate knows that the first rule of politics is about POWER/KUASA. Even warung kopi kampong customers know the chaff from the seeds!
    _____________
    Hamid, you are wrong. Power is now with us. Well if Pakatan Rakyat wins and behaves in the same manner as the incumbent regime, we will kick them out as well. Electoral rolls must be cleaned and electoral processes must be transparent and the Election Commission revamped. A Judge should be made Election Commission chairman, not a member of a political party.

    BERSIH4.0 and so on will be organised until the mission to establish a system for free and fair elections is completed. Civil society is emboldened by what has happened today (428) here in our country by concerned citizens, and around the world by the Malaysian diaspora. –Din Merican

  3. I am relaxing at home with my family members being a Saturday. My friends in the Police and their family members are complaining that the Bersih 3.0 have taken away their rights to enjoy their weekend holiday. They cannot spend their weekend to Port Dickson or Genting Highlands or some other place for a picnic with the family. They have to work 24/7. So I told them to be patient. Policemen are deemed to be on duty 24 hours a day. KL needs them to keep the peace and safety of all including Bersih 3.0 organizers, members, supporters and it’s citizens.
    _________
    That is your choice. You are what we call a free rider.Fortunately the 100,000 people in Kuala Lumpur aren’t like you.They want change and are willing to stand up for their rights.–Din Merican

  4. This is D-Day for Malaysians who love Malaysia to come out to be counted to PEACEFULLY show the present regime that the writing is on the wall that the RAKYAT demands positive changes.

    It makes more political sense for the government to genuinely clean up the electoral process in Malaysia for the good of the country before holding the next GE. This is to ensure the nation and the world that BN will win with integrity or lose with dignity.

    More importantly, whoever then wins at the next GE, the loser has no legitimate or moral grounds to take to the streets to protest.

  5. You can be excused for not being able to differentiate the ruling party from the government that it runs. That comes from more than three discades of misrule.

  6. Peace and stability and no street demonstrations?? Then you can kiss goodbye to democracy. Democracy is about the freedom of expression, assembly and association. Democracy is noisy but that’s just how democracy works.

  7. Malaysians must resist making street demonstrations part of our political culture. Dissent with assembly yes… but no street demonstrations. Enough has already been said about this on this blog for elaboration.

    There is no single definition of democracy. Democracy is noisy, did I hear someone say? Others might retort that empty vessels make the most noise.

  8. So what’s your point, that there has been in existence, another ruling political party in Malaysia that you can or need to differentiate between the two? :)

  9. The foreign agents from US, Europe, Isreil and Australia must be happy to see the demonstration going on in KL.-Adam Abdullah

    Malaysian Arab Spring in the making?

  10. Over here we have a robust democracy because we have the rule of law and a constitution that says what it means and means what it says. We have an open political process integrity of which is protected by the rule of law. Over twhere you are you have today a regime which is intolerant of public opinion, of speech that is different f.rom the regime’s supported by a plethora of legislation aimed at suppressing dissent in the name of national security. The result? The result is a government steeped in abuse of power and corruption that has lost all legitimacy.

  11. “Malaysians must resist making street demonstrations part of our political culture. Dissent with assembly yes… but no street demonstrations.”

    You must think that all these rally participants have nothing better to do than to appear at a peaceful demo at the risk of beng tear gassed, beaten up and possibly being locked up ? :)

    And talking about sacrifices, I think it is about time the cousins step out of the shadows of their father’s legacies and have the courage to do what is necessary for the country to undo all the damage done by that grandson of a mamak tongkang. A big broom is what is needed to clean up all the mess.

  12. BERSIH 3.0

    What caught my attention first the moment I alighted from the LRT train at Pasar Seni at about 1;45 p.m today was the generally young, enthusiastic and innocent looking crowd and all of them spotted a happy look but with a lot of hope in their mind, the same thing I have. We were walking slowly towards the direction of Dataran Merdeka and I saw thousands of people mostly dressed in BERSH 3.0 t-shirts and with some dressed in green. Along the way was a young man working vigorously handing out free bottles of mineral water. Everyone shouted slogans such as, ‘REFORMASI’, ‘BERSIH’, ‘WE WANT FAIR ELECTIONS’ and so on.

    Upon reaching Jalan Lekiu near Loke Yew Building, there was a police road block manned by at least 100 men. That was the closest the crowd, including me, got to Dataran Merdeka. I believe, all the other entrances were similarly blocked and no one could enter Dataran Merdeka.

    This time, I notice, the police and the authorities, being very well prepared won hands down.

    BERSIH 3.0 had no answer for the police preparedness and I was very disappointed with BERSIH 3.0 organisers for not being prepared and, I believe, took things for granted. First and foremost, the was no communication between the organisers and the people which I thought is something that can be very simply organised. Just get BERSIH 3.0 agents and station them at all the entrances to Dataran Merdeka equipped with walkie-talkies and inform them what to do next. They then can broadcast them or announce them to the crowd in the respective areas. That way, the crowd will know what to do rather than leaving all of them, including me, not knowing at all what’s going to happen. It was a big opportunity that the BERSIH 3.0 organisers had wasted. As early as 2:15 p.m., I saw people leaving already and many headed towards the nearest LRT station.

    I left later and at about 2:45 p.m., I arrived at the Masjid Jamek LRT Station and there was already a large crowd there waiting on either side of the platform. At least five trains arrived on either side of the platform passed but none stopped and the people were getting edgy and uncomfortable and many shouted ‘vulgarities’ every time a train passed but did not stop.

    I decided to ask some RAPID KL’s auxiliary policemen on duty there and none of them knew what was happening. When I asked if they any telephone number that I could use to call their supervisors or officers they told me that they didn’t have any. Later, I got a number from one of them who told me I could try to call their operations office. I tried a couple of times but there was no answer. He did not have any other numbers to give me. After that, one of them told me to go to the station’s office on the top floor and look for a supervisor or an officer to inquire. I did but as soon as I got to that level, I didn’t see any people manning the station. Almost at the same time, someone threw a canister of tear gas which caused a lot of commotion. Was this planned?

    If there was any intention not to allow trains to stop at Masjid Jamek Station, the operator of the LRT should place a notice to prevent people from entering but that was not done and people continued to purchase tickets and the crowd numbers accumulated so much so that the station was full of people, at the top level and at the level where they were to board thee trains. It was then that the tear gas was thrown and got people running helter -skelter. I did not see any reason why the police must do that as there was no violence at all. What the police did was very cruel, at the least, and if that was something that the police had arranged, then, they should be charged for causing hurt to the public.

    There were some good Samaritans among the crowd and they had water and salt to offer those who were affected by the tear gas. I was given some to ease the discomfort and pain from the tear gas and, surprisingly, it worked.

    The BERSIH 3.0 rally and the incident at Masjid Jamek LRT Station made many of the people angry and I could see tempers rising and a couple of ‘would-be’ fights but luckily, they were all thwarted by others who did not want to see any violence happening and concerned about maintaining peace.

    I finally left at about 3.45 p.m., disappointed, angry and frustrated.

    HUSSAINI ABDUL KARIM, Shah Alam

  13. It’s so sad that the cyber-parameciums deployed by UMNO cannot even put up a coherent case. They can only ramble about sex and sadistic stuff that excite the UMNO-putras.

    Come to think of it, even parameciums are more intelligent that these UMNO-sponsored organisms.

  14. Somehow, everyone missed a golden opportunity that came out of the EC mess.

    Malaysia is an utopia for longevity and we should be selling this point to the world. Imagine the benefits to the country’s economy. Will probably dwarf the petro revenue. Picture this on being beam around the world …

    “The oldest live Malaysian was born in the 1850’s, And we have over 1,000 people who are over a 100 years old. Would you like to know why Malaysians can live so long? Come visit Malaysia to find out!!!”

  15. Dato, thank you. We went to support.

    To Abdul hamid, get ready for when the Opposition takes over and the eclections are clean, you better pay up everything you own. We will be asking for it ok and will give it to donation rumah anak yatim. Dato’ has your email and we will be asking you to pay up. Becasue it will be clean by then.
    There was no police presence. Not necessary although they were already informed and made aware. But Australia is a mature nation and all assistance would have been accorded to ensure the event went ahead.

    For those sex craved malay Umno pls take note that people who are investigated here have stepped down from their position because thats what Honourable people do when allegations surface. unlike your Umno fellas.Not only they dont step down when there are allegations ,they FRAME others too.

    (Reuters) – Malaysian police fired tear gas and water cannon in clashes with thousands of protesters demanding electoral reforms on Saturday, raising the risk of a political backlash that could delay national polls which had been expected as early as June.

    Riot police reacted after some protesters among the crowd of at least 25,000 tried to break through barriers, in defiance of a court order banning them from entering the city’s historic Merdeka (Independence) Square. They fired dozens of tear gas rounds and chased protesters through nearby streets.

    Protesters also battled with police at a train station nearby, throwing bottles and chairs at officers who responded by firing tear gas rounds. A police car was overturned by angry protesters after it hit demonstrators. Most of the protesters had dispersed by early evening but sporadic clashes with police continued.

    “They (the police) asked the crowd to disperse but did not give enough warning,” said Aminah Bakri, 27, with tears streaming down her face from the gas.

    “They do not care.”

    The police reaction could carry risks for Prime Minister Najib Razak if it is seen as too harsh, possibly forcing him to delay elections that must be called by next March but which many observers had expected for June. Najib’s approval rating tumbled after July last year when police were accused of a heavy handed response to the last major electoral reform rally by the Bersih (Clean) group. It has since rebounded to nearly 70 percent.

    Some media sites put the number of protesters as high as 100,000, which would make it by far the biggest since “Reformasi” (Reform) demonstrations in 1998 against then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

    The protest posed a delicate challenge for Najib, who is anxious to attract middle-class voters ahead of an election that is shaping up as the closest in Malaysia’s history.

    But Najib must be mindful of conservatives in his party, wary his moves to relax tough security laws and push limited election reforms could threaten their 55-year hold on power.

    Human Rights Watch was quick to condemn the police action.

    “By launching a crackdown on peaceful … protesters on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian government is once again showing its contempt for its people’s basic rights and freedoms,” said Phil Robertson, the group’s deputy Asia director.

    WATERSHED FOR NAJIB

    Malaysia’s Bar Council’s Legal Aid Center said around 200 people had been detained, far less than the more than 1,600 who were held in last July’s protest.

    “Police acted with utmost restraint and efficiency,” Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on Twitter, adding the situation was now under control.

    Bersih, an independent movement whose goals are backed by the opposition, has a history of staging influential rallies as Malaysians have demanded more freedoms and democratic rights in the former British colony that has an authoritarian streak.

    Many of the protesters on Saturday were younger Malaysians who have become more active in recent years, chafing at political restrictions and cronyism in the racially divided Southeast Asian nation.

    “The younger generation, especially my generation, want to be involved,” said 19-year-old university student Chan Mei Fong. ‘We cannot be quiet.”

    The July protest was a watershed moment for Najib, prompting him to promise reform of an electoral system that the opposition says favors the long-ruling National Front coalition.

    The National Front is trying to recover from its worst ever election result in 2008 when it lost its two-thirds majority in parliament, giving the diverse, three-party opposition led by former finance minister Anwar Ibrahim real hope of taking power.

    Najib has replaced tough security laws – ending indefinite detention without trial – relaxed some media controls, and pushed reforms to the electoral system that critics have long complained is rigged in the government’s favor.

    A bipartisan parliamentary committee set up by Najib this month issued 22 proposals for electoral reform, including steps to clean up electoral rolls and equal access to media.

    But Bersih has complained it is unclear if the steps will be in place for the next election.

    The government says it has already met, or is addressing, seven of Bersih’s eight main proposals for the election, which will see the first use of indelible ink to cut down on fraud.

    Bersih says the proposals do not meet most of its key demands, including lengthening the campaign period to at least 21 days from the current seven days and international observers at polling stations. Bersih and opposition parties say they have unearthed multiple instances of irregularities in voter rolls, including over 50 voters registered at one address.

    (Additional reporting by Angie Teo and Siva Sithraputhran. Writing by Stuart Grudgings, Editing by Jonathan Thatcher and Ed Lane

  16. The point is very simple… actually there are several points but just one will do here. It is that, yes a big broom is needed… but after we clean up the mess do we have anything better to put in its place? My point is, not yet. A lot more time is needed; unless we wish to risk a frying pan into the fire scenario.

    Which is why I have always said we ought to let PR govern the States (all of them if necessary) until they have shown themselves ready for Putra Jaya.

    Far too much emotion is being used here. Common Sense will do it much better.

  17. we are trained dogs who obey orders; if they say ‘sit’ we have to sit down and if they say ‘disperse’ we have to run away. but we have become bad dogs, now – poor umno-bn have to train us again with chemical -water and tear gas. ..phew! it s such a headache to train these mongrels of malaysia.

    thanks for the article Kathy.

    I wonder how can 25,000 peacefully sitting people be a security threat to the nation?? that is the million dollar question!
    if that is a security risk (25k unarmed people) how are they going to react to a fiendish army? throw the atom bomb??
    I still wonder why they did not deploy the high-tech Scorpene Submarines to safeguard Dataran Merdeka – they paid so much for it lah, my God!

    the pundits are there now finding faults with the so called street demos which they say is not supposed to be malaysian culture. that could be true if malaysia was not a democracy. but it is always like this; If I do it then it is right but if you do it then it is not our culture.

    why does the PM always not there when something like this is planned?
    poor malaysians, you expect this ball-less chap to lead you to new heights?

    hak55, I won’t be surprised if everything was planned to teach the ‘stupid cows’ a lesson, to scare them into not doing a Bersih again.
    the government and its institutions should never treat its citizens as its enemies because the way the Datuk(?) Bandar spoke was like a samseng challenging you. Mayor, my foot he is not even fit to sweep the back lanes in Chow Kit.

    even if PR is corrupt, nevermind, at least let another bunch of crooks rob us but not the same pack for 56 years. lets be generous at least.

  18. Isa Manteqi, one can learn the job while doing it. anyway Anwar has hands on experience so thats not the point. they need some more time loot malaysia, thats what you mean, don’t you?
    ….let PR govern the States (all of them if necessary) until they have shown themselves ready for Putra Jaya.–Isa Manteqi
    ????????????????????????????????

  19. hei makchik,
    ko ni bodo la mcm lembu nfz,ko otak singkat.bersih 3.0 menuntut hak kita sbgai rakyat malaysia!hidup pr!!!

  20. PDRM count of number present=25,000
    Independent count = 100,000

    This means that pdrm uses a quarter of their brains. Or, maybe and more than likely, thats the maximum capicity of their brain utility. Sad

  21. “..occupy the Dataran,”

    Sigh.. Didn’t i say “Occupy” is a dirty word? That was the threshold for the attack dogs. Anyway, i expected the barrier to be breached and the outta control scenario was just a pretense. If it weren’t a goon from PKR, it would have been a Goon none the less.. What’s wrong with these idiots? Can’t read between the lines?

    Anyway, the running battles lasted way after the ‘bersurai’ orders and i think the next One will be be much more serious and sitting down won’t be an option. The psychological barrier of fear and intimidation has been breached and his Lembekness will pay the price. There was genuine fear among the uniformed goons when the tables were turned transiently when they were out-numbered and surrounded. And it doesn’t do anyone any good to compare this with the other peaceful gatherings outside KL.

    Meanwhile, let’s pray for the 388 or more in custody and those seriously injured. So much for racial and religious havoc that UMNO enforces.

  22. It’s so sad that the cyber-parameciums deployed by UMNO cannot even put up a coherent case. They can only ramble about sex and sadistic stuff that excite the UMNO-putras.

    Come to think of it, even parameciums are more intelligent that these UMNO-sponsored organisms.

    amoeba – April 28, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Well said Amoeba but I doubt they even understand what it means. They are after all one celled…”amoebas” ( no pun intended)

    pleasure reeperbahn.

    We took delight in participating, it was exhilirating for us although the nerve centre was far away, we felt we were part of it.

  23. The point is very simple… actually there are several points but just one will do here. It is that, yes a big broom is needed… but after we clean up the mess do we have anything better to put in its place? My point is, not yet. A lot more time is needed; unless we wish to risk a frying pan into the fire scenario.

    Isa Manteqi – April 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Isa you are right to caution the people becasue I have the same reticence about Pakatan becasue I am not much into personalities. I’d rather issues and policies but I have heard of none. However i read that on the ground there is a difference to the rakyat ( give or take some problems here and there along the way). What choice does a trapped “animal” have Isa? To be nice to the one that has trapped them and not bite back? C’mon Isa thats asking for too much already. Another day is unberable for some let alone more time. It HAS been over 50 years now. Where are the poor? Still poor thats where. Where are the rich? They DON’T give a damn about the poor. Thats where.
    Maybe it is time we “go into the fire” becasue as far as the current system goes, the fire has roasted the people, they have been burnt. ( about RM100 billion or more I think is the figure)

  24. “But Australia is a mature nation and all assistance would have been accorded to ensure the event went ahead.

    For those sex craved malay Umno pls take note that people who are investigated here have stepped down from their position because thats what Honourable people do when allegations surface. unlike your Umno fellas.Not only they dont step down when there are allegations ,they FRAME others too.” : Kathy
    ______

    I believe the reason people in power in Malaysia do not step down when the finger points to them, is that these people are not their “own person”. They are in the position of power due to patronage, not due to their abilities.

    A person that has risen in power due to his/her own abilities and sound ethics — albeit with some patronage, as any political system will have that — has an intense feeling of pride in their accomplishments, and will step down when a serious mistake is made and the citizens who put them in power call them out.

    On the other hand, a person who has risen to power due solely to patronage and corruption is not free to make his/her own decision to step down. That person is put in place by the puppet master and the puppet master does not and will not let him step down, as he must stay there to continue to carry out the agenda of the puppet master. His conscience must be suppressed. The puppet master is immune to the backlash (that’s why they are called puppet masters).

    Of course, in other countries there are people in power who are selfish and unethical, but the citizenry will hound them out in that case. In Malaysia there is the culture built up over at least 20 years where the citizen’s voice is ignored. This has been a master’s course in obfuscation by those in power. That’s why a free media and a strong culture of investigative journalism is necessary to turn the corner. Sadly though, Malaysia may never see that fully.

  25. That’s why a free media and a strong culture of investigative journalism is necessary to turn the corner.Sadly though, Malaysia may never see that fully.

    freeyellowman – April 29, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Never say never.

  26. I am curious what are we fighting for or simply we are merely pawns to the politicians who enjoy the blood, sweat and tears of the loyal supporters? When the leader who stood on the car shouted for us to enter the Dataran, in high spirits we rammed the barricade, hoping others would follow. We were doused with water and then were fired upon with tear gas.

    What happen to the leaders (one was on top of the car, as usual inciting us while the other @ lady, crouched inside the car in comfort or perhaps enjoying the cool aircondition in the vehicle)? They sped off as in fear while our friends and elderly supporters bled fighting the cause alone. Our friends who impersonate as lawyers @ observers too disappeared when we rushed inside the Dataran. None of them participated except for the shoutings and inciting the supporters. Where were our legal friends when some of us were caught? Who will defend our rights now?

    I dare say all these because I was there and beginning to feel sick with the way we are being treated. We are definitely Bersih at heart for we believe in the cause. To those who we thought were leaders, such shameful behaviour only reflect your true identity. Some of you must be laughing at our foolishness, we who dedicately follow you almost everywhere, yet you turned your back on back when we need you!

    It was a damn sight; to turn around and see the great leaders disappearing into thin air the moment water cannons were used and tear gas rained from above. Yet. like lost sheeps we continue to advance only to be stopped by the enforcers bludgeoning us with batons. The pain of being hit was not as bad as the emotional feelings of being deserted by the leaders. It was they who wanted all these and it was us who simply obeyed without ever thinking of the repercussion!

  27. Never say never, Kathy? Have you looked at Utusan lately? I doubt we will ever even see journalism in this country.

  28. My, my your logic and reality is truly wrapped Adam.
    Perhaps Pak Samad was really lonely and the 25k number that you so glibly quoted came from an extreme telephoto view on top of KLCC.. Anyway, you’re welcome to your tempurung and here’s something for you and the Masters of Lembu:

  29. ” A judge should be made Election Commission Chairman, not a member of a political party. ” – bloghost.

    Given the circumstances in our country , i don’t trust our judges nor the members of any UMNO Barisan component parties. Neither do i trust anybody from our Civil Service , our Police Force and our Armed forces. They are all quilty of selling Malaysians for a song and i don’t think they know what they are all talking about . They are all AS DUMB AS THEY CAN GET.

    Currently , the BEST candidate for the Election Commission’s Chairman’s post is none other then DATUK AMBIGA . She is strong , smart , intelligent and knows the laws extremely well – and above all she is principled , eloquent and presents the issues SYSTEMATICALLY .

    Further , she is not affiliated to any political party.

  30. Adam, for how dumb you take us for? do you know how Gadaffi was chased through the streets and lynched? I hope such fate befalls you and your fellow umnoputras when the time comes.
    God created Adam and Eve to create people and live in peace and be good children of God. but people like you with your mentality are a total shame to Allah. on top of that, YOU have the audacity to adopt such a biblical name ‘Adam’ for yourself.
    you seem oblivious to the ills of our nation!

    you are nothing but the cyberfaeces of the umnoputras

    he does’nt inhabit a tempurung but vegetates in a hole in the ground.

  31. Bersih 3.0 organizers and the political party leaders should have vetted or selected those whom they wanted to import from Johore, Malacca, Kelantan, Kedah, Selangor, Perak and other states the really “Civil and Civic” minded citizens.

    Adam Abdullah – April 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Adam . Tell us how to vet these people? What procedure? On what basis? The colour of their eyes? Hair color? Length of hair? height ? wait, wait, type of car they drive right, mercedes or BMW? Brain activity? How? How do you Stop anyone particpating in a democratic process, a right to be heard? Doesnt every one and even you have the right to be heard? By allowing you to voice it out here, how do we stop you? You dont exactly agree with us do you? ( I am trying to put it simply to you. Your statements are made without any thinking behind it)

  32. Bersih 3.0 organizers used their supporters to take part in demonstration and “peaceful rallies” to release their jealousy.

    Adam Abdullah – April 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    ok.please tell us what they are jealous about? Do you have the information? tell us.

  33. “The pain of being hit was not as bad as the emotional feelings of being deserted by the leaders. It was they who wanted all these and it was us who simply obeyed …” taras bulba

    Deserting your followers and loyal supporters when push comes to shove? Pathetic !! Why do you think they shoot soldiers who show cowardice in the battlefield??

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