Nick Xenophon : News Coverage of BERSIH3.0 grossly distorted

April 29, 2012

Senator Nick Xenophon (left) from Australia stressed that the demonstration itself was peaceful, and the “unnecessary violence” that occurred was “planned provocation” to provide images for the “officially sanctioned media”.

He slammed mainstream media for its “completely biased and unfair” coverage of the rally. “The rally, which is one of the biggest events in Malaysian history, received only 30 seconds of airtime.I spent more time watching the Prime Minister having tea and eating banana fritters in Sabah,” he said.–The Malaysian Insider.

Nick Xenophon  : Malaysian News Coverage of BERSIH3.0 grossly distorted

by Leven Woon @

An Australian Senator monitoring the BERSIH 3.0 rally yesterday was stunned when he tuned in to television reports at night to find that news coverage of the event was grossly distorted.

“I watch television news and only saw 30 seconds of the coverage to the demonstration, with no word about it being one of the largest demonstrations in Malaysian’s history. Instead they spend more time saying (Premier) Najib Abdul Razak having a tea and eating banana fritters in Sabah,” Nicholas Xenophon told a press conference today.

Xenophon is part of a seven-member international team on an fact-finding mission on Malaysia’s electoral system.  They were invited by PKR de facto Anwar Ibrahim, in his capacity as Parliamentary Opposition Leader.

The press conference was called today because the group was releasing its interim report of their study. The group had also observed the rally yesterday, which was largely peaceful until the Dataran Merdeka cordon was breached, sparking widespread arrest, use of heavy-handed tactics, tear gas and water cannons.

Protestors could have been provoked

Prominent Indian journalist Mobashar Jawad Akhbar, who is the member of the group, opined that the Police might have provoked the protestors, with the intention of turning things violent.

“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,” said Mobashar, who observed the rally for five hours.

He said that this provoking the victims in order to blame them later, was “one of the oldest tricks” employed by various authorities. Malaysian authorities, especially the Special Branch, are no exception.

Mobashar, the Editorial Director of India Today, noted that the crucial essence of democracy is the freedom from fear, which he said is “non-negotiable”. “Democracy does not function when people do not have right to assembly,” he said, praising the protestors for rising above fear.

Xenophon said that their observation of how the media reported the rally would be included in the team’s full report, which is scheduled for release in three weeks.

34 thoughts on “Nick Xenophon : News Coverage of BERSIH3.0 grossly distorted

  1. Dear Senator,

    These 300,000 Bersih participants were not paid a single cent and they still made the effort of going there, whereas there are many food & money sponsored functions failed to attract enough people. That will give you a better gauge on the political scenario of Malaysia.

  2. PM visiting injured policemen?? Najib emulating U.S. Presidents Bush and Obama in showing gratitude to injured U.S. soldiers back from the war, for putting themselves in harm’s way? Gimme a break Mr PM!

    Hooligans among those entrusted with upholding law and order should not be rewarded. There are numerous public eye witness accounts of the excessive use of force by armed police irrespective of whether they were women members of the media who were there only to do their job, and old men and women who felt it their patriotic duty to add their voices to the politically weak and economically downtrodden and disenfranchised youth.

    In the case of returning U.S. soldiers injured from the war, they were fighting armed enemy combatants. Contrast that to those who appeared Saturday at Dataran Merdeka to demand fair elections who are not the enemy and who were only exercising their free speech right in a manner they feel would be effective in drawing the world’s attention – and for a fraction of one minute it did.

    It is disingenuous of you, Mr PM. It is obvious that the Najib regime is growing desperate and is fighting a losing battle.

  3. The Australian Senator’s comments on Bersih3.0 sit down rally merely confirm what is already known to all of us, and that is the mainstream media is totally biased. What is new about Police tactics. We also know that Malaysian Special agent provocateurs, scumbags, and rats are always around to snoop into our lives and create incidents to discredit peaceful assembly and then put the blame on the organisers. The cheapest trick in their book. The truth is that we Malaysians are decent people who love peace and good public conduct. Senator Nick Xenophon has just paid a deserving tribute to the Malaysian protestor.

    Our Prime Minister. Najib the weak, is being very irresponsible to leave the capital Kuala Lumpur when the rally is on. He should realise that our country was in crisis on April 28, and that required leadership of the highest order. In stead, he showed that he is a coward. He, therefore, deserves to be thrown out of office in the next General Election. It would be like throwing our filth and rubbish into the incinerator and we are rid of the stench and stink for good.

    Makcik is probably the only person who will kiss Najib’s feet. A friend who used to work for Tun Razak told me that our second Prime Minister had said to him that his eldest son, Najib, would not make a good political leader. Tun Razak thought his lawyer son, Johari, would be the right man for politics and would make a good political leader. So we have the worst of the Razak boys as our 6th Prime Minister, and no wonder somebody else in the Najib household is making the decisions.

  4. But what’s with the two who are UMNO members heading the EC? Are they also holding positions in UMNO or just ordinary members? Let’s be clear here. Are we not playing the same game? Are we not acting to deny the right of association of government servants? Aren’t these rights guaranteed to all Malaysians under the country’s Constitution.

    This serves only to muddy the waters and serves only to deflect and deviate attention from the actual role played by the EC since the ’60s. It was never independent then and not independent now. It doesn’t matter who heads the Commission.

  5. The Senator is a person who knows what service is about. When there is an unjust issue here he will investigate it and bring it to the people attention relentlessly . He knows the real situation in M’sia, everyone knows , except of course those who worship the ground Najib walks on. Everyone in Australia knows what a farce this government is and how embarrassing is that?

    “A friend who used to work for Tun Razak told me that our second Prime Minister had said to him that his eldest son, Najib, would not make a good political leader. Tun Razak thought his lawyer son, Johari, would be the right man for politics and would make a good political leader. So we have the worst of the Razak boys as our 6th Prime Minister, and no wonder somebody else in the Najib household is making the decisions.”

    Ahmadi Hussein – April 29, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Hey makcik, can you read this again and again? Saya amat prejudis ke? Or am I telling you the truth which you refuse to admit. foolish blind person.

  6. Whatever happened to the doctrine of civil service neutrality?? The entire civil service has been turned into a vast party machine, an appendage of the political party running the government. Whatever happened to it?

  7. As for injuries suffered at the hands of police officers it is time we take a leaf out of experience over here in the beating of Rodney King some twenty years ago. Yesterday was the anniversary when Semper’s neighborhood was torched and went up in flames for a good six days and cost billions in damages as a result of the looting. I’m not suggesting that the same should happen in Malaysia. In the Rodney King’s case all that was needed was a camera operated by a bystander from a distance and unknown to those doing the beating.

    Today we have camera phones. Nothing goes undocumented anymore.

  8. ” Senator Nick Xenophon has just paid a deserving tribute to the Malaysian protestor. ” – Ahmadi Hussein

    Syabas Bersih and syabas the Malaysian protester.

    Nick Xenophon’s comments and endorsement of Bersih and its role yesterday and the comments by the Editorial Director of India Today, Mr . Mobashar Jawad Akhbar, who says ” the crucial essense of democracy is the freedom from fear “. He also said that this is ” non negotiable “.

    I hope Tunku Aziz reads this and regrets the fact that he broke rank with his colleagues from DAP.

    There is also another report in Malaysiakini , by the same writer as this one , titled ” Malaysian Election Commission is backward opines fact finding mission”. Here the Pakistani member has some interesting but insulting comments to make about the Deputy Chairman of the Election Commission. Read it all folks .

    I agree , that Senator Tunku Aziz is either rather remote from reality or just plain naive or dumb or both.

  9. The G.O.s that minuscule functionaries like me had to adhere to, stated unequivocally and emphatically, that we were to remain strictly neutral in politics. That meant that we were not to ‘actively’ participate in any political activities. That was in the late seventies.. It has been going downhill ever since.

    This revelation about the EC chiefs does nothing to enlighten us, but it is about time to give the general public some hard evidence. Especially with the stakes so high and the corruption and incompetence of a regime in extremis. I would venture that about 80% in the service, are card toting members of UMNO. So while we can hammer away at the Separation of Powers, the reality is daunting. Meritocracy is a dirty word that only the ‘foreigners’ can understand.

    The image of his Lembekness partaking in goreng pisang while absconding from his duty reveals how useless all those branding and image building exercises are. Reminds me of Caligula-Nero without the passion nor the smarts. Insipid and ridiculous. He should listen more closely to MI and SB, instead of using them cynically.

  10. ” Whatever happened to the doctrine of civil service neutrality ? – Bean

    Bean you should ask the UMNO secretary general . You know him in more ways then one .

    As for me , Tun Maha Kutty FRIED the civil service of its neutrality with his Kereta Api Tanah Melayu based Malay Supremacy. A stupid prime minister with his stupid ideas – but this stupid man was allowed to misrule for 22 years using FEAR.

    Mr Mobashar , you are right when you say that ” the crucial essence of democracy is the freedom from fear “. And this is definately ” not negotiable “.

  11. Rodney King? That was racial.
    Nah, it may surprise you – but the younger generation of Malaysians aren’t that anti-Establishment at all. It’s just that they are thoroughly pissed with the System. There is no racial nor religious connotations when it came to these rallies, and perhaps that’s one way of truly galvanizing One Malaysia or it’s predecessor Malaysian Malaysia. His Lembekness can only marvel at how UMNO opponents can make him swallow his own slogan/cum.

  12. Procius,
    You mentioned TDM the man who is supposed to gungho about Palestinians , when brutality happens in his door step he is no where. This is where we see the obvious superficiality of this man.

  13. It’s the largest assembly ever by Perakeans (I mean the free-type not the rent-a-acrowd type) at Ipoh’s Polo Ground on Saturday, April 28. Nearly 5,000 people gathered at the appointed time and did their part for Bersih 3.0. No body got hurt. They dispersed at around 3.30 pm when it rained.

    I feel Jibby, the no-bola PM should learn a thing or two from Ipoh. We had fun making our demands for electoral reforms known.

    he crowd, unfortunately, was made up of mainly Chinese and Indians and a sprinkling of Malays. Most of my brethren were enjoying the freebie show, “Sure Heboh” at Stadium Perak. What a crying shame.

  14. Ipoh Syiok sendiri lah Tok.
    No matter. The ruckus in KL more than made up, ‘cuz i understand there was a huge contingent of Perakians over here. Many of them Malay kids, who cari makan as well as they can. See that kid throwing the water bottle or the CS gas canister? He’s probably from Kuala Kangsar. He’s pissed off.

  15. I was at BERSIH 3.0.

    I was once an army officer and I was trained on the use of tear gas to disperse crowds in an illegal assembly and we were told that tear gas were to be used only in open areas. The fact that the police threw several canisters of tear gas in an enclosed area like the Masjid Jamek LRT Station after deliberately filling the station up to the brim with people who only wanted to take the train to go home is VERY CRUEL!

    I strongly believe that the violence was ignited by the police and not the protesters.

  16. Er.., you forgot Shah Alam, Klang, Hulu Langat, Kuantan, Tasik Cini, Pekan etc, etc & etc rocky. Pocket money? Just cukup for nasi campur la.
    Still into racist propaganda with your cross-dressing mak cik, huh? In that case, good luck.

  17. Thanks Mr Nick Xenophon,could you also do this little favor for me n my Malaysian citizen,could you please tell the Australian Parliament about our refugees exchange program,if this is what our Police can do to it’s innocent citizen,can you imagine what they’ll do to your refugees n also,
    please don’t sent your radio active Rare Earth here please,if you still want to,can I suggest a change of address,please sent them to Seri Perdana,Putrajaya.will direct the lorries there myself,just say when,thank you Sir.

  18. Dear Hak55, I do agree with you,back in those days when I was with the PFF(Polis Field Force) I had to train the PORU units,their formations n uses of Tear Gas,baton n whatnots,we didn’t have those fancy shields then,I never in my darkest dreams then ever thought that we would have to mobilise our PORU units,sheeesh,those Forking Bastards up Peace hill really have to get their Tiny brains check,kalu kena panggil Anjing Kerajaan,marah,imagine spending my youth hunting the Commies,when they were all the time in Town,swindling the Rakyaat,how many of us have lost our legs.I would love to tape a puffer bomb up Hisap’s balls,won’t kill him,but balless he shall be.

  19. This is especially to Mak Cik n Rocky,we Malays like to say when a member of PTB (Persatuan Takut Bini) acts like he does then for sure
    ” Dia kena Nasi kangkang” well I figure Najib doesn’t act like one,but worst,after doing some thesis, when kak Ros kangkang on the Nasi,she accidently Kentuuut,haah,that’s why he’s totally balless,kesian Nasi tu.

  20. now, Anwar will be blamed for bringing in foreign agents to discredit malaysia.
    during my student days in India, we malaysians were respected for our general knowledge and looked up to for coming from a rich and developing country! now Mr. Mobashar is going to reveal to the indian public the real malaysian standard.
    the umno-bn regime has bullshited us enough, its time we showed them that we, the rakyat, are capable of deciding what is good for us.

    yes, you sacrificed for the nation but who takes the credit? UMNO alone!
    is it not like, lembu punya susu orang punya sapit??
    these bastards live off our toil and can’t even be thankful for that.

  21. Upon thinking about it. I dont know Malaysian politics. Thats right Becasue its KOTOR (DIRTY), corrupt and the whole world is laughing at you. So you are right I dont understand this politics that you Umno fellas play dirty because of RACE. You are right. I dont play Race games. I want the Rule of Law and Justice. You Umno trolls dont understand that . Its beyond your capacity . You brain doesnt cope with that very well. Your brain has been wired for Race. I am not the malay you want me to be . You want me to protect the race at all cost including injustices to others. But I refuse to do that. So you dont like me do you. Thank you for that compliment. I dont know your dirty politics and more importantly I DONT want to know.

  22. I’m in the rally and i can confirmed that, it is definitlely more than 100,000 peoples.
    For such a scales protest, not car, shop or even a glass being broken. Except a controversy police petrol car over-turned.
    In the other hand, if you noticed from the photo or video, policemens were without their ID number. Why?

  23. Forget the mainstream media, Phua. I asked the NST reporter at Polo Ground, Ipoh what he gonna write. He said he’d love to write what he saw but his bosses in KL would only take what’s being told to them. So, like the rest, he was there to enjoy the “fun” (meaning to be part of history).

    The 5,000-odd Perakeans who were at Polo Ground on Saturday, April 28 created history of sorts because they were there for a reason – to mak their demand for electoral reforms know. They came not for a free nasi bungkus or a free T-shirt, they were there on their own free will. Kudos to these brave fellas.

    Yeah, true what what Hak 55 and Lok 1 had said. It did it not occur to me that one day soldiers and policemen would be used to harm the very people they are tasked to protect.

    I was around during May 13 of 1969 but the Rangers were never deployed at Kg Baru for obvious reasons. I was stationed at Wardieburn Camp, KL during the student riots of 1972 again we were deployed as back-up for the KL Police.

    My company was responsible for Sentul and areas around Batu Road and Campbell Street. I established good rapport with the OCPD, one guy by the name of Al Babjee. Wonder where he is now?

  24. LOL!! Tea and banana fritters. Good one. Notice also, on both demonstration occasions, both PM and Deputy were ‘away,’ safety tucked in another state, far, far away from the capital…..

  25. what a shame to this PM for blaming the BERSIH 3.o attendanes and not caring about those being shot by cannisters and water guns..Wonder where he slam away his human senses caring…he must be a wacko or he was the one who responsible for this brutal riot…god should punish him in this PRU 13

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