Najib is Insincere on Stadium for Bersih 2.0

'BN acting like a person told by doctor of impending death'
(Harakah Daily) - As police stepped up roadblocks at major roads
leading to the capital late this evening, causing miles of traffic
congestion, PAS has called on prime minister Najib Razak not to
further burden the force.

Najib had earlier said that the government would leave it to the
police to determine how to handle the Bersih rally, contradicting an
earlier statement that he would give his cooperation to Bersih if its
rally was held in a stadium. The police have however so far rejected
all attempts to give a permit.

“Why must the burden be put on the police, when Najib should issue a
clear directive to allow the rally proceed in the stadium.

"Who leads the cabinet? The police?” asked PAS information chief Tuan
Ibrahim Tuan Man (pic), echoing an earlier statement by DAP advisor
Lim Kit Siang slamming Najib for being "insincere" and "irresponsible"
by passing the buck to the police.

Lim had also questioned Najib's decision to leave the country on the
day of the rally.

“He should not do so but should be in the country to ensure that the
Bersih 2.0 stadium rally on July 9 as agreed upon as a result of the
wise and just intervention of the Yang di Pertuan Agong and with his
concurrence is held in a smooth, peaceful and orderly manner,” he

'Lives affected even before rally'

Tuan Ibrahim meanwhile said it was a telling sign of the weakness in
the government's argument that street rallies would disrupt businesses
and cause traffic chaos, pointing out that the police had already
caused such a situation even before the rally.

"So with all the road closures and the restrictions into Kuala Lumpur,
will they not affect traders?” he asked.

Giving an analogy, Tuan Ibrahim said the government's reaction in the
run-up to the rally was like a person who has been informed by the
doctor that he only has few months to live.

“The people are laughing at UMNO-Barisan Nasional’s reaction. Their
panicky response is as if they (UMNO-BN) can be destroyed by a clean
and fair election,” he said.

Major roads into KL sealed off, people told not to attend rallies

KUALA LUMPUR: Police have sealed off all major roads leading to the heart of the capital, telling people to stay away from any rally today.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the police had acted fairly in not issuing any permit to hold rallies.

The Sultan of Selangor said mosques and surau should not be used as a meeting place by those who come from other places to join in the street demonstrations.

The Ruler told his subjects to also stay away from street protests, saying this would harm the unity of the people.

However, Bersih 2.0, Umno Youth and Perkasa look set to press ahead with their plans.

Bersih 2.0 insisted that its supporters will gather at Stadium Merdeka while Umno Youth under its Patriot umbrella will march at Jalan Bukit Bintang. Perkasa has told its members to “stroll” around Tasik Titiwangsa.

KUALA LUMPUR: Police are ready to handle any situation arising from organisers going ahead with illegal rallies, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

“Since July 3, the police have been prepared and will take stern action against those who are still adamant in having it in the city,” he said.

Hishammuddin also advised anyone planning to gather illegally in the city today to stay away, or be prepared to face the law.

“Public safety and order has been the main concern of both the ministry and the police since day one.

“I urge those who wish to join any illegal march tomorrow in the city to reconsider as it would disrupt peace and risk lives,” he said at a press conference in Bukit Aman yesterday.

He also expressed fear that the rallies would be used as a platform for certain groups to spread violence and chaos.

“The discovery of weapons and explosives is very worrying and that is the last thing we want,” he said.

He added that the police had been fair in their treatment of all the parties involved by denying permit applications within the city by Bersih 2.0, Umno Youth and Perkasa.

Hishammuddin also advised the public not to be influenced by speculation and rumours spread through SMS and the Internet regarding the rallies.

“They can easily get the latest information from the police hotlines at 03-2146 0524 and 03-2146 0525,” he said.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar also urged the organisers of the proposed rally to stay away.

“Despite numerous discussions and warnings, we have reports that they are planning to go ahead with their plans.

“We will do whatever within the confines of the law to preserve peace and order,” he said in Bukit Aman yesterday.

People, the choice is yours
July 8, 2011

Tomorrow is the big walk. It is open to all Malaysians who believe in upholding democracy. Democracy is a big word but it has a simple meaning: it is a government of the people, by the people, for the people. It is the people who are the masters of the country. The destiny of the country lies in their hands. Only they can decide which way they want the land of their birth to move. They do this by casting their votes at the appointed time. They speak through the ballot box. They choose representatives of good character to sit in Parliament to champion their interests. But in the course of time, things can go wrong. Like what is happening now. The government is not on the side of the people wanting to exercise their right to a peaceful assembly for a cause that strenghtens, and not wrecks, public institutions.

When thousands of ordinary men and women show up for the “Walk for Democracy” tomorrow, be it on the streets or in a stadium, they are not waging war against the government. They have no reason to do so. They are not rebels pouring out of the jungles or coming down from the mountains to capture the capital and set up another government. They are just plain ordinary citizens who wish to support a non-governmental organisation fighting for clean and fair elections. What is wrong with that? But what is wrong with the government? Why is the state acting irrationally? Why does it see red in yellow? Suddenly everything has turned ugly. The government we elected to represent us has become our enemy.

Now it is state power versus the will of the people. The state says the rally is illegal. Bersih is illegal. Bersih T-shirt is also illegal. Everything connected with the movement is unlawful. Even the meeting at the palace between the King and Bersih does not appear to be legal. The state is doing everything in its power to make the people hate Bersih – and love the government. It is plain for all to see that the people are not taking the bait. Acting harsh and repressive is clearly not going to win the government any brownie points. Malaysians love peace but at the same time they do not like to be bullied into submission. Times have changed. People can think for themselves and separate truth from lies. In the Bersih story the government does not come out smelling sweet, innocent, clean.

The show will go on tomorrow and history is in the making. Do you want to take a stroll? It is up to you, the people, to decide the course of history. The government would prefer you not to go, but you do not need to heed its advice. Then again you can be arrested for wearing a yellow Bersih T-shirt or simply anything yellow. You can be roughed up, beaten, tear-gassed at a hint of trouble. The walk may turn into a rout. The risks are there. You are defenceless citizens up against the might of the state. The crackle of a gunfire may ring out but the government must know the sound will reverberate all over the world. People, the choice is yours.

Longer wait for Bersih detainees
Tashny Sukumaran

Bersih supporters who were arrested more than a week ago are still waiting to be charged.

KUALA LUMPUR: Several Bersih supporters, who were arrested on June 29 are still waiting to be charged in court.

According to their lawyer, Honey Tan, her clients were being given the runaround by police.

A frustrated Tan said police told them they would have to wait a little longer before their charge would be read in the Sessions Court or the Magistrate’s Court.

This is the third time their charge has been postponed.

The six who were arrested are Mary Sinappan, Ikhsan Samat, Temme Lee, Deepa Nair Balakrishnan, Lau Shu Shi and Ang Hiok Gai.

They are from the NGO, Empower, which is also where Bersih 2.0 coalition for fair and free elections is based.

“On July 6 everyone had to go back to the police department as they had been released on police bail.

“They were told the charge would be read on July 7, but it was pushed to today.

“Today they told us it was being delayed to a later date, which is to be decided.

“The only reason given was “instructions from above”.

“It’s very frustrating and unfair. If you say you have evidence to charge, do it!” Tan said.

Meanwhile another two supporters – Michael Tamil and Nazri Ahmad Ismail – who were arrested on June 29, for purportedly being in possession of Bersih propaganda are also waiting.

Tamil, an MBSJ councillor, and Nazri were shooed away this morning despite being given this date.

“The investigating officer, Inspector Rosdi, said they are waiting for instructions from the AG’s chambers,” said their legal counsel, Syahredzan Johan.

Bersih is not a society

The six Empower activists were arrested under Section 48 (1) and 47 of the Societies Act.

Section 48(1) allows for detention of those working on behalf of an illegal society while Section 47 bars people from publishing propaganda promoting an illegal society.

Bersih coalition, was declared illegal by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on June 23.

The Registrar of Society further endorsed his view.

But Bersih, puzzled at the reference, has denied that it is illegal, saying it is a coalition of 62 NGOs and not an society or body.

Najib forgets that many of the people who are disgusted with his rule are the young

Why is Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak reminiscing about his father, Tun Abdul Razak? Is it because he wants to remind us of the past in the years after Merdeka or is he savouring the moments before Malaysia undergoes its most defining moment in her history since Independence?

Najib should be aware that very few of the older generation care for the way he (Najib) has led Umno/BN and that few of the things most of us valued since Merdeka, like justice, equality and respect, have been upheld by BN.

Najib said of his father, “Among the things I learned from him was on how to be patient and not to be too power-crazy.

“My father told me that he was afraid of absolute power. He was willing to make way for others to lead Umno after Datuk Onn Jaafar resigned as Umno president as he felt that he was not ready to be the number one in the party at that time.

“I don’t think such values are practised now as there are many power-crazy people who do not mind undercutting others, just to stay above the rest.”

Najib must be living in cloud cuckoo land. All he does has been about remaining in power. What does he call the Perak debacle when he allegedly paid various people, including VVIPs to do his bidding?

There are the other states too; the civil service appointment in Selangor was supposed to topple the state goverment, the Sarawak state elections and more.

Today, Najib talked about how his father taught him patience. But how many of the old are listening? Many of those who still remember his father, Abdul Razak do not have fond memories of his involvement and careful manouevering of the May 13 incident.

They may praise Abdul Razak for Felda, but it is his son, Najib, who has reduced this organization to a pitiful version of this once mighty outfit.

Saturday July 9 will be Malaysia’s defining moment. By and large, we are a peaceful nation and we do not spill over onto the streets just because we are displeased with something.

If anything, we are very reticent about revealing our true feelings and would rather take the ‘tidak-apa, sabar lah’ attitude, rather than talk rationally and discuss with those who have courted our displeasure.

Perhaps this is our failing – the failure to properly engage with others around us. Is this because of our culture? Or our upbringing? Or is it the Asian values which we are proud of and which we practise in our daily lives which are the complete opposite of those ‘westerners’ whom we feel hold nothing back? Why is it that when we protect our ‘face’, we are prepared to be trampled on or trample on others?

Malaysians versus political thieves

Malaysia does not have her own Mohammed Bouazizi, the Tunisian student who had to peddle fruit and vegetables in the streets in order to feed his family. Boauzizi died after his desperate act of self-immolation and became a hero, not just in Tunisia but also across north Africa and the middle east.

No we do not wish anyone to be harmed or to harm others or for property to be damaged or that people are inconvenienced.

What we do demand is for acknowledgement and the right to be heard. As individuals, we may not achieve much but at least the authorities will realize that people are not prepared to keep silent or tolerate injustices or human rights abuses any longer.

As a collective, we realize that our requests might be heard. That is where Bersih comes in. But our leaders are too vain or too arrogant to realize this. Perhaps that is why they have been able to continue with their ways at our expense.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has compared the Bersih march to a clash between Malays and non-Malays. He is wrong.

It is a clash between Malaysians and political thieves like himself who have stolen our rights and who have used race and religion to divide us.

Prime Minister Najib, in the remaining hours before he departs for the United Kingdom, is panic stricken and an ineffective leader.

His deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin has passed the buck to the police to deal with the demonstration on 9th July. What sort of a leader is that?

He said, “I leave it to the IGP (inspector-general of police) to decide what are the appropriate actions that should be taken, I don’t want to assume.”

After days of arrests and intimidation, is this the Malaysian cabinet in action? One flees the country, one absolves himself of responsibility whilst the Home Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein just bans everything in his sight.

After dragging royalty into the political limelight, Najib then retracted on earlier promises about holding the rally in a stadium or meeting with Bersih and he wonders why the people are angry.

Earlier, Najib had told the crowds at Universiti Teknologi Mara in Bandar Tun Abdul Razak that lessons should be learnt in history so that mistakes will not be repeated. It appears that history is not one of Najib’s strong subjects.

In the final hours as Malaysia faces its most crucial upheaval since Merdeka, the Umno/BN government has again failed its people by refusing to engage with the rakyat.

Enough is enough

Najib forgets that many of the people who are disgusted with his rule are the young. How many of our graduates are jobless? How many are denied scholarships?

How many of the rich and well-connected are given study loans, scholarships and places at university? How many Malays does he think he can give civil servant jobs to?

He must know about the endemic corruption, the rising prices, the waste of taxpayers’ money. Does he care?

We loathe politicians who have made our lives a misery whilst they grow rich and abuse their power, at our expense.

How many of us would have predicted the democracy march of July 9? We have long been seen as a stable country, a moderate Muslim state whose people were seemingly happy with the way they are ruled.

How many foreigners who pass through realise that it is a land of unemployment, corruption, repression, arrests without detention and divisions created by race and religion?

Tomorrow, Malaysians will wake up to a better future and tell each other, that ‘enough is enough’.

Kuala Lumpur under siege!

Kuala Lumpur is under siege. It is under siege by the police. We are not facing any external threat neither are we under any attack. But we are under siege by our own police.

Police roadblock on the night of 8 July 2011 - Photograph: Jack Ooi/The Malaysian Insider

What is happening in KL doesn’t make sense. What is happening in KL is troubling. A situation of emergency is being created wantonly. A large area is coming under strict police control.

We are witnessing the greatest mobilisation of the police force in our entire history. It is a complete waste of resources and totally unnecessary. The police should be concentrating their efforts in bringing criminals to book instead of wasting their time in stopping a peaceful gathering.

Ninety-one Malaysians have been barred from entering the city centre under threat of arrest. A court order has been obtained to enforce this ruling. Among the 91 are two Malaysians who have been detained on 2 July 2011 under the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969. They are still under detention. What makes the police think that somehow or other they will escape from their security cell in Bukit Aman and make their way to the Merdeka Stadium?

This restriction order is absolutely absurd. What about those who live in KL? Are they required to shift
their residence outside KL and relocate themselves elsewhere? What about those who work in KL? Are they forced to be absent from their duty? This court order doesn’t make any sense at all. In fact, it is senseless!

All this seems unnecessary. All that Malaysians want to do is to walk peacefully to register their protest against the Election Commission for conducting elections that are seen as “not free and fair.” These very unfair elections have been going on for decades. We have now reached a boiling point when it is not possible to tolerate this any longer. So Malaysians decided to march on 9 July 2011.

But out of deference to the Yang diPertuan Agong, the Bersih Steering Committee willingly agreed to the the Prime Minister’s offer to allow Bersih to use a stadium in KL. But the PM did a somersault and said it was up to the police to decide if the Bersih would be issued a permit to hold the gathering.

Bersih had come down from their earlier uncompromising stand to have an open rally and decided that they would now gather at the Merdeka Stadium. But the police and others are putting all sorts of unnecessary obstacles. The Merdeka Stadium is not available on flimsy grounds. The police refuse to grant a permit for this peaceful gathering and want it to be held elsewhere, possibly in one of the Pakatan-controlled states. When arrangements have been made for the rally to be held in KL, now to tell them to go elsewhere is only making Malaysians angry and frustrated.

To stop this peaceful, democratic rally – guaranteed as a right under the Federal Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – is to ignore the rule of law and tarnish our reputation as a member of the UN Human Rights Council. When we occupy this exalted position on the Council, we should be setting examples for the rest of the world instead of becoming the laughing-stock of the world.

This gathering would not threaten the security of the country or in any way pose a risk to public order.
What the police should do is to restrain Pekasa and Umno Youth from marching on the same day. These are the trouble-makers who may create unrest and disorder tomorrow.

Even at this last minute, it is not too late to allow Bersih to gather at Medeka Stadium. This is one positive way to defuse this volatile situation. Let good sense prevail.

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