By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 21, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — After a similar threat from Perkasa’s Datuk Ibrahim Ali Sunday, the Chinese community was yesterday warned against participating in next month’s Bersih rally via an email thread making its rounds to several media organisations here.
The email, sent by a self-proclaimed nationalist and blogger with the pseudonym “Panglima Perang Cyber” (cyber war commander), came with an attached video found on Youtube.com of the infamous May 1998 racial riots in Indonesia that caused the deaths of hundreds.
“Are the Chinese in Malaysia willing to accept the same fate as their brethren in Indonesia if our country goes into chaos?
“So let us 1 Malaysia Malay, Chinese and Indians reject the Bersih demonstration for the good of our grandchildren. Watch the video below,” the email read.
The email was delivered to the inboxes of 18 pro-Malay and pro-BN Facebook groups and carbon copied to media organisations like The Malaysian Insider, Berita Harian, Utusan Malaysia, Kosmo! and PAS organ Harakah.
The Malaysian Insider traced the writer to a blog site at http://penembak-tepat.blogspot.com/ where he/she described his/herself as a “defender of the country” who fights wholeheartedly for religion, race and the nation in the cyber world”.
The same Bersih posting was also found on the blogger’s Facebook group called “Facebooker 1Malaysia”, which sparked a heated debate between online users on the purpose of the rally.
One user, called “Dap Dapfan” argued that the Bersih rally, scheduled for July 9, had nothing to do with race.
“This is nothing doing with race bloody hell……!! Malaysia is not like Indonesia and this will never happen in Malaysia. Now is Malay/Chinese/Indian vs Malay/Chinese/Indian in different political field….plzz do not mis-interpreted the meaning of BERSIH 2.0!!,” said the user.
The same sentiment was also echoed earlier today by several politicians from both BN and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) who were rebutting a similar threat issued by Perkasa’s Ibrahim yesterday.
During the launch of Perkasa’s counter-protest against Bersih, the Pasir Mas MP had warned the Chinese community to stay indoors during the rally and to stock up on food as “anything could happen”.
In response, MCA leaders like vice-president Gan Ping Sieu and Youth chief Datuk Wee Ka Siong condemned Ibrahim for attempting to lead the public into believing the gathering would turn into a racial riot. PR component parties and activists are gearing up to march on July 9 in the second such rally by election watchdog Bersih. Perkasa and Umno Youth will also hold separate marches on the same day. The first rally in 2007 saw up to 50,000 people take to the capital’s street, before they were dispersed by police armed with tear gas and water cannon. That rally has also been credited for the PR’s record gains in Election 2008, where the opposition pact was swept to power in five states and won 82 parliamentary seats.
Among others, Bersih is demanding that the government ensure a clean and fair general election, reforms in the postal voting system, extend the campaign period to at least 21 days and others.