Former Home Minister Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar cannot be more wrong when he said his successor, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein need not apologise when the latter’s ban on Bersih as an “unlawful organisation” was quashed by Kuala Lumpur High Court as Hishammuddin was just exercising his powers as Home Minister. (TMI)
Hamid is not the most qualified to tender such an advice as he still owes a public apology for his gross abuse of powers in September 2008 when he was Home Minister and senior Sin Chew reporter Tan Hoon Cheng was arbitrarily arrested under the Internal Security Act “for her own personal safety” together with DAP National Organising Secretary and Selangor Senior Exco for Investment, Trade and Industry, Teresa Kok.
There can be no doubt that in the present case, right-thinking and rational Malaysians agree that with the judgment of the Kuala Lumpur High Court judge, Justice Rohana Yusof yesterday, the time has come for the Barisan Nasional government to end its petty, vindictive and vengeful attitude to Bersih, with Hishammuddin setting the example by extending a public apology for his irrational, illogical and inconsistent ban of Bersih on the baseless and ridiculous ground of being “prejudicial to public order and security”.
Hishammuddin and the Barisan Nasional should end their irrational attack of Bersih xanthophobia (fear of yellow), with the ridiculous standing instruction to the police at one stage that anyone wearing yellow, and not just the yellow Bersih T-shirt, as anti-national elements to be arrested on sight!
Instead, Hishammuddin and the BN government should start acting in a more rational, level-headed and democratic manner and engage constructively with Bersih with the common goal to ensure that Malaysia has a clean, free and fair electoral system to usher a new era where Malaysia can mature to become a normal democracy.
The police must stop being the pawns of the ruling coalition helping to keep the present regime in power but instead, should be completely non-partisan in the electoral outcome of the 13 General Election, mindful its top priority must be its three core functions to keep crime low, eradicate corruption in the police force and uphold human rights (as recommended by the Dzaiddin Royal Commission of Inquiry 2005).
Is Hishammuddin capable of changing tack and represent the Barisan Nasional in a constructive engagement with Bersih?
If not, then the country needs a new Home Minister who can engage with Bersih instead of fighting imaginary demons like banning Bersih as an unlawlful organization –guilty of the 3is of being “irrational, illogical and inconsistent”.