I welcome and applaud the stern warning from the Inspector-general of police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to all quarters not to promote violence, including the red-shirts – the anti-Bersih group.
Khalid said the police would not tolerate acts of criminal intimidation by anyone against those who participate in Bersih 4 rally, although the police regard it as illegal.
Referring to news reports that the anti-Bersih group would be training with machetes and swords as preparation to counter the overnight rally slated for Aug 29-30, Khalid said: “Nobody should take the law into their own hands.”
Khalid said such acts could be construed as criminal intimidation, and the police would not hesitate to take action against those who gather on the streets with weapons.
I particularly welcome prompt police action, with Dang Wangi district police asking the leaders of the Red-Shirt group to record their statements later today.
The Inspector-General of Police, the Home Minister and the Prime Minister should be forewarned that the whole world is watching Malaysia on August 29 and 30.
Malaysia will be condemned as an instant rogue and failed state if the police authorities allow agent provocateurs and anti-national elements to sabotage the peaceful holding of Bersih 4 rally by creating chaos and mayhem.
Hundreds of thousands of people, regardless of race, religion, gender, age or politics will be streaming into the Federal capital for the Bersih 4 overnight rally on August 29 and 30, not to create chaos and mayhem or spark mischief and violence, but to peacefully and orderly exercise their democratic, constitutional and citizenship rights to register both their concerns about the future of democracy, the nation’s economy and good governance as well as their love and patriotism in wanting to “Save Malaysia”.
The hundreds of thousands of Malaysians come in peace to the Federal capital and it is the special responsibility of the Police to ensure that such peace is not broken.
Yesterday, former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin warned that if the current crisis is not tackled with courage, or “take the bull by the horns”, Malaysia could become a failed state.
“With the uncertainty surrounding the global economic climate, the free fall of the Ringgit, extraordinary political crisis, increase of prices and living cost, influx of foreigners and dismal investor sentiments are elements which can cause Malaysia to become a failed state.”
I welcome Muhyiddin joining the ranks of Malaysian patriots who fear that the nation may be heading in the direction of a failed state if we do not change course in our national policies to end the rampant corruption, socio-economic injustices and the collapse of good governance in Malaysia – which sum up the concerns of the Bersih 4 rally.
The entire population and the whole civil service, including the police, will not be able to escape the adverse consequences if Malaysia ends up as a failed state.
For this reason, Bersih 4 is speaking up for the concerns and future of all Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans; Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs or Taoists; whether in the civil service or the private sector; whether in urban or rural areas; in Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak or Sabah.
Malaysians support Bersih 4 not to destroy the Malaysian nation, but to achieve the Malaysian Dream of becoming a great, democratic, prosperous and just nation which is a leading example in the world of a successful plural society practising democracy which ensures political and socio-economic justice to all citizens.
Putting aside the semantics argument among the Police, Bersih, Suhakam, lawyers and the civil society as to the legality of Bersih 4 rally, what is indisputable is that all supporters of Bersih want the rally to be peaceful and orderly, to allow the hundreds of thousands of Malaysians to come together to express their concern, love and patriotism for Malaysia.
Let no one break this peace which is the pre-eminent concern of everyone who will take part in Bersih 4 rally and which must also be the topmost concern of the police authorities.
I would urge the Inspector-General of Police to form a special police force headed by a top cop with one specific mission on August 29 and 30 – to ensure that the peaceful nature of the Bersih 4 rally is not broken or violated d by any trouble maker.
The whole world is watching. Malaysia must not fail the global test of human rights, democracy and good governance this weekend so as not to become an instant rogue and failed state.
In fact, the successful holding of the peaceful Bersih 4 rally can be a turning point to rally Malaysians in a united mission to Save Malaysia from directions and policies leading Malaysia to a rogue and failed state.