Archive for category Bersih
Najib is sounding the death knell for Global Movement of Moderates if he is not prepared to uphold moderation as represented by Bersih 4 and marginalize extremism as represented by Sept. 16 Red Shirts Rally
The cat is out of the bag – the mission of irresponsible, dishonest and insidious propagandists in the UMNO/BN camp out to twist facts, distort the truth and even tell outright lies and falsehoods to influence public perceptions and events.
This comes from the admission by the UMNO Secretary-General Tengku Adnan yesterday blaming the UMNO-owned Utusan Malaysia for exacerbating the diplomatic flap involving the Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang who, to quote Adnan, went to Petaling Street with good intentions but Utusan Malaysia took Ronnie Liu and Teresa Kok’s blog and “twisted” them into the headlines, and it became a problem!
There would be no kid-glove treatment of Utusan Malaysia if it is not a UMNO-owned publication or the authorities would have descended on it like a ton of bricks, even suspending or cancelling its publication licence for activities prejudicial to racial harmony and national interests.
This highlights the UMNO/BN administration’s hypocrisy and double-standards especially as this is not the first time that Utusan had been guilty of journalistic excesses, abuses and anti-national activities prejudicial to social peace, racial harmony and national unity. Read the rest of this entry »
— Ooi Kee Beng
The Malay Mail Online
September 28, 2015
SEPTEMBER 28 — Following the Red Shirt rally in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 16, discussions have been rife that the embattled government of Prime Minister Najib Razak was “playing the race card” to bolster support and to distract the public — especially its Malay supporters — from distressing issues at hand.
It is true that the demonstration was a purely Malay rally, but what is essential to note is that while the initial impulse to organise it came from people who were undoubtedly trying to highlight and deepen the racial divide, by the time the event did take place, much of that had been deftly turned into a show of support for the beleaguered Prime Minister by his staunchest followers.
In the end, few incidents took place and the riot police did not have much trouble keeping at bay rowdy demonstrators, who were symbolically trying to get into the city’s Chinatown.
This is an important point to highlight: The racialising did not spread. Read the rest of this entry »
Channel News Asia
Malaysia Day was an occasion to strengthen unity of all Malaysians. To the ultranationalists however it was a chance to sow discord and disunity. But why did the protests take on a racial overtone?
John Chalmers and Raju Gopalakrishnan
Reuters/Channel News Asia
23 Sep 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: When thousands of Malay Muslims marched through Kuala Lumpur last week to support his scandal-wracked government, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak kept his distance.
He neither attended nor officially endorsed the racially charged rally by members of Malaysia’s majority community.
But several members of Najib’s political party told Reuters they helped an ultranationalist Malay group stage the “Malay Pride” rally. Critics accused the organisers of stoking racial tensions in multicultural Malaysia to distract from a multi-million-dollar corruption scandal swirling around the prime minister.
Protesters at the rally held signs reading “Don’t insult Malays and Islam” and “#najibstays”. Some were eventually dispersed by riot police outside Chinatown, where many Chinese businesses are located. Read the rest of this entry »
By Tajuddin Rosli
Free Malaysia Today
September 23, 2015
After Bersih participants were filled with pride. After the Red Shirts rally most are filled with shame
Incidents that took place on 16 September coinciding with Malaysia Day have shamed the majority of Malays throughout the country. For the first time ever, I went to work with my face down, feeling ashamed to be called a Malay. I could sense my non-Malay colleagues looking at me and laughing in their heads to what my people have become. I had to put on a brave smile and pretend nothing ever happened.
But the reality is Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu has shown the world how low some Malays in the country have sunk to.
Please don’t get me wrong. The hooligans who gathered for the rally in no way represent the silent majority of Malays in the country who are civilized. Unfortunately, just as Bersih 4.0 was called a Chinese gathering because the majority who turned out were Chinese, Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu was a dark day for the Malays in Malaysia. Those in attendance did not look like they belong in today’s world. They seemed to look like a bunch from the Period of Jahiliyyah who travelled through time to get here. Read the rest of this entry »
Malaysia does not want to be a battleground of “yellow T-shirts” versus “red T-shirts” as we want all Malaysians united behind the Malaysian Dream for an united, harmonious, democratic, just, prosperous and progressive nation
Last week, Malaysia saw a 4-hour Red Shirts Rally in Kuala Lumpur as a counter to a 34-hour Yellow T-Shirts Bersih 4 overnight rally on August 29/30.
There can be no greater differences between the Red Shirts Rally and the Yellow T-Shirts Rally.
Firstly, the Yellow T-Shirts Bersih 4 Rally transcended race and was participated by hundreds of thousands of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, gender, age or politics, who came together with one common national purpose – good governance and clean, free and fair elections.
Those who participated in the two-day Bersih 4 Rally never thought there could be any racial clash or confrontation, for that was furthest from their mind as they gathered not for or against any race but for the sake of a better Malaysia for all races.
The Bersih 4 participants were worried that there might be trouble, but not of any racial nature – for their only worry was that the Police might not be independent and professional enough and might wantonly and arbitrarily fire tear gas and shoot water cannons into a peaceful and defenceless crowds. That was why some of the Bersih 4 participants armed themselves with “goggles” and “smelling salts” not as weapons of offence but to protect themselves.
The Red Shirts Rally on the other invoked fear of racial incidents right from the beginning of the announcement of the event immediately after the Bersih 4 overnight rally, and for a fortnight, the country was inundated with highly-charged images of racial slurs, confrontation and even bloodbath, and the objective of the Red Shirts Rally veered from “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” to “counter Chinese Bersih 4”, “Teach Chinese DAP a lesson”, “Defend Najib Razak as Prime Minister” among others. Read the rest of this entry »
21st Sept 2015
COMMENT National Silat Federation (Pesaka) chief Mohd Ali Rustam seems to be suffering from prolonged trauma.
The symptoms were striking in his interview with Mingguan Malaysia yesterday on the achievements of Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu on Sept 16.
Asked what the rally, meant to ‘reclaim Malay dignity’ had achieved, Ali turned Dr Who to travel close to five decades into time to the race riots of 1969.
“They (Bersih 4 organisers and participants) try to show that Kuala Lumpur belongs to Bersih and the DAP gang, and Malays should balik kampung (go back to the villages). But now the villagers are coming to Kuala Lumpur.
“They think we have lost our self-worth and that Kuala Lumpur does not belong to various races. They think Malays don’t belong to Kuala Lumpur, and it is only for DAP and Bersih.
“They try to show they are brave and that Malays are not. They held rallies four times, and yet no Malays were brave enough to fight back,” he said.
Note the mention of taunts of ‘balik kampung’. Read the rest of this entry »
by Dennis Ignatius
21st Sept 2015
COMMENT When illiberal regimes lose their legitimacy, when they run out of excuses, when they feel their power slipping away, they almost always resort to scaremongering and scapegoating.
Suddenly, imaginary threats are everywhere. Everyone who does not toe the line becomes an enemy, an agent of dark unseen forces, part of some sinister conspiracy. All criticism, all dissent becomes seditious, unpatriotic, anti-national, a threat to national unity.
The ensuing tensions then provide the context and justification for further repression and for increased curtailment of fundamental liberties. What’s left of democratic space slowly vanishes.
Is the same thing now happening in Malaysia? Read the rest of this entry »
If Cabinet on Wednesday will not apologise for shameful abdication of responsibility in giving “green light” for divisive and racist Sept. 16 Red Shirts rally, will the Ministers step forward to tender separate individual apologies?
A day immediately after the Sept. 16 Red Shirts Malay rally, I had asked the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to apologise to Malaysians for the most shameful abdication of responsibility in allowing Malaysia Day to be desecrated and racial harmony and social peace to be undermined by the divisive, racially-charged and provocative Red Shirts rally.
It does not appear that Najib will be ready to tender such an apology, as he had transformed his “silent blessing” before the Red Shirts rally to active endorsement after the rally, closing his eyes, ears and mind to the racist slurs, provocations and breaches of law committed by the participants of the Red Shirts rally.
If Cabinet on Wednesday are not prepared to apologise for its shameful abdication of responsibility in giving “green light” for the divisive and racist Sept. 16 Red Shirts rally, will the Ministers step forward to tender separate individual apologies?
I still hope that Najib can realise that he is Prime Minister for all Malaysians, and not just for Malays, UMNO or an UMNO faction. Read the rest of this entry »
21st Sept 2015
Over 46 years ago a largely Chinese group of demonstrators celebrating their party’s electoral victory triggered Malaysia’s worst race riot. Last Wednesday, September 16, 2015, an exclusively Malay rally in predominantly Chinese Petaling Street of Kuala Lumpur triggered only the riot police’s water cannons.
What flowed on Petaling Street last Wednesday was clear water, not red blood as in 1969. There was also minimal property damage (except for loss of business) and no loss of life. That is significant; that is progress.
Malaysia has come a long way since 1969, the current shrill race hysteria notwithstanding. However leaders, political and non-political, Malays as well as non-Malays, are still trapped in their time-warped racial mentality of the 1960s. They still view the nation’s race dynamics primarily as Malays versus non-Malays.
That is understandable as the horrific memories of that 1969 race tragedy, as well as the much earlier and more brutal Bintang Tiga reign of terror, had been seared into the collective Malaysian consciousness, permanently warping our national perception.
The challenge today is less the risk of inter-racial conflagration of the 1969 variety, more a Malay civil war similar to what is now happening in the Arab world and what has happened on the Korean Peninsula. Last Wednesday’s red-shirt rally illustrates this point. Read the rest of this entry »
– Nur Adilah
The Malaysian Insider
20 September 2015
At the mention of “bersih”, the thing that comes to mind is all that is good. And that is according to how it is literally understood.
Putting “bersih” in the Malaysian context, however, will get us to a different meaning with various connotations.
On one hand, Bersih is held in high regard, while at the other spectrum, Bersih is shown in a bad light.
I say that Bersih is not just about wearing yellow; it carries a strong message to the government in power – to change or to be changed.
The reason the Bersih 4 rally was made illegal was, perhaps, because of the call for our prime minister to leave office. The call was said to be unconstitutional, thus the banning of what appeared to be a peaceful demonstration.
The demand to remove the prime minister from the Cabinet probably stood out from the rest; if all the manifestos are compiled in a book, the said demand would be highlighted in neon yellow. Read the rest of this entry »
Is it worthwhile for Najib to abandon 1Malaysia Policy and Global Movement of Moderates initiative for the placebo Sept. 16 Red Shirts Malay rally?
Is it worth it for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to abandon his signature 1Malaysia Policy and the Global Movement of Moderates initiative for the Sept. 16 Red Shirts Malay rally?
These are the two major policy initiatives Najib would want to be remembered as his legacy as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia – one his local contribution to Malaysian nation-building and the other his contribution to global politics beset by the trials and tribulations caused by intolerance, bigotry, extremism and terrorism.
But in one fell stroke, he had destroyed both – and all for the placebo effect of the Sept. 16 Red Shirts Malay Rally in Kuala Lumpur! Read the rest of this entry »
Mariam Mokhtar | September 20, 2015
Free Malaysia Today
They need to exorcise the demons inside them and to wean themselves from the entitlement culture.
It looks like the red shirted Umno-Baru Malays are condemning themselves to a life sentence of self-denial. They assume that everyone else in Malaysia owes them a living. It is time they came to terms with the real world. They need to exorcise their inner demons, and they need to wean themselves from the entitlement culture, which they expect will nurse them from cradle to grave.
Malays throughout Malaysia were ashamed to be associated with these bigots, who claim that they held the Red Shirts Rally to uphold Malay dignity. Their protest had nothing to do with Malay dignity. The rally was held primarily to distract us from the 1MDB scandal.
What kind of dignity can we associate with insolence and the hurling of insults at other communities? What dignity is there in transporting the elderly from the villages to boost attendance at the Kuala Lumpur rally? Taxpayers’ money was probably used to facilitate the transportation and to provide meals and pocket money. Read the rest of this entry »
19 Sep 2015
Dignity is now a big word in Malaysia. But what is it?
It is self-respect, pride, self-esteem and self-worth. It is the quality of being worthy of honour or respect.
Dignity is not what others bestowed on us. It is how we carry ourselves. It is how we portray ourselves worthy of admiration and respect by others. Only we can insult our own dignity, not others.
I agree stomping on the pictures of Najib Abdul Razak and Hadi Awang was not the right thing to do. But it is how we react to that stomping that defines our dignity. Read the rest of this entry »
by Zurairi AR
Malay Mail Online
September 17, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 ― Thousands of Malays painted the city red yesterday, purportedly to show solidarity with Malay government leaders who are allegedly under siege from the ethnic Chinese community.
The event was originally planned as at least three separate rallies held by different organisers: martial arts group Pesaka who hosted the official gathering, a coalition of 250 Malay groups, and Felda settlers.
As the day went on, however, it was clear that there was only one event in town, the pro-Malay rally informally dubbed #Merah169, held as a reaction towards the electoral reform rally Bersih 4 that was attended by tens of thousands last month and deemed to be Chinese-driven.
Here are three things we learned about the event: Read the rest of this entry »
17 Sep 2015
COMMENT And so ends a rally which sent many into a tail spin of frenzy, stocking their pantries and whispering warnings of “stay indoors” for fear of a racial riot.
While the biggest mystery of its conception was eventually solved – it is an anti-(DAP) Chinese rally to defend Malay pride after all, and yes, Umno was a huge backer – it ends again in a shroud of mystery.
What on earth is Jamal Md Yunos on about? Read the rest of this entry »
– Katrina Jorene Maliamauv
The Malaysian Insider
18 September 2015
I wrote these thoughts down immediately after Bersih 4, but I’ve decided to only share them days down the line, once the news-cycle presumably moves on to something else, once the frenzy of pictures and status updates capturing the warmth, excitement, hope and enthusiasm fade away.
As powerful and moving as it is when hundreds of thousands of people come together in an act of protest, it is necessary always for us to remember that for protest to be transformative, it cannot exist as a singular event.
It is also critical for us to remember that acts of change cannot merely be external; we are part of the force for change, in ways that are vital beyond our feet marching in unison, our voices raising together in rally cries, our bodies on the street in acts of overnight resistance. Read the rest of this entry »
Rafidah Aziz should head the National Goodwill Committee to restore racial peace and social harmony as well as Malaysia’s international image as a model of multi-racial nation and safe haven for foreign investors damaged by Red Shirts Malay rally on Sept. 16
Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, gender, age or even politics, must hold their heads in shame as the country acquires a new infamy in the international society.
As if we have not enough of shame and scandals which had seriously hurt the pride of Malaysians overseas, like the MH370 disappearance, the MH17 disaster, continued unsolved mystery of the motive for the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu and the blowing up of her body with military C4 explosives, the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal, the RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal banking accounts, Malaysia in the past 24 hours have acquired a new international infamy, a country of “anti-Chinese” demonstrations.
As a Malaysian, I feel very ashamed to read just now the Malaysiakini report “Overseas, red shirts rally seen as ‘anti-Chinese demo’”, as follows: Read the rest of this entry »
September 16, 2015
To an outside visitor, Malaysia’s underlying racial tensions might not be readily apparent. But a pro-government rally today (Sept. 16) in Kuala Lumpur brought them to light. The red-shirted demonstrators were for the most part young Malay men, many bused in from rural provinces with help from the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the nation’s dominant political party.
Ethnic Malays are the majority in the country, but ethnic Chinese make up about a quarter of the population and, overall, have more economic power. UMNO has controlled Malaysia for nearly 60 years, and it has reserved economic and other advantages for Muslim Malays, saying they’re needed to prevent dominance by the ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities.
Today’s rally was in fact a counter-rally. It was a show of force in response to the Bersih rallies held on Aug. 29-30. “Bersih” is the Malay word for clean, and the yellow-shirted protestors were calling for clean elections, clean government, the right to dissent, a strengthened parliament, and the rescue of Malaysia’s faltering economy. They were especially incensed over accusations that prime minister Najib Razak pocketed nearly $700 million from a government investment fund. Read the rest of this entry »
BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA
The Malaysian Insider
17 September 2015
Despite the belligerent rhetoric, yesterday’s “red shirt” rally in Kuala Lumpur was more about supporting embattled Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak rather than protecting Umno, much less about defending the rights and dignity of Malays.
A few things which happened prior to the rally indicated this. The night before the rally, Umno’s deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin urged Malays not to attend the rally.
At the same time influential Umno strongman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed disparaged it. A report by The Malaysian Insider also quoted several Umno grassroots leaders who said they were against it.
Both Muhyiddin and Dr Mahathir are Umno leaders who have clashed with Najib and are figureheads for party members disenchanted with the Umno president. Read the rest of this entry »