Bersih rally goes on, says Ambiga, PAS

By Boo Su-Lyn
June 12, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and PAS leaders have dismissed opposition towards next month’s Bersih rally and maintained plans to proceed with it.

Umno daily Utusan Malaysia today urged Malaysians to boycott the protest and quoted Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein’s warning that “it will be chaotic when those for and against the street demonstration clash.”

“Opposition is normal. It is a democratic country,” Ambiga told The Malaysian Insider today.

“My own reading is that a lot of people are very supportive of the demands we are making. There’s unhappiness…like example in the Sarawak (election), unhappiness about corruption, (and) unhappiness about the independence of our institutions,” added the election watchdog chief.

Ambiga, a former Bar Council president, called the protest a “peaceful citizens’ rally”.

When asked how Bersih 2.0 will face a possible police crackdown on the rally, she said: “Our plan is not final yet…we want to urge the authorities to change the way they see rallies.”

PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu said people will support the Bersih rally as the government has yet to fulfill the NGO’s demands during its first protest in 2007.

“When elections are not run fairly, it will be like what happened in the Middle East. I don’t want what’s happening in the Middle East to happen here,” Mohamad told The Malaysian Insider.

Popular uprisings throughout the Middle East have recently toppled autocratic governments in Egypt and Tunisia that were accused of widespread corruption.

Mohamad pointed out that other countries like Singapore had acceded to people’s demands for fair election practices.

“Change happened in Singapore…they (the opposition) got access to media,” said Mohamad, referring to the recent Singapore election.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties and activists are gearing up to march next month in the second such rally by Bersih, the first being in 2007 where up to 50,000 were reported to have gathered in the capital, with many being dispersed by water cannons and tear gas launched by the police.

Mohamad said PAS will bring hundreds of thousands of protestors this year, ahead of speculation that a general election will be called within a year.

The 2007 rally was said to play a big role in bringing record gains for the opposition electoral pact in Election 2008, where it swept five state governments and won 82 parliamentary seats.

PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa said Utusan’s front-page treatment of the Bersih rally today was “good coverage”, pointing out that more people will now support the protest.

  1. #1 by Winston on Sunday, 12 June 2011 - 7:39 pm

    Wonder who would object to fair elections.
    Don’t these objecters want elections to be fair?
    Beats logic!!!

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 12 June 2011 - 8:10 pm

    The organiser should be reminded that the govt can use Bersih as an excuse for Ops Lallang II and use of ISA. Using old tools is really Najib consistent strategy.

    Its already clear it will be massive and it will be like Hindraf before 308. But it should be highly organised and disciplined, participant must be schooled on how to react passively to baiting by UMNO/BN and agents and the police.

  3. #3 by drngsc on Sunday, 12 June 2011 - 11:15 pm

    I am fully supportive of clean, full and fair elections. Is a massive demonstration the way to do it? That is my concern. I am certain that when the rally is held, those against free and fair elections will sabotage it, either by holding their own demonstration or put a few monkeys in the BERSIH 2.0 rally just to cause trouble, so that our aim is never achieved.
    I am certain that the organisers of BERSIH 2.0 know what they are doing, but I am concerned.

    That is why, we must change the tenant at Putrajaya.

  4. #4 by HOHOHO on Sunday, 12 June 2011 - 11:20 pm

    GOD is watching all of us……VICTORY is very near for all ‘RAKYAT’…….under PAKATAN RAKYAT! BE STRONG N BE BRAVE TO FACE THE CHALLENGE AHEAD……….against all odds………..

  5. #5 by tak tahan on Sunday, 12 June 2011 - 11:30 pm

    Peaceful demonstration for fair and just governance not allowed but Perkasa shouting all over the streets to wage cukcoo war-ok 1 you see.What country is this?That’s the indefinite cause by bunch of f**k**g incompetent leaders that really put our country to shame and funny enough to be the top laughing stock selection.Beh tahan mau cakap lagi la…ar….When will be the day we can stand tall and proud and say:”See!our government had done this n that and we are damn proud of it.” When?When leh…aiyoh?
    monsterball,are you this Bersih rally?

  6. #6 by tak tahan on Monday, 13 June 2011 - 1:27 am

    Sorry,are you participating in this coming Bersih rally?

  7. #7 by wanderer on Monday, 13 June 2011 - 10:11 am

    This is the moment of truth…jangan cakap, cakap sahaja, makam jual murah. Do we have the marbles to take on this evil empire?
    I honestly like to see those who were against migration will be there at the rally…that is the least you can do!

  8. #8 by ktteokt on Monday, 13 June 2011 - 3:17 pm

    BERSIH has indeed picked an ept name for itself! Only ORANG KOTOR is afraid of BERSIH! By objecting to BERSIH’s movement, these idiots are indirectly and silently admitting that they are DIRTY!!!!!

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