Ambiga unfazed by Perkasa belligerence

By Hafiz Yatim
Jun 13, 11 | MalaysiaKini

Despite chances of a head-on collision on July 9 with Malay rights group Perkasa planning a counter-protest to stop the Bersih 2.0 rally, its chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan is unfazed over this possibility and reiterated that the Bersih rally to back free and fair elections will go on.

Contacted by Malaysiakini this afternoon, Ambiga said she respected the views aired by Perkasa chairperson Ibrahim Ali, who declared Perkasa was ready to “fight to the end” (lawan habis-habisan) to stop the rally if the organisers insisted on taking to the streets of Kuala Lumpur on July 9.

“(If they proceed), there will be a clash (pertembungan). If that happens, it is for the better,” Ibrahim told a press conference in the Parliament lobby today.

Ambiga (right) said the Bersih rally would be a responsible, peaceful rally fighting noble ideals of seeking a free and fair elections in the country.

“Many people share this feeling, they have strongly voiced the need for this and are supporting us. I have no quarrel with those (Perkasa) opposing the rally as it is in line with democratic process of freedom of association,” she said.

“The Bersih rally will go on despite whatever people want to say or the police reports lodged. We will not be intimidated,” the former Bar Council chairperson said.

What was important was that Bersih 2.0 wanted a peaceful assembly and at the same time, it hoped that the view of the authorities (police) about peaceful assemblies would change as well.

Ambiga said she respected the people’s right to their own opinions, whether they were opposed to the rally or supported, as this was a democratic country.

Earlier today, Ibrahim, who is the Independent MP for Pasir Mas, said Perkasa would march against the Bersih 2.0 demonstrators to show that not all Malaysians agree with its claim about ‘dirty’ elections.

His NGO, he claimed, was acting in the interests of democracy.

“I cannot imagine, when they bring a big crowd and start throwing stones, burning cars… Perkasa will go down to make sure we stop (the Bersih rally),” Ibrahim had said.

Police reports have also piled up nationwide against the Bersih rally.

June 19 to air grouses

Referring to the police reports, Ambiga said individuals have the right to make police reports against Bersih or any other organisation.

“As I have stressed, people have their own opinions and we respect them. At the same time, there are many who have come up to support us and are willing to join the rally,” she said.

Ambiga, who was earlier this year bestowed the International Women of Courage award, said Bersih would hold a gathering at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on Sunday, where the rally would be discussed and all political parties were invited to attend.

Those who turn up would be allowed to speak freely, whether in support of or against the rally and Bersih would respect whatever views they held.

Ambiga has also invited BN party members to participate in the rally.

Penang Gerakan human rights and legal bureau chief Baljit Singh said last week that about 10 lawyers from the state would join the Bar Council in monitoring the July 9 rally in Kuala Lumpur.

Asked about the claim of Kulim Baru MP Zulkifli Noordin that she is anti-Islamic, Ambiga again reiterated this is a democratic opinion and her view as is with the Bar Council, that everybody is entitled to his or her own religion as protected under the Federal Constitution.

“I have never gone against any religion but have advocated freedom of religion,” she said.

Asked to estimate as to how many would turn up for the July 9 rally, she said it would be difficult to do so.

“There has been a lot of support for the rally, as you can see. Even opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is prepared to join,” she said.

The first Bersih rally on Nov 10, 2007, saw some 40,000 people on the streets, clad in yellow T-shirts.

  1. #1 by monsterball on Monday, 13 June 2011 - 6:08 pm

    This is exactly what Najib hope it will be..trouble brewing up for his excuse to delay 13th GE further.
    Lets see what will be his respond to Ibrahim Ali’s threat.
    Ambiga is smart enough to anticipate small man big talk.
    Dirty politics have reached at all time low under Najib.
    Ibrahim Ali’s act as if all Muslims are agreeing with him.
    This racist fanatic is the love of the life for Mahathir…who simple love race and religion dirty politics…to continue his Satanic legacy.
    That threat by Ali will inspire more Malaysians to participate…come rain or shine.
    The first BERSEH..I participated.
    I hope to be there again.
    This cracko low class fanatic scares no one.

  2. #2 by monsterball on Monday, 13 June 2011 - 6:13 pm

    This low class cracko scares no one.
    Lets see…what PM will say or do.
    I guess he can say……it is Ali’s democratic rights to do what he wants.
    If that is spoken by an Opposition…he will be immediately arrested.

  3. #3 by monsterball on Monday, 13 June 2011 - 6:14 pm

    Two comments under moderation.
    I guess…we keep quiet is best….and let Ali talk as much as he likes.

  4. #4 by life is not a fairy tale dude on Monday, 13 June 2011 - 7:22 pm

    I am unfazed by communists.

  5. #5 by hallo on Monday, 13 June 2011 - 8:06 pm

    Perkasa do their best to tell all Malaysian and whole world that Malay want ‘No Bersih’

    Perkasa do their best to lead Malay to ‘No Bersih’ …’Do not want Bersih’

    One uphold ‘No Bersih’ or ‘Do not want Bersih’

    uphold no bersih problem to attend praying places to pray

  6. #6 by hallo on Monday, 13 June 2011 - 8:11 pm

    In spiritual or action they committed they do not want ‘Bersih’ ….’No Bersih’

  7. #7 by waterfrontcoolie on Monday, 13 June 2011 - 10:35 pm

    Of course Perkasa does not want BERSEH! It is against their principle of doing anything berseh. The only thing they may admire in berseh is to sapu berseh! in spite all their rhetorics, I wonder how many of PERKASA’s members have really lifted a finger to help the very poor Malays in the nation. Their only weapon is SLOGANEERING, it costs them nothing! but just to carry on the gravy train! We can shout and lament but the truth is for the thinking BUMIs to decide what they should do with this bunch who can only guarantee the flows of cash into their coffers!

  8. #8 by wanderer on Monday, 13 June 2011 - 11:56 pm

    Understandable, Malay rights group Perkasa planning a counter-protest to stop the Bersih 2.0 rally. Pigs and racist swines are more comfortable
    in a anti-bersih enviroment….

  9. #9 by Joshua on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 5:38 am

    Damn dirty GEs…by Election Commission.

    DIA “Earlier today, Ibrahim, who is the Independent MP for Pasir Mas, said Perkasa would march against the Bersih 2.0 demonstrators to show that not all Malaysians agree with its claim about ‘dirty’ elections.”

  10. #10 by undertaker888 on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 7:39 am

    As usual during the march, perkosa samsengs will get full protection from the police while the bersih guys will be man-handled. courtesy of the samseng minister hisaputing.

    international p@riahs they have become.

  11. #11 by benilman on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 4:03 pm

    So Ibrahim Ali and Perkasa is out to ensure the Malays are not taken for a ride,right?Ok here are some assignment for Ibrahim Ali and his bunch of Perkosa to to do for the Malays.
    1.Get to the bottom who and how RM52BILLION of Bumiputra Equity went missing and bring the culprit(s) to book.

  12. #12 by benilman on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 4:12 pm

    2.How and who is responsible for the dwindeling “TANAH REZAB MELAYU SELURUH NEGARA”
    3.Why did you not shout and holler like a frenzy banzee when the “HAK DAN KEISTEMEWAAN RAJA2 MELAYU” was deprived by UMNO?FIGHT TO RESTORE THEM!!
    4.Demand that BAHASA MALAYSIA(MELAYU)play a significant role in Malaysia.

  13. #13 by benilman on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 4:19 pm

    So Salahudin UBI KAYU you can fool some Malays some times in some places,but you cannot fool all the Malays all the time everywhere.Do not try to be a hero by trying to disrupt a peaceful Democratic March by Raayat to voice what is rightfully theirs as enshrined in the Constitution and World Body such as the United Nation.

  14. #14 by ktteokt on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 10:11 am

    Bersih is promoting cleaner elections, that is why it is marching!

    Ibrahim Ali wants to march because Bersih is marching just to oppose it!

    Wouldn’t that make Ibrahim Ali look silly because by opposing Bersih’s march, he is telling the whole wide world PERKASA WANTS DIRTY ELECTIONS!

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