Utusan: Bersih is Pakatan’s bid to spark Middle East-style protests

By Yow Hong Chieh
June 19, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — The opposition will use next month’s Bersih 2.0 rally to trigger an uprising similar to the popular protests which toppled Egypt’s Mubarak regime and now threatens governments in Libya, Syria and Yemen, Utusan Malaysia said in its Sunday edition today

Its Mingguan Malaysia weekend edition said those who intend to mass in the capital on July 9 to demand electoral reform have lost faith in democracy after realising they cannot win federal power through the ballot box.

“Peace is no longer important to them. They want only to seize power and install their leader as Malaysia’s prime minister using whatever means possible,” the Umno-owned daily said in its Maulana Arrif column.

“The enemies of Islam, both humans and syaitan-syaitan (devils), are working to aid them,” it added.

The column appeared to follow Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s comments that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will use the Bersih rally to capture Putrajaya from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN).

But Bersih 2.0 said it is marching to demand for electoral reforms, including a minimum 21-day election campaign period that was practised until the 1969 elections. A race riot after the polls caused the government to impose a state of emergency and stop lengthy campaign periods. A typical campaign period now is nine days.

The columnist also used an allegory inspired by a passage in the Sahih Muslim hadith about goats to describe the devotion shown by PAS supporters to the party leadership and opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“The female goats first slavishly followed the male goats with white hair on their heads and beards… Suddenly there appeared in front of them a male goat with thick black hair on his head,” he wrote.

“The male goat was good with words and spoke like the goats in countries with four seasons… And so they followed the male goat with black hair.”

The column went on to say that the black-haired male goat – who nearly became leader of all animals before being ejected into the wilderness — believed it was his God-given right to be ruler and would use any trick in the book to achieve this goal.

PR component parties and activists are gearing up to march on July 9 in the second such rally by election watchdog Bersih.

The first rally in 2007 saw up to 50,000 people take to the streets of the capital, where they were dispersed by police armed with tear gas and water cannon.

The 2007 rally has been credited for the PR’s record gains in Election 2008, where the opposition pact was swept to power in five states and won 82 parliamentary seats.

PAS has promised to bring some 300,000 protestors this year in hopes that it will galvanise support for the opposition in the next general election, expected to be called within a year.

Umno Youth and Malay rights group Perkasa has said they also will march on July 9 to counter the Bersih rally.

  1. #1 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Sunday, 19 June 2011 - 5:37 pm

    Utusan is sick!

    Bersih promises to be a peaceful march for citizens aggrieved by the apparent lack of transparency in the electoral process and the systematic aggrandizement of the ruling power (BN) through manipulation of the voter rolls.

    This is untenable for all right-thinking citizens.

    Hom,e Minister is duty-bound to ensure that the police allows the peaceful march and controls the crowd to prevent UMNO Youth and perkasa for sparkin any unrest and disturbance.

    Any eductaed person (and Khairy, I hop[e u r one) would not condemn the citizens freedom of expression and freedom to assemble peacefully.

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