Clampdown will only swell Bersih numbers, says Pakatan

By Shannon Teoh | June 30, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) said today that it now expects a larger turnout for the July 9 Bersih march as public anger grows over the ongoing dragnet against supporters of the group calling for electoral reform.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had declared Bersih T-shirts illegal yesterday after police arrested hundreds including PR elected representatives wearing Bersih apparel in the past few days before raiding the Bersih secretariat yesterday afternoon.

But PR lawmakers, wearing Bersih ties and yellow shirts to Parliament today, said the government’s actions were sending out the message that it did not want free and fair elections.

“The arrests have not whittled down our numbers but will make more turn out,” said PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang.

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang also mocked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Government Transformation Programme, saying that it has culminated in Cabinet ministers being allowed to unilaterally declare whatever they wanted illegal.

Stating that Hishammuddin had acted without any legal basis in declaring Bersih T-shirts unlawful, the Ipoh Timur MP said “this has increased public anger and lowered their esteem of the country. The home minister is making up laws on the run.”

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar (picture) also said “the public is not blind to the disparity in police action against Bersih versus that of the seditious statements” made by groups like Perkasa and Pertubuhan Seni Silat Lincah Malaysia.

She said the silat group’s threat of waging war on Bersih supporters and Perkasa raising the spectre of May 13, 1969 racial riots had gone unpunished and this would only sway public sentiment towards Bersih.

PAS also committed itself to its pledge to bring hundreds of thousands to the city on July 9, saying that they will enter the city using any legal means despite the likelihood of roadblocks and checks on public transport.

“As far as PAS is concerned, our mobilisation is on track and our members are advised to come on that day,” said Kuala Krai MP Hatta Ramli.

Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad also said police could not stop PAS supporters from entering the city “unless they want to turn KL into a ghost town.”

“BN is using the police to say no to clean elections. Is this the message they are sending out?”

PR is gearing up for the rally next weekend which it hopes will create a similar momentum to the first Bersih rally in 2007 ahead of a general election expected within the year.

The 2007 march saw up to 50,000 people take to the streets of Kuala Lumpur before they were dispersed by police armed with tear gas and water cannons.

The demonstration has been partly credited for Pakatan Rakyat’s record gains in Election 2008, where the opposition pact swept to power in five states and won 82 parliamentary seats.

  1. #1 by Ray on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 1:29 pm

    Umno Illegal Detainment of these Pakatan MPs and peaceful demos indeed Disgraceful and Umno gave a global impression of their Injustice policies.
    Let me say at the outset that in this case, law enforcement officers utterly mishandled,abuse of Mederka constitutional justicial system in many53 yrs past present and stand accused of applying double standards….when PR marches into Putrajaya,lets prosecute for all Umno wrongdoings by ICJ

  2. #2 by monsterball on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 4:44 pm

    One Malaysian wants to know if he wears a yellow pants with Rosmah photo at the backside…can or cannot?
    As you can see….People Power is not afraid of gangsters and thieves.

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