Archive for July 4th, 2011

Bersih 2.0 is Najib’s biggest challenge

By Ooi Kee Beng
July 04, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JULY 4 — As July 9 looms closer, the administration of Malaysia’s Premier Najib Abdul Razak feels itself more and more pushed into a corner.

This coming Saturday threatens to be a day of reckoning for his administration, which from the beginning preferred tweaking the system to reforming the system. Now, two years after he took power from Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, another leader who failed to live up to his own reformist image, he is running out of options. Read the rest of this entry »


The follies of Umno and the EC

By Mariam Mokhtar
Jul 4, 11 | MalaysiaKini

On Nov 10, 2007, around 40,000 protestors made their way towards Istana Negara in Bersih’s first march for clean and fair elections. Did it make a difference? Yes.

The rakyat experienced change. It galvanised them by reinforcing their belief that together they could prove a point – that Umno is not infallible. That Umno is not great. That Umno has an Achilles heel which will bring it down: Arrogance.

After 2007, the promises from both Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the prime minister at the time, and the Election Commission (EC) have all come to nought. Read the rest of this entry »


Why the sledgehammer?

July 04, 2011 | Aliran

JULY 4 — It looks like if they don’t get you under one law, they will get you under another law. That seems to be the case as far as Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj and his colleagues are concerned. But this time they used a sledgehammer just to make sure that they get them.

During the seven days’ remand, the police did not unearth any incriminating evidence to justify their action against 30 Parti Sosialis activists for allegedly “waging war against the king”. That was the reason stated for remanding these people. Before that, there was talk they could be investigated for sedition.

On the seventh day of their remand, six of them were freed from the Kepala Batas police station. The implication of this action was very explicit: The police had actually cleared them of whatever they were originally suspected of being involved in. Read the rest of this entry »


Pakatan Rakyat leadership council emergency meeting on Wednesday on Bersih 2.0 rally and current national political situation

The Pakatan Rakyat leadership council will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday on the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally for free, fair and clean elections and the current national political situation.

The PR leadership council will discuss the wise and commendable counsel of the Yang di Pertuan Agong. I am most impressed by the advice of the King particularly when he said:

“I also urge the government to carry out everything that is entrusted to it by the people in a just and wise manner, and it is important that I, as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, do not want to see this country with a plural society in a situation where there is animosity among them or a section of the people being enemies with the government, on whatever grounds.”

The Bersih 2.0 plan to have a peaceful rally on July 9 calling for free, fair and clean elections, which has the support of Malaysians transcending race, religion, class, gender and age, would be a celebration of the growing democratic spirit and culture in Malaysia and the best illustration of the 1Malaysia slogan of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih rally: Let sanity, common sense prevail

By AB Sulaiman | Jul 4, 11

So this week is the last stretch to the much anticipated Bersih 2.0 rally slated for this Saturday.

On the part of the organisers, they say that this is a people-inspired movement, asking for nothing more than free and fair elections, and the ridding of rampant corruption.

That’s not how the government sees it. To it this a movement full of many hidden agendas, like wishing to resurrect Communism, toppling the monarchy, ‘puppetering’ by foreign agents, Christians about to overrun the Muslim government, and the Opposition’s vehicle for marching towards Putrajaya!

So, the government has made it more than just difficult for the organisers to go ahead with the rally. It even has declared it illegal.
Read the rest of this entry »


Debunking the Bersih 2.0 critics

By Pak Sako
Centre for Policy Initiatives
4th July 2011

A number of political commentators have criticised Bersih 2.0 in the news media and blogs. Among these critics are Chandra Muzaffar, Anas Zubedy, Ahirudin Atan (Rocky’s Bru) and Mahathir Mohamad.

Their comments would have been welcome if they were honest and holistic assessments of Bersih 2.0. It would have been nice to see the use of sound reasoning. Instead we have faulty argument upon faulty argument, in article upon article.

This is regrettable not just for the dubious ethics with which personal political interests are advanced. It is also unfortunate because the trusting reader becomes confused as to what is true or false and becomes prone to accepting questionable statements and conclusions as truthful.
Read the rest of this entry »


Dr M’s daughter slams crackdown

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid | July 4, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Marina Mahathir, the daughter of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad – who had little tolerance for dissenting voices – criticised the clampdown on Bersih 2.0 supporters.

Speaking on behalf of Sisters In Islam, one of the 62 NGOs that form the Bersih coalition, she said the action taken by the authorities was similar to that used by third-world dictators.

“Only those in fear would resort to such things… we are behaving like a third world country or less,” she told a packed press conference here, flanked by several representatives from Bersih.

More than 150 people were detained, mostly for wearing yellow T- shirts with the word “Bersih” in connection with the polls watchdog’s planned rally on July 9.
Read the rest of this entry »


T-shirts: free and unfree

T-shirts: free and unfree By Zunar


Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #72

By M. Bakri Musa

Chapter 9: Islam in Malay Life

Authoritative Versus Authoritarian Ulamas and Scholars

Then there are such irrelevant issues as who can and cannot partake in these debates. There are those ulamas and scholars who feel that only they are qualified enough to partake in such heavy issues. There rest need merely follow their dictates. They are not so much authoritative as much as authoritarian, to use Khalid El Fadl’s words.

It reminds me of the bad old days of imperious doctors who behave like Gods; their utterances and decisions cannot be challenged, least of all by the laity. Thank God, those days are gone. Today physicians fully engage their patients and they in turn participate fully in decisions affecting themselves. The seeking of second and alternate opinions is now standard practice.

Take the issue of Islamic scholars, another very contentious one. Much of the confusion and the ensuing controversies revolve around the different meanings of basic terms. I can best illustrate this by using the example of surgical scholars. In the academic department I was once associated with, among my colleagues were a veterinary doctor, a biochemist, and an engineer. In standing, pay and prestige, these professors of surgery were no different from the other “operating” professors of Read the rest of this entry »

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King’s concern most welcome – call on Najib to meet with Bersih organisers as the first positive government response to popular concerns for free and fair elections

The Yang di Pertuan Agong’s concern over the “binge of madness” in the country arising from the July 9 Bersih 2.0 peaceful rally for free, fair and clean general elections is most appropriate and welcome.

Lets not doubt the loyalty and patriotism of Malaysians who want to see free and fair general elections – which is the highest form of love, loyalty and patriotism to Malaysia.

As a first positive step in response to the Yang di Pertuan Agong’s concern and call that Malaysia must always conduct itself as “a civilised society” grounded on consultations with all stakeholders in the country, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should meet with Bersih organisers to address legitimate nation-wide concerns about free and fair elections which could be fully taken account in the forthcoming 13th General Elections. Read the rest of this entry »


Veto the Bersih ban, Mr PM

by Thomas Lee Seng Hock
Jul 3, 11


The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) has been declared an illegal organisation effective 1 July 2011.

A statement issued by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) says that the declaration was made by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (right) under Section 5 of the Societies Act 1966.

According to the ROS statement, Bersih is not a registered organisation.

The statement claims that Bersih has been actively creating confusion and causing anxiety among the people.

It says that Bersih has been distributing handbills containing propaganda aimed at toppling the BN federal government.

The ROS statement says that Bersih has undermined the nation’s sovereignty and disrupted the harmonious environment among the country’s multi-racial population, and also caused disrepute to the country’s image, and is a threat to public order, security, and economic development and prosperity.

Bersih had earlier announced plans to hold rallies in Kuala Lumpur, Sabah and Sarawak on July 9 to mobilise concerned citizens to demand for a clean, fair and transparent electoral process. Read the rest of this entry »