Bersih 2.0 accepts stadium offer for rally

By Joseph Sipalan & Abdul Rahim Sabri
Jul 5, 11 | MalaysiaKini

Following a meeting with the Agong this afternoon, Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan said the NGO coalition has agreed to hold its rally in a stadium.

Met outside the national palace after an audience with Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin at Istana Negara, Ambiga said the coalition “will cooperate with the government and accept their offer to have the event in a stadium”.

“Therefore, the rally on the street will not take place.”

The movement does not yet know which stadium will be used. This will be announced at a later date.

“We are very grateful for the (audience with the Agong) and will accept the government offer,” Ambiga added.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had earlier proposed that Bersih holds its demonstration in a stadium rather than on the streets of Kuala Lumpur.

Asked whether the decision reflects a compromise on the part of Bersih, Ambiga said it was, given the circumstances.

Ambiga, Bersih 2.0 steering committee member Zaid Kamaruddin and national laurate A Samad Said had arrived at the Istana Negara gates about 1.55pm.

The trio had earlier refused comment when approached.

Yesterday, Bersih 2.0 submitted a formal request for an audience during which they intend to explain the movement’s position and seek the Agong’s advice on the rally.

Bersih 2.0 had requested for the audience because the Agong had issued a special statement on Sunday night.

The Agong had said that, while it is incumbent on the government to fulfill its responsibilities in a “just and wise manner”, street demonstrations would bring more harm than good, even if the original intention is good.

In an immediate response to the meeting between the King and the Bersih 2.0 leaders, inspector general of police Ismail Omar said the police will take the movement’s decision to hold the rally in a stadium under consideration.

In a faxed statement issued at 5.30pm today, Ismail said the police welcome the King’s decree regarding the cancellation of the street rally, and will wait for an official application from the rally organisers as required under Section 27 of the Police Act 1967.

“Whatever decision made in future will always be based on public order and the rakyat’s safety,” he said.

  1. #1 by drngsc on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 - 4:41 pm

    Oh well,

    I am disappointed.
    However, we trust your wisdom.
    Will you also negotiate for the release of our friends in detention? Please get them released, so that their suffering will end.
    I hope that you will also make sure that their sacrifice is not in vain.

    Our goal remains the same, stadium or streets. We need to change the tenant at Putrajaya, through clean, free and fair elections.

  2. #2 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 - 4:41 pm

    Now that the Stadium will be the rally ground and the soldiers stay in their barracks, FRUs in their nests and police in their stations, only traffic policemen should be around to direct traffic.

    Which stadium is big enough to hold 500,000 people, eh?

    All Malaysians should come atogether and make July 9 a yellow day.

    Now, Hishammudin, eat your heart out. Yellow and BERSIH are no longer illegal.

    Hishammudin, you have been outmanoeuvred by your own cousin, Najib..for now.

  3. #3 by ablastine on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 - 5:15 pm

    As there are no stadium around big enough to host hundreds of thousands of member of the rakyat, the government will have to allow rakyat to gather not only inside the stadium but also around it.

    The police, FRU and soldiers also have to ensure that trouble makers from Perkasa and other hooligans are not around to create trouble for the mass rallying in and around the stadium.

    As long as the message of Bersih that is the right to have a free and fair election is communicated, the aim of the rally has been achieved. So the venue or the form of the rally is not as important. By communicated I mean the government will understand that if a free and fair election is not held the people will again march and this time even the King’s appeal may not be able to restraint a people frustrated by election fraud.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 - 5:24 pm

    Ambiga/Bersih makes the right decision. It is only viable decision. This foray into peoples power on the streets of KL is not on in the first instance in view of the fact that the govt will never allow it (fear of whats happening in Middle East and hence non – negotiable) which means that if Bersih resists, it will be resisted by collective might of the State – PDRM of 150,000, the army (1/2 million) the Courts, the Royalty & other institutions like Media painting it treacherous plus all kinds of Mat Rempits and Silat exponents aching to flex their skills. As I earlier said, Bersih could march if it could according to its objective calculations based on facts and not hopes and ideals and good conscience alone, have the numbers to overwhelm the collective might of the State (earlier detailed) – if not it and the opposition members will be squashed, which is not worth it (as one must sometimes take a srtep backward in order to advance 2 steps forward in the future). In a standoff leading to a showdown there can be no margin of error because victory has to be the only aim, if that unsure, better retreat to fight another day.

    If Bersih were to have applied for police permit to have it at the stadium it might have been granted in first instance instead of the hullabaloo. However the hullabaloo is good in the sense that it makes more people aware of what Bersih stand for.

    The only downside is that to agree to stand down for a street demo now may set a precedent making it harder in the future to justify for another one. Esp when there’s no iron clad guarantee that govt would clean the electoral process.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 - 5:25 pm

    Oops – “which means that if Bersih insists (not resist)…”

  6. #6 by monsterball on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 - 6:09 pm

    Kings are appointed…every 4 years…but this King trully cares for the country and Malaysians.
    BERSIH not banned…shirts not banned is a victory of some sort.
    Najib approval for a stadium is clear enough..he has to eat his own words…regardless what he says or do now.
    Best of the best Home Minister proving lousy powerless and playing one sided politics…under his position.
    Long live the King!!

  7. #7 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 - 6:10 pm

    Believe it or not THIS is a victory. Now what it takes is to rock the gather the biggest gathering that is possible. Lets shoot for an overflow of the stadium so big, it will rock Putrajaya. Lets have a celebration with speeches that will be repeated and passed to the mamak stalls, coffee shops through the villages and every dinner table and very office cooler..

    There stared down Najib/BN/UMNO/Perkasa and they won. Now either they do as Bersih demand or they get out of office. The people has gave last warning – don’t blame them next if they still have not learned their lesson..

  8. #8 by Saint on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 - 6:15 pm

    A right move but an unwise decision. Better would been a request to The Royal Agong to “force” serious and derisive negotiations with EC and Barisan to solve the actual issue ” cleaning the electoral role”. A gathering, be it in the streets or within a stadium is not the issue here, but just to have fair and clean electoral changes.

  9. #9 by voice2009 on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 - 7:07 pm

    Yeah …the main point requested AGONG look into this serious matter of EC reform clean, fair and transparent election.

    Only AGONG can help

    Not those government administrators no shame to tell lie in order to cheat people trust

  10. #10 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 - 7:45 pm

    Can the Agong agree to a RCI on electoral abuses and proposals for reform just like PDRM RCI but in that instance, nothing good came out of it.

    So najib maight have won breathing space for another crackdown. So BERSIH and PR should not holler about victory just yet.

  11. #11 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 - 8:40 pm

    Have simultaneous BERSIH 2.0 rallies in various stadia in all states (Kelantan, Keday, Penang, Perak, Selangor, KL, Sarawak, Sabah, etc) on 9.7.11

  12. #12 by Joshua on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 - 9:13 pm

    Lets compose a stinking swan song for BN and UMNO titled Bersih GE13 for Rahman…

    Joshua Y C Kong on the way to Putrajaya..

  13. #13 by voice2009 on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 - 9:25 pm

    Now, after AGONG blessing BERSIH

    BERSIH should go full force like full-page advertisement of BERSIH in major newspaper, printing material like flyer/brochure, Yellow t-shirt, etc

    Go to promote it in big way NOW asap, dont waste anytime


  14. #14 by vsp on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 - 11:04 pm

    What a disappointment as far as I’m concerned. Merely accepting a stadium venue to protest without insisting for a direct high-level, face-to-face meeting with the regime to trash out electoral fraud is a missed opportunity. The ultimate aim of Bersih’s protest is to force the regime to be serious about electoral discrepancies. The intervention of the Agong provides a golden opportunity for Bersih to ask for a direct meeting with the regime.

    The regime has been avoiding direct meeting for years and the mere offering of a stadium to Bersih without wanting to go any further with electoral reforms checkmates Bersih’s ultimate aim. Najib is insincere because he was mocking Bersih, saying that Bersih can go to the stadium and shout all day as far as he is concerned. Yes Bersih can shout and claim victory in a stadium milieu and probably prepared their 8 demands in a memoradum to the Agong; but Najib will have his last laugh. The regime doesn’t have to be forced to meet for serious talk. The regime will go on its business as usual and the memorandum to the Agong will find its way into the dustbin.

    What about arrest of Bersih’s people. Are they going to be released immediately? What about Bersih’s limbo status since it was summarily banned by the regime? Will it be lifted?

    Unless and until Bersih can provide such answers, Bersih is being screwed by the regime big time. I say Bersih and the people of Malaysia is the bigger loser.

  15. #15 by Comrade on Wednesday, 6 July 2011 - 9:09 am

    To all Malaysians for fair and clean election
    Turn out mightily to fight corruption
    Enough to fill all the stadiums in Malaysia
    To fight for a change of tenant in Putrajaya

  16. #16 by best4rakyat on Wednesday, 6 July 2011 - 9:24 am

    What is the ‘KEY’ to success in liberty with hand,in your hand as individual but not wise to use hands with any tools to fight for liberty!
    Think wisely and even to reforms and change attitudes of police force learn to be more tactful towards innocent we must convince in a better but not a harsh way as example by those who do so.
    How many can one fight and how far can you go by sacrifice many merely follow your barbaric way?
    So think wisely and use logic wisdom to ‘change’!

    I laugh to read such news recently for uncovering tools and things with intention to do bad for the rally.

    Also many wrongful imagination for it could be the job of chinese or Bersih links since it was found with some t-shirts.

    But why I laugh for the stupidity account?

    Because only those uneducated and barbarian can do that to hurt the sincere wish for the true and positive.Also their silly and evil attitude is unchange with times,uncivilised.Societies and people mindset change but not for these few nuisance as they should make laughable to ask themselves:’how many can you chop with parangs’? Stupid attempt to create chaos!

    Surely using force will bring you down to face the cause of your action. Be wise once again!

  17. #17 by manusia ada akal on Wednesday, 6 July 2011 - 10:08 am

    Lagi satu kebaikan melangsungkannya di stadium ialah ucapan-ucapan yang akan di buat akan lebih di dengari dan di fahami berbanding perarakan di jalanan. Gunakanlah sepenuhnya kelengkapan audio/visual yang sediada di stadium tersebut untuk mendapatkan impak maksima.

  18. #18 by best4rakyat on Wednesday, 6 July 2011 - 1:44 pm

    Lagi satu Pakkasar dan Ali tidak boleh kacau.Kalau dia buat sibuk di luar stadium itu jangan pulis salahkan Bersih2.0 dan Ambiga S!

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