Archive for July 6th, 2011

Gov’t briefing on Bersih threat comes unstuck

By Terence Netto
Jul 6, 11 | MalaysiaKini

A briefing yesterday by the police and the Election Commission meant to give credence to government claims that the planned Bersih march was fraught with the threat of violence came unstuck when it ran into a thicket of sceptical questions from those being briefed.

Present at the briefing which was held in a leading hotel in Kuala Lumpur even as Bersih’s top leaders were being granted an audience by the king at Istana Negara, were some 30 members comprising leaders of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST), Suhakam, and a couple of NGOs. Read the rest of this entry »


Why am I not surprised?

By Shanker
July 06, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JULY 6 — So, the Home Minister remains adamant that Bersih is an illegal outfit, notwithstanding that the highest Ruler in the land has implied his acquiescence by meeting with Bersih representatives yesterday.

Sigh … what else can we say about Umno that hasn’t been said already? The whole world has taken flight at an unimaginable rate in this 21st century; changes are happening all around the globe — just witness Thailand’s maturity in the democratic process … Read the rest of this entry »


Is Putrajaya joking about Bersih?

By The Malaysian Insider
July 06, 201

JULY 6 — The circumstances surrounding the July 9 Bersih rally have been changing since the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin issued a rare edict and met both the prime minister and Bersih leaders.

Somethings haven’t changed. Bersih is still outlawed. Wearing their yellow T-shirt with the word Bersih will land you in the lock-up.

Government agencies like Stadium Merdeka are waiting for the Cabinet to direct them whether to accept Bersih’s application. The police are waiting for Bersih’s application which must state the venue. Read the rest of this entry »


Protestors in pro-Bersih clothes will be arrested, warns Deputy IGP

By Clara Chooi
July 06, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — Despite being allowed to hold a stadium rally this Saturday, protestors found with pro-Bersih 2.0 materials will still be arrested, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said today.

This, he said, was because the coalition was still deemed an unlawful organisation and any item, whether “songkoks or T-shirts” are still disallowed.

“On clothing or items with Bersih motifs on them, as far as we are concerned, Bersih 2.0 has been gazetted as illegal so anything to do with Bersih 2.0 will be wrong, will be disallowed and we will take action,” he told a press conference at the Bukit Aman police headquarters this afternoon. Read the rest of this entry »


PR backs Bersih’s Merdeka Stadium plan, expects 300,000

By Melissa Chi and Lisa J. Ariffin
July 06, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) announced today that they supported Bersih 2.0’s proposal to have the rally in Merdeka Stadium on July 9, although the request to use the stadium has yet to be approved.

“So Pakatan Rakyat supports Bersih to hold their rally in Stadium Merdeka although in the latest report, the prime minister, especially the home minister, took a turn and had purposely given all kinds of excuses not to allow the use of the stadium,” Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told reporters here after a PR Leadership Council meeting. Read the rest of this entry »


A royal rebuke for Umno, says Aussie don

By Stephanie Sta Maria
July 6, 201 | Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Bersih earned a spot on Australia’s airwaves today with an Australian sociologist describing the royal intervention as a “rebuke” to Umno and the government and an acknowledgement of the organisation’s legitimacy.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Abidin issued a statement on Monday saying street demonstrations would do more harm than good.

This prompted Bersih to request an audience with him, which he granted with rare speed yesterday. Bersih afterwards announced its decision to move the rally off the streets and into a stadium. Read the rest of this entry »

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Despite royal audience, Hisham says Bersih still illegal

By Shannon Teoh | July 06, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

PUTRAJAYA, July 6 — Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein insisted today that Bersih is still outlawed, saying that neither an audience with the King nor relocating the July 9 rally to a stadium could turn the electoral reforms movement legal.

However, the home minister said that Bersih could still apply for a permit for the July 9 gathering using “other methods.”

“No, they are still banned, still illegal. Nobody can be above the law. Just because Tuanku met them, doesn’t mean they are no longer illegal,” he said, referring to the audience granted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to Bersih yesterday, after which it accepted the stadium offer.
Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih and the fall of reason

By Art Harun
July 06, 2011

JULY 6 — “I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.” ~ Thomas Paine

The events unfolding before our eyes in the past few weeks say a lot about us as a collection of individuals; as a society and as a people. What is clear, however, is the sad fact that when we are faced with adversity, we tend to lose our head and retreat into the same old dark and cold cave of emotions, of irrationality and of convenient rhetoric. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia: A police state

By Tommy Thomas
July 06, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JULY 6 — Death Threats. Bomb Threats. Warning on Revocation of Citizenship. Preventive detention. Arrest of hundreds for wearing Yellow T-Shirts. Banning of Organisations. Prohibition of Peaceful Marches.

Is one describing Burma? Or Zimbabwe? No: this is Malaysia in July 2011, in its 54th year of independence.

Has paranoia gripped the decision-making elite in Kuala Lumpur? But for its grave repercussions, one would have to laugh at the disproportionate overreaction and incompetence of government agencies in recent weeks. Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih and the inane responses

By Sakmongkol AK47
July 06, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JULY 6 — This present government has developed one distinguishing characteristic not unlike the previous administration. If the previous administration was maligned as being uninspiring and sleeping through its job, this present government isn’t that far from being similarly aspersed. How so?

It has shown it has a knack of being inept at handling small shocks to the system. Many of us for example are not supporters of Anwar Ibrahim, but the manner the government handles the Anwar affairs — whether it’s the sodomy 2 charge or the recent video clip showing a person resembling Anwar in a sexual tryst, the administration has shown its ineptness and incompetence. Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih 2.0: A long march to freedom

By Keruah Usit
Jul 6, 11 | MalaysiaKini

ANTIDOTE The new sanitised Bersih 2.0 rally is now purer and whiter. Thanks to the Agong’s intervention, the rally for free and fair elections will be confined to a stadium.

This change of scene will make the rally easier to control, from premier Najib Abdul Razak’s point of view. It will also dampen some of the supporters’ enthusiasm.

Being hemmed in, demonstrators will inevitably curb some of their long suppressed drive to show their defiance of the ruling coalition and its faithful enforcers in the police force. Read the rest of this entry »


Hishammuddin and Police should respect and uphold the YDPA intervention by full co-operation with Bersih

The Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and the police should respect and uphold the Yang di Pertuan Agong’s wise and just intervention in the Bersih 2.0 impasse by full co-operation with Bersih to make the July 9 Bersih 2.0 stadium rally a peaceful and orderly one as well as end all harassment against persons for wearing Bersih T-shirt and other paraphernalia and release all such items seized in past 10 days.

Hishammuddin and the police should pay special heed to advice by the Yang di Pertuan Agong in his special statement on Sunday where he said: Read the rest of this entry »


Will ‘fortress BN’ fall?

By Sheridan Mahavera | July 06, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

Are you satisfied with the current Johor govt?KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — It may be known as Barisan Nasional’s (BN) fixed deposit in the Malay peninsula, but a recent straw poll showed that more than 30 per cent of Johoreans want Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in charge of the state and country.

Though this is low compared with other states, it could be a bellwether of how ordinary folk all over the country feel towards the ruling coalition.

Except for the 2008 elections, Johoreans have always given BN near-unquestioning support. Even as the DAP and PAS won the most number of seats of any non-BN party in that year (six state and one parliament), some of their candidates also lost their election deposits campaigning in south-eastern Johor.
Read the rest of this entry »


The economics of compassion

by Erna Mahyuni
The Malaysian Insider
Jul 06, 2011

JULY 6 — The ETP is meaningless. Or at least it is to the man on the street. “Where do they get the numbers from?” a fellow I know asks me. The only numbers that mean anything to him right now are the prices of his food.

His shi cha (iced Chinese tea) and his chap fan (mixed rice) cost more these days while he isn’t earning more. And that is the reality for most Malaysians as we find prices rising while our incomes remain flat.

If the middle-class are feeling the pinch, what more those in the lower-income bracket? While the government spends millions on labs that are supposed to fix whatever problems we have, the poor remain poor.

I get angry when those who know nothing of poverty claim that with hard work, anyone can buy what they want or be who they want to be. Poverty is called a trap for a reason. It is easier to fall out of wealth than to come into it. And for those already poor or born into poverty, the odds are against them from the start. Read the rest of this entry »


Vague principles, contradictory policies

by Hafiz Noor Shams
The Malaysian Insider
Jul 06, 2011

JULY 6 — Some ideas are vague for a reason. In Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, the majority is afraid of commitment and responsibilities. It is simply impractical to have clear opinions or positions. Consistency arising from those opinions and positions is a barrier to success. One has to be pragmatic to be successful. Vagueness allows such pragmatism. To put it bluntly, it creates contradictions.

That is not too far off from the truth in our world. That is not too far off from the political culture in Malaysia. There are vague positions and from those ambiguities, contradictions.

1 Malaysia is an example. Despite all efforts to explain it by far too many sides, 1 Malaysia is still an ambiguous concept. It appeals to the idea of inclusiveness and equality, yet those with distaste for these very liberal ideas are the ones promoting it. There are of course true blue egalitarians within Barisan Nasional who are also promoting 1 Malaysia but when both racialists and egalitarians are able to appeal to 1 Malaysia in contradictory terms, the concept itself cannot escape the accusation of being ambiguous. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ten conditions for Umno

by Bahaman Abdullah
The Malaysian Insider
Jul 05, 2011

JULY 5 — Since Ibrahim Ali is so fond of giving everyone ultimatums (the latest being to MCA, Gerakan and Ambiga Sreenivasan), I suggest we give Umno and Najib Razak a list of 10 conditions to be met if he wants the support of urban Malaysia.

1) Distance yourself publicly from Ibrahim Ali and Perkasa. Failure to do so will be taken as a sign that all the garbage from Ibrahim is endorsed by the Umno president and his kuncu-kuncu.

2) Stop using divide and rule tactics to keep Malaysians apart. The only reason why BN worried about Bersih is that this election reform movement appears to have brought Malaysians of different races and religious groups together.

3) Tackle corruption and start by investigating cabinet ministers, senior politicians for living way, way beyond their means. Read the rest of this entry »