Bersih supporters are Malaysians too

By Emmanuel Joseph | July 08, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

JULY 8 — Every single Malaysian should be outraged .The government’s response on Bersih so far has been disappointing, rash, highly immature, overtly political and downright ridiculous. The response of enforcement agencies supposedly independent of the government appears to mimic this incredulous, fear-mongering answer to calls for what are essentially the right of every basic democracy — proper elections.

Objections to this peaceful rally has been prayerfully chanted every 30 minutes or so on television, condemning, and mocking this rally, almost as if Bersih was conjuring a merry band of thugs to terrorise the neighbourhoods of KL. The confiscation of Bersih-related items are also uncalled for and with little basis. What harm can yellow T shirts and logos do the country?

The police’s absurd and outlandish reaction by posting roadblocks across the capital is a gross waste of resources. Given our police force still cannot nab, say the Bangsar acid splasher, what good will manning 240 stations across the city do other than bring traffic to a near standstill? I remember an MCA leader proclaiming Bersih would stop ambulances in their tracks. Whose conscience would it be if someone died because of these desperately illogical actions?

The reason given is equally incredulous. Would not weapons be readily available at shops throughout the city? At all the roadblocks, was a single parang found? Are not these weapons readily available from shops in and around the city centre? What purpose did this serve other than to inconvenience the million or so residents living and working in the city?

How can a T-shirt possibly equate to reviving communism ? Have BN leaders walked around the Curve, Midvalley or Times Square? How many people wear caps, insignia and T-shirts with communist and Nazi logos? Are you going to arrest them all? If wearing a T-shirt with Chin Peng’s face on it is being influenced by communists, Umno should be hauled into jail as it not only has a close rapport with the Chinese Communist Party, their Youth wings have an active leaders exchange programme! Or does a different set of rules apply to different sides of the political fence? Clueless quarters are even trying to make communism a “Chinese problem”.

When last I looked, Rashid Maidin,Wahi Annuar, SA Ganapathy, and Abdullah CD were not Chinese. How is the colour yellow or a logo a national threat? Is a mere word with a cursive “I” more dangerous than a swastika or a hammer and sickle?

Despite the unjust nature hurdles thrown at them for simply wanting to exercise their democratic, fundamental right to assemble, both by the authorities and NGOs that appear to be aligned to those in power, even threats of physical violence, the organisers agreed to a compromise, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong himself granted them an audience. It was noticeable that Tuanku never used the word illegal to describe the rally.

Renegading on the earlier promise, the government has pressed on with this intimidation tactics to keep the people from exercising their right to peaceful assembly

How in any way does any of the eight points denote anything political or racial in nature? Yet, hopelessly they try to paint it out to be a political and racial issue. The political twist failed when it was pointed out that the committee was headed by non-politicians. Then they played the racial card by associating martial arts associations and such.

How can it be anti-Malay when two of the largest Malay-based parties support it, along with four National Laureates!

The government have succeeded only in turning a peaceful walk, not unlike a marathon or parade often held in the capital, into a full out militarised zone with arrests and seizures and threats of chaos and roadblocks. The city is in a virtual lockdown and it’s said to be worse tomorrow.

It appears, the government, and not Bersih, is perpetuating unrest and unease among peaceful Malaysians. This spectrophobic, xanthophobic, ablutophobic madness should stop. If we cannot be allowed to disagree, to assemble and to speak, are we still a democracy?

Please, stop this madness. We are your neighbours, your brothers and sisters, your friends. We are Malaysians, too.

* Emmanuel Joseph reads The Malaysian Insider.

  1. #1 by monsterball on Friday, 8 July 2011 - 5:23 pm

    It’s programming the minds of Malaysians.
    They are applying all the evils that man do to stay in power.
    It will not work.
    Malaysians are getting smarter and cannot be easily fooled like before.
    They have Internet to make then even more smarter…and the government hates smart Malaysians….because it makes them look stupid..which they really are.
    Continue their bullying….provoking…even insulting the King.
    We are calm and waiting to talk with our 13th GE votes.

  2. #2 by voice2009 on Friday, 8 July 2011 - 5:24 pm

    What wrong with these people?

    Do you think those corrupted politicians would let fairness and JUSTICE out shine in Malaysia without quarrel or fight?

    If there is the case before Malaysia independent there were no need of rally

    Yeah…yeah…the independent would come automatically with calm and peace

    Those corrupted are so worry about BERSIH as without corruption they can not win the election

    Either you want to live with brighter future Malaysia with BERSIH

    or you want live with corrupted societies under corrupted politicians administrator many generations

    Make a choice

  3. #3 by Loh on Friday, 8 July 2011 - 5:35 pm

    ///Police will close off several main roads leading into the Kuala Lumpur city centre from midnight tonight, ahead of the banned Bersih 2.0 rally tomorrow.The election reform group has vowed to proceed…///–Malaysiakini

    If that is the way Malaysian government handles demonstration and protest, KL will have to be shut down permanently.

  4. #4 by Loh on Friday, 8 July 2011 - 5:40 pm

    Is stealing the Perak government a bigger crime than conducting dirty and unfair elections? The latter allows the party to steal the whole country. The reaction to Najib’s dirty tricks and the call for Bersih’s ideal should bring have more support among Malaysians.

  5. #5 by dcasey on Friday, 8 July 2011 - 5:44 pm

    Yes you are absolutely right, we are all Malaysians too (whether one is Bersih or not does not matter). But to Mr Moo and his cowhead cohorts, some Malaysians are more Malaysian than others because by nature of their skin, they can claim to be Malays first and then only a distant Malaysian second. This automatically made them “tuans” so Malaysians of other types should and are made to shut up.

  6. #6 by Bigjoe on Friday, 8 July 2011 - 6:13 pm

    It has basically come down to this: We need to send the message to UMNO/BN to reform/change OR there will be a Tahrir Square next time. There will NOT be a Bersih 3.0. People won’t have the patience. Tmrw, some people may get hurt, arrested, ISA etc. BUT no one will die. When a Tahrir Square happens, people will die.

    Everyone has to ask themselves, can they live with seeing people die when they could have done something about it tommorrow and spare it? Are they so self-centred as NOT prevent THAT from happening.

    Its not about symbols or merely messages tmrw. ITS ABOUT SAVING LIVES and our children’s future..

  7. #7 by Not spoon fed on Friday, 8 July 2011 - 6:18 pm

    Sinchew Newspaper today publishes online about Mahathir said “Chinese no longer support BN because of no more projects given to them”.

    Mahahtir thinks Chinese is greedy. Look at, e.g., Penang 2nd bridge project, it goes to BN cronies without open tender.

    When urban people in Sarawak voted for DAP, Mahathir said Chinese were infected by virus of DAP.

    Urban Chinese are well informed of their corruption, so Chinese voted for DAP.

    This is the true colour of Mahathir and BN. They protect their cronies well and will say anything to destroy non Malay.

    MCA, MIC and Gerakan have lost the support of people. They are the ones hog up to with UMNO must be due to cabinet minister post (money).

  8. #8 by born in Malaya on Friday, 8 July 2011 - 10:44 pm

    If there are any losses in term of monetary or human lifes during the Bersih rally, Najib would have to bear for all these losses since he is the person behind the police /FRU actions and also UMNO’s actions towards this peaceful rally by Bersih.

    I hope all Malaysians can see through what Najib’s government is made of. How police force abuse their power to threaten to kill or arrest Malaysian citizens who did nothing wrong other than making Malaysia a clean and civilize country.

    It is a case of police /FRU or UMNOs threatening to harm innocent Malaysian citizens just to cover-up their lies,corruptions and racist policies.

  9. #9 by dagen on Friday, 8 July 2011 - 11:44 pm

    Umno failed to learn anything from similar events leading up to 308. Road blocks were then (and now too) set up deliberately for one reason – to annoy and anger the people. Of course umno hoped to harness that annoyance and anger and channel them towards pakatan. Umno failed in the ploy during the runup to 308. Umno will again fail now. Umno is just too stupid to realise anything. Once beaten is never enough. Twice beatan, and still sleeping. Sodomy I. Then II. Nude squat I. Then II. Beng hock’s murder by macc. And now customs’ officer’s death. Road block 2008. Now road block 2011.

    Boy. Just get rid of umno.

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