Archive for July 13th, 2011

Cop: Use of excessive force was wrong

Teoh El Sen | July 13, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

There were special police teams who were already targeting those leaders behind the rally, such as Bersih chairman S Ambiga, says a policeman.


KUALA LUMPUR: The police force has been denying the use of violence during the Bersih 2.0 march on July 9. But among them is one lone voice who condemned the use of violence on the protesters.

A brave policeman said the use of excessive force when arresting Bersih 2.0 marchers was uncalled for and wrong.

The policeman who was in charge of making arrest spoke to FMT on condition of anonymity.

“Those policemen who hit the people are in the wrong. They can actually be charged… Even if you want to say you were forced to do it, that you were attacked first, it should not reach such a stage as what we’re seeing in the video footages.”

“Usually when we make arrests, the most we do if the person struggles and fights back is to make him lie down and use our knees to stop him. Not continue to beat or kick him, even after you handcuff him. That is wrong.” Read the rest of this entry »


Sarawak to hold reform rally in August

Joseph Tawie | July 13, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

While patriotism to country and loyalty to government is important, the same reasoning should be used to oust bad leaders and governments, says Movement of Change Sarawak.

KUCHING: Inspired by the success of Bersih 2.0′s ‘Walk For Democracy’ march last Saturday and the fact that some 100 Sarawakians had taken part, the Movement for Change Sarawak (MoCS) is planning to hold its own ‘rally for democracy and reforms’ here on Aug 13.

MoCS chief Francis Siah said the movement’s leaders had decided on Sunday to organise “A Walk for democracy and reforms” instead of organising a anti-Taib Mahmud rally originally planned for Aug 13.

He said MoCS will apply for a police permit for the event. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib ‘troubled’ by people’s willingness to act

By Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz
July 13, 2011 | Free Malaysia Today

Comment What has Bersih 2.0 become? To me Bersih 2.0 has come to represent the people’s willingness to translate beliefs into action.

That’s what is troubling Umno president Najib Tun Razak. Bersih represents willful readiness to translate articulation into action.

The shocking thing is, he couldn’t detect the same voluntariness and missionary zeal among Umno people! In Umno it’s the ‘no money no move’ philosophy.

In response, he pressed the panic button and came out with his fiery speech to the purportedly 6,000 Umno members at PWTC, a day after Bersih’s massively successful rally on July 9. Read the rest of this entry »


Karpal: DAP’s presence was felt

By S Rutra
July 13, 2011 | Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP chairman Karpal Singh said his party was committed to the Bersih 2.0 rally from the start.

Responding to allegations that DAP members did not turn up in droves for last Saturday’s rally, he said many party leaders and members were confined at the Jalan Pudu Area (near his office), Menara Maybank and Pudu Plaza.

“From day one we were committed to the rally and we never intended in taking a backseat. In fact, I was on the ground to observe and was stopped very rudely by policemen on duty near a road junction in front of the Puduraya bus station,” he told FMT. Read the rest of this entry »


Umno, Utusan the real traitors, says Kit Siang

By Yow Hong Chieh
July 13, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — Lim Kit Siang today turned the tables on Umno and Utusan Malaysia, which he said were “traitors to the King” for attempting to tar Bersih protesters as turncoats.

The DAP parliamentary leader said such unfounded accusations by the ruling party and its mouthpiece would only serve to turn the sentiments of the majority of patriotic Malaysians against King and country.

“Is Utusan and the Umno leadership seriously suggesting that the 50,000 Malaysians who braved police threats, mass arrests, tear gas and water cannon to peacefully gather in support of Bersih 2.0… are disloyal and traitors to King and country?” he said in a statement today. Read the rest of this entry »


Bar report shows police waged war against Bersih, says Pakatan

By Shannon Teoh
July 13, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders have accused the police of attacking protestors at Saturday’s Bersih rally “as if we were terrorists” following the Bar Council’s report that the police had fired water cannons and tear gas canisters in a manner suggesting an intention to inflict injury.

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution told The Malaysian Insider that it was ironic that in the week leading up to the July 9 march for free and fair elections, the police had arrested Parti Sosialis members for waging war on the Agong. Read the rest of this entry »


Justice for Jeyakumar!

By Martin Jalleh

Bersih 2.0 laid bare the fact that Umno is politically bankrupt. It brought out the same old bag of tricks, treats and threats. It looked like a party in a sordid state of denial and beyond redemption.

Alas, the BN went berserk over Bersih! The coalition continues to be the bane of democracy in Bolehland as it resorts to political moves most base in stifling and stopping Bersih!

The Prime Minister now tries desperately hard to redeem his battered image – which he has largely brought upon himself! Time and again he blundered – and very badly too. Read the rest of this entry »


A Bersih Experience

Emmanuel Joseph
12th July 2011

I woke up like many Malaysians on Saturday morning, resolute to attend the rally in Kuala Lumpur, but, also like many Malaysians, worried. Worried I could not make it into the city, worried that I would be detained, worried about the new depths which the police were willing to take this time around. After all, the pre-emptive measures taken to prevent this rally from happening up to that point has been without precedence. I would not have been surprised if the stringent roadblocks exposed Osama Bin Laden, had he not already been killed by the US.

I decided I could not forgive myself if I did not go, so I took a Komuter to KL. The station I boarded (a minor train stop, really) had three police officers manning a guard post and another walking around the station. It looked a bit like a scene from a WW2 movie, but I hadn’t carried any bags with me so as not to arouse suspicion. I carried all I was advised to carry in a 6 pocket baggy quarterpants.I even had a dental appointment card as an ‘alibi’. As much as I wanted to wear yellow and don a Bersih headband, I needed to get in the city to make it count. So instead, I wore a T shirt saying ‘Stop Following Me’, and hoped the police would do as the T shirt said. But as expected, it didn’t really help. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments

Release Dr Jeyakumar immediatel​y

by P Ramakrishnan
President Aliran
12 July 2011

Aliran is very concerned and troubled over Dr Jeyakumar’s health, which seems to be deteriorating under detention. We learn that he is now in IJN undergoing observation. This is the second time he had to be taken to hospital while under detention. This has happened within a span of two weeks which is really worrying.

The PSM 6 detained under the Emergency Ordinance have been placed in a cruel and unjust situation: they have been falsely accused (first of waging war against the King and now of being a threat to national security), subjected to interrogation and solitary confinement, and denied proper visitation rights with their lawyers. This is totally unacceptable in a civil society.

Kumar is neither a communist nor a violent man to be a serious threat to the country. Read the rest of this entry »


“Why are you here, why do you march?”

By The Anonymous Marcher
13 Jul 2011

Before the dust has even settled on Bersih 2.0, the official verdict is out and the participants are being portrayed as deluded troublemakers waging war on a silent majority.

We are told that protests are not part of our culture, even though a cursory study of our nation’s history reveals otherwise.

The campaign against the Malayan Union, Hamid Tuah land protests and Reformasi marches burn bright in our past.

This time thanks to the freedom of the internet, we have video footage, first-hand accounts and impartial analysis to disprove their lies.

But why did so many Malaysians brave the onslaught of the Malaysian state. Why did they go out to march?

The following is based on testimony from a handful of the tens of thousands of Malaysians who took to the streets on July 9, 2011.

Read the rest of this entry »


I will wear yellow every Saturday until….

Beginning this weekend, I will wear yellow every Saturday until:

(1) the PSM6 namely Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, PSM deputy chairperson M Saraswathy, central committee members Choo Chon Kai and M Sukumaran, Sungai Siput branch secretary A Letchumanan, and Youth leader Sarat Babu detained under Emergency Ordinance are released;

(2) The ban on Bersih lifted;

(3) Barisan Nasional government’s xanthophobia (fear of yellow) ended; and

(4) The eight Bersih 2.0 demands for electoral reforms implemented. The eight Bersih 2.0 demands are:

  • Clean electoral roll;
  • Reform postal ballot;
  • Use indelible ink;
  • Minimum 21-day campaign period;
  • Free and fair media access;
  • Strengthen public institutions;
  • Stop corruption;
  • End dirty politics.
  • Read the rest of this entry »


    ‘Dataran Maybank has become my Tahrir Square’

    By Patrick Oh
    Jul 13, 11 | Mkini

    EYEWITNESS November 2007, I joined Bersih 1.0 as a young man in my twenties. The cause and objective were simple – reform for clean and fair elections with four demands.

    At Bersih 1.0, the Chinese were the minority among the peaceful marchers. Even if there were Chinese around, they were mainly middle-aged males.

    Four years on, I am now in my early thirties and I participated in Bersih 2.0.

    I am not affiliated to any political party or any NGO, I am just a commoner who wish to live in a peaceful and harmonious country.

    However, frustration has grown over the years when we see our corrupted government playing with race and religion to divide the rakyat. Read the rest of this entry »

    1 Comment

    Investing 101 Means Looking Out the Windows More

    By William Pesek
    Jul 13, 2011 | Bloomsberg

    Arab Spring, meet Malaysia’s summer of discontent.

    That thought is surely on Prime Minister Najib Razak’s mind as the dust settles from Saturday’s botched demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur. By “botched” I mean the way Najib mishandled what should have been a ho-hum political-reform rally of little note by the international news media.

    Public-relations experts would have told Najib to let the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections have their day in the capital. Let them wave signs and wear their yellow shirts. Instead, he tried to stop the rally, increasing its size. Then, he cracked down. Police fired tear gas and detained 1,697 people, turning the event into a top cable TV news story. Read the rest of this entry »

    1 Comment

    Government risks undermining democratic progress, say UN experts

    By UNHR
    12 July 2011

    GENEVA – UN human rights experts* on Monday expressed their dismay at the use of tear gas and water cannons by security authorities against peaceful protestors in Malaysia on Saturday, reportedly leading to injuries and one death, and the arrest of more than 1,600 people at the Bersih 2.0 rally.

    “The right to freedom of opinion and expression, including in the form of peaceful protests, is essential for democracy. By declaring the demonstration illegal, sealing off parts of the capital in advance and responding in such a heavy-handed manner against peaceful demonstrators, the Government of Malaysia risks undermining democratic progress in the country,” said Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Read the rest of this entry »


    We walked in peace until…

    By Adrian Ng
    July 13, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

    JULY 13 — The night was quiet. The usual buzz that surrounds KL on a Friday night was missing. I walked from Masjid Jamek LRT station to the hotel through Masjid India bazaar. Not many police were sighted and business was still operating as usual. The crowd was mainly tourists.

    I met up with Padma, Jo and Kavilan in the hotel. My roommates were Albert and Bakri – Haris Ibrahim’s younger brother. As the night was still early, Padma, Jo and I chilled out at the hotel’s rooftop café. From above, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (TAR) looked deserted. Streets were empty. So were Jalan Raja Laut and Jalan Kuching. The police had barricaded and blocked access into KL, advised people to stay at home. A helicopter with spotlight was seen flying low every 15 minutes around town, inspecting every inch of it. KL was on a self-imposed curfew. Read the rest of this entry »


    The home minister should resign!

    By KJ John
    Jul 12, 11 | The Malaysian Insider

    I think Minister of Home Affairs Hishammuddin Hussein should resign. He has failed miserably in “managing the proper conduct of the Constitution and discarded reasonable rights of the citizens”, even after the King made his intervention and publicly made his views known. The King is our Head of State.

    Allow me to state my reasons for my call vide this column. Bersih 1.0 and Bersih 2.0 are non-legal organisations. This means that while they exist in real space and time, they are not legal entities in the corporate and legal sense under the laws of our nation. Read the rest of this entry »


    A very Malaysian impediment – Singapore Straits Times

    KL better off without ‘padded rolls, vote buying’, says Singapore ST
    By Debra Chong
    The Malaysian Insider
    Jul 12, 2011

    KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 — Malaysia’s top leadership would be better off working to deliver its promised reforms and give substance to the 1 Malaysia vision than stoop to a partisan approach in dealing with dissent, the Singapore Straits Times said today.

    The influential daily also remarked in its editorial today that last Saturday’s Bersih 2.0 rally here has thrown the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition on the backfoot even though it managed to deliver a counter-punch to the civil society movement.

    The Singapore paper is privately-owned but is often seen to reflect the republic’s establishment voice, which appears keen to keep its current good ties with Putrajaya while protecting the republic’s interest. Read the rest of this entry »


    Truth is inconvenient

    By Christine SK Lai
    July 13, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

    JULY 13 — It’s the first time in my life I joined a demonstration. Do I like demos? No way. Was I scared? Of course; it’s no “walk in the park, picnic on the grass”; you know what to expect when it has been declared illegal and everyone is being warned by everyone else from the King to the church to well-meaning friends to stay home and be safe.

    Actually that was what I intended to do as a law-abiding citizen and obedient sheep; at least it was until I was challenged by my own children with certain thought-provoking questions like… “Ma, where would the world be if Martin Luther King just prayed and didn’t march?” “Ma, where were the Christians when six million Jews were systematically led to slaughter by an evil dictator?” Read the rest of this entry »

    1 Comment

    Malaysia: Rich but not free

    The Jakarta Post

    The leaders of Malaysia are laboring under an old paradigm that says you can have development or democracy, but not both. We have news for them: You can be rich and free at the same time. Malaysians deserve both and they deserve it now — not sometime in the future.

    The lengths the government went to in trying to prevent and then break up the Bersih 2.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday shows that the nation’s leaders were still not prepared to let go — even when an increasing number of Malaysians of all races have been pressing for more freedom and justice.

    The rally, defying a government ban, went down as the largest in Malaysian history. It was significant that representatives from all three major races participated. Read the rest of this entry »


    Malaysia: Police use brutal tactics against peaceful protestors

    Amnesty International
    11 July 2011

    The UK government must press Malaysia’s Prime Minister on freedom of assembly during his visit this week, Amnesty International said today, after peaceful protesters in Kuala Lumpur were met with police violence and 1,667 arrests at the weekend.

    Police arrested peaceful demonstrators, fired tear gas canisters directly at protesters, and tear gassed a hospital compound on 9 July, in attempts to stop the electoral reform rally known as Bersih 2.0 from gathering in a stadium.

    One protester, 56-year-old Baharuddin Ahmad, collapsed near the landmark Petronas Towers while fleeing teargas and was pronounced dead later in hospital. Read the rest of this entry »