“428” Bersih 3.0 acid test of Najib’s “political transformation” to make Malaysia “best democracy in the world” – start with immediate revocation of government ban on Bersih

The April 28 Bersih 3.0 peaceful “Duduk Bantah” rally at Dataran Merdeka for clean, free and fair elections is an acid test of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “political transformation” to make Malaysia, in his own words, “the best democracy in the world”.

In the past seven months, the Najib government had been trying to undo the damage caused by the disastrous government mishandling of the 709 Bersih 2.0 peaceful rally for free and fair elections, which saw an arrogant, ham-fisted, high-handed and mindless repression and clampdown such as the government ban on Bersih, unjustified PSM arrests under Emergency Ordinance, arbitrary arrests for wearing Bersih 2.0 T-shirts or just wearing yellow.

In his Malaysia Day message on Sept. 16 last year, Najib promised a “political transformation” with a slew of reform of undemocratic and draconian laws like the repeal of the Internal Security Act and the revocation of the four Emergency Proclamations.

At that time, I had specifically asked: “Will the replacements for the repeal or removal of repressive laws and measures result in the reincarnation of these very same draconian features in a new format, e.g. repeal of ISA but enactment of new law which could be described as ISA2?”

This is what have come to pass in the past seven months. Although there have been reform or repeal of draconian laws, they have been basically “one step forward, two steps backward” exercises, whether enactment of the Peaceful Assembly Act; repeal of the Internal Security Act and replacement by Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill as well as amendments to the Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and Evidence Act; and amendments to the Printing Presses and Publications Act and the Universities and University Colleges Act.

This is why Pakatan Rakyat MPs could not support the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill although we unanimously welcome the repeal of the Internal Security Act to end its pernicious detention-without-trial powers.

If the Prime Minister is sincere in wanting to make Malaysia the “best democracy in the world”, let him make a start by ending all government obstacles and objections to the holding of a peaceful gathering of Malaysians at Dataran Merdeka this Saturday in a “sit-in” protest to demand free, fair and clean elections in Malaysia.

“709” has gone down in Malaysian history as the day of empowerment of the real 1Malaysia – where all races and religions came together to demand a “Clean Malaysia”, not just for clean elections but also in the political system and all aspects of national governance.

Let “428” go down in Malaysian history, not only as demonstration of greater empowerment of decent and patriotic Malaysians for a “Clean Malaysia”, but as a testament that the Prime Minister is sincere in wanting to make Malaysia “the best democracy in the world”.

I say, lets start with the immediat revocation of the unjustified, unreasonable and undemocratic government ban on Bersih – especially as the Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Justice Rohana Yusof is asking the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to clarify the government declaration of Bersih as an illegal organisation after the Home Minister’s recent change of stand in conceding that the Bersih 3.0 rally is not a security threat.

I will be at the Bersih 3.0 “Duduk Bantah” rally at Dataran Merdeka on Saturday. Let all decent and patriotic Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, gender or age, come forward whether at Dataran Merdeka, other parts of Malaysia or throughout the world, to send out one common message in peace and harmony: Malaysians want a “Clean” elections as a prerequsite to a “Clean Malaysia”!

  1. #1 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 - 3:42 pm

    As reported in Malaysiakini April 25th, KL Mayor said that “Bersih 3.0 supporters at Dataran Merdeka this Saturday will face the same actions taken against activists who occupied the venue recently”. What are these same actions? Well DBKL’s enforcement officers had apprehended 4 student activists/protestors, bundled them into a DBKL truck/van and sent them to Dang Wangi police station to be charged for obstructing public servants loike DBKL officers in their official and lawful duties. To which the question arises whether DBKL enforcement officers clamp down on demonstrators in Dataran Merdeka is within their scope of authority & duties. If Bersih’s assembly is by itself legal under the Peaceful Assembly Act (“PAA”) but becomes illegal by virtue of Dataran being an area not allowed under PAA, then I would have thought its PDRM’s role to manage or dsiperse the rally rather than DBKL’s enforcement officers, so far outsourced to do the unpopular job in relation to the students!

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 - 3:43 pm

    Only PDRM would have the power to arrest – not DBKL’s officers whose scope of work is to do what DBKL, as a local authority, is charged with doing under local authority bylaws– ie maintaining public health and sanitation, waste removal and management, town planning, environmental protection and building control, social and economic development and general maintenance functions of urban infrastructure of KL including traffic and issuing summons. Dataran may be owned by DBKL but it is designated a public area, so in what manner can it be said that DBKL officers are obstructed from their official duties when their official duties do not include dispersing an illegal assembly in a public place like Dataran, which is PDRM’s job? The Mayor should consult DBKL’s legal Dept and clarify to the Public under exactly what local authority’s bylaws DBKL’s officers could do what they did to the 4 students for which he promised would be repeated similarly on Bersih’s assemblers!

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 - 3:50 pm

    ///Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) threatened today to forcefully bar demonstrators from using Dataran Merdeka for this Saturday’s Bersih 3.0 sit-in protest for electoral reforms, with Mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail dismissing the activists as unreasonable.///

    It looks as if Mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail’s grandfather owns the whole of Dataran Merdeka. Haven’t we taxpayers the right to use the Square?

    Mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail should stop being BN’s puppet and refrain from siding the ruling coalition.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 - 4:33 pm

    His appointment by BN’s Federal Territory’s Minister !

  5. #5 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 - 4:45 pm

    Revocation of ban? No one cares. What Najib must do is no less than accepting Bersih’s demand IN FULL including guarantee of electoral roll clean-up before GE13 or nothing he says mean anything..

  6. #6 by monsterball on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 - 4:47 pm

    Best democracy in the world…. but you must shut your mouths…listen to the government…toe the line or you will be arrested for disturbing the peace in the country.
    It’s the best Dictatorship government in the world.

  7. #7 by monsterball on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 - 5:00 pm

    Back to BERSIH 3…already book hotel rooms and come 28th ..we all will participate with no fear.
    It’s the same old stuffs….twisting the turning to stop Malaysians advocating for a clean and uncorrupted government.
    Najib is such a hypocrite and liar..with his slogans and promises.
    It’s all boils down to how many voters can Najib gets with his hypocritical acts and flip flopping.
    Remember this when you walk.
    He said…”I don’t need to comment. I don’t want to comment.” on the Scorpion submarines.
    Why no comment…when he dares to swear at a mosque?
    He is so truthful to the one above…or also…fooling him?

  8. #8 by monsterball on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 - 5:06 pm

    Who cares about the ban on BERSIH 3 at Dataran Merdeka.
    No one can stop People Power.
    It’s the same old poker bluff game…..trying to scare People again.
    Come 28th ….lets see who will walk the talks.

  9. #9 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 - 5:09 pm

    Have CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera & international media been notified of the Saturday event for coverage???

  10. #10 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 - 10:24 pm

    Many people praise Najib as a ‘good listener’. It looks like he only listens (if at all he really listens) but then does nothing. So what good is all this ‘listening’ if nothing ever comes out of it ?

    My sources tell me the Dataran field looks good despite the several functions on it recently. It is a bit damp and slightly muddy though due to the recent rains. So folks come prepared so that your posteriors don’t get wet. Overall the field looks good for a sit-in.

    My sources also tell me that there were many policemen in the vicinity today although they tried to be invisible e.g. staying behind the historic Samad buildings. There were plenty of not so discreet DBKL officers in full uniform nearby with their trucks e.g. at Jalan Raja church area.

    My source also commented that while Dataran is a good place for the sit-in, it is quite easily defensible by the authorities as they can place road blocks at the various entry points thereby preventing protesters from entering the area unless they use their large numbers to overrun the roadblocks. So potential protesters might already be blocked some distance away from the Dataran. So let us see what happens this Saturday afternoon. It will be party time !!

    Let us also hope that there will not be any court orders preventing people from assembling at the Dataran.

  11. #11 by negarawan on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 - 10:40 pm

    Foreign governments can also voice their support for clean elections in Malaysia by condemning UMNO and the EC for blatant electoral fraud. It is high time that the US and Europe impose travel bans and sanctions on corrupt UMNO politicians.

  12. #12 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 - 11:51 pm

    How man..when practically every so-called great politicians over the world are on the take.Better clean one’s own backyard first before it’s too late to be rescued! Just go all out among ourselves la.Let’s Bersih our nation.I’ll be there!

  13. #13 by monsterball on Thursday, 26 April 2012 - 2:52 am

    38 countries are supporting BERSIH 3 .
    Our Federal Territory Mayor said….”Don’t disturb the People”
    Foreign countries governments never say that to the 38 groups participating.
    I guess our too smart Mayor may say…that’s their own business.
    Here…don’t disturb the People.
    It’s all sorts of idiotic reasons to stop Malaysians go to the streets to expose crooks.

  14. #14 by boh-liao on Thursday, 26 April 2012 - 6:28 am

    SKRU d KL Mayor – he would NOT b what he is IF there were a DIRECT ELECTION by rakyat 4 d post; appointed backdoor by failed politicians
    Time 4 ahCHEATkor 2 walk d talk – CLEAN ELECTORAL SYSTEM, every1 wants it, BERSIH

  15. #15 by monsterball on Thursday, 26 April 2012 - 9:37 am

    If you recall how Mahathir gave his best acting performance…crying…acting and another …performing as an idiot …saying “I forgot” 14 times.
    And Najib is doing his performances with so many labels given to him.
    We do have the dirtiest political hypocrites in the developed world….and all are from UMNO b.

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