Archive for May 4th, 2012

Violence against Malaysia

by Zan Azlee
The Malaysian Insider
May 04, 2012

MAY 4 — I waited for almost a week before actually writing or posting anything much about the recent Bersih 3.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur. There were so many emotions, I wanted to make sure that I was calm and coherent before actually commenting on it.

And now that everything seems ever so slightly clearer to me, the one thing that affected me most that Saturday was the violence that occurred.

The day had started early for me and walking all around the city, I felt the almost party-like atmosphere amongst all the Malaysians that had gathered.

Dataran Merdeka, of course, had a heavy police presence. It was cordoned off with metal fencing and even scary-looking barbed wire.

But, as I mentioned, the atmosphere was very festive and I guess the intimidation wasn’t working that well.

When the rally was in full force, I was standing alongside the leaders as they were giving their speeches and encouraging the people to sing.

Once everyone was as close to Dataran Merdeka as possible, I heard the leaders declaring the rally a success and calling for the crowd to disperse.

The crowd didn’t disperse and I made my way behind the barricade and police line with the help of my press tag.

Before I knew it, I heard people shouting and noticed the police running back from the barricade. The protesters had breached the barricade. Read the rest of this entry »


Debunking the myth and clearing the path

By RZMay
The Malaysian Insider
May 04, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — We were ordinary Malaysians, professional, non-professional, rich, middle class and poor. On April 28, I found out that the different classes don’t matter, we all felt the tear gas. I was at the Masjid Jamek LRT station when they fired on us, and they closed the LRT station. I was angry at that time, but now I understood that an open LRT station could have caused more danger to us than a closed one. We could have fallen on the tracks; there could have been more injuries, and even death.

We found out on that day that our skin colour and our beliefs don’t matter. Muslims or non-Muslims, Malays, Indians, Chinese, Ibans, Kadazans, half-Eurasian half-Malay, quarter-Javanese, quarter-Portuguese, we were all one colour — yellow.

Our fight was for justice, and justice is a universal value that is upheld in every religion and belief. They say that if the polls were rigged, the opposition wouldn’t have won five states. If the polls weren’t rigged, how did BN with only 50.27 per cent of the votes get 63.1 per cent of the parliamentary seats? Why does Putrajaya have 5,000 voters yet Klang has 100,000 voters?

Then you’re going to say that we were hijacked by the opposition. Let me tell you this, we invited everyone, BN and PR, to join us, the rakyat. We are your masters, not the other way around. The only one who got “hijacked” during the gathering were PR leaders because they succumbed to our demand for free and fair elections. And let me give this warning to PR leaders, in any case during the future should you be in power and you rig the elections, we would not hesitate to go back to the streets to demand what is just, because we are your boss. Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih 3.0: A celebration of political maturity

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
May 04, 2012

MAY 4 — The battle for freedom must be won over and over again.

I am sure there will be a Bersih 4.0 if the legitimate demands of a people craving for political meaning are not met. Why should the Election Commission resist demands to clean the electoral list? Why should the government deny electoral reforms? Why should the Malaysian people be denied the right to insist elections are only for Malaysian people? Why should we not demand the exclusion of phantom voters and aliens from our electoral list? Admitting Bangladeshis, Myanmars, Nepalis and other illegals and giving them instant MYkads because they can support a fearful government is treasonous!

We are denied because this government fears the judgment of its own people. It has certainly shown it fears its own people. Otherwise what kind of government that has shown it was willing to unleash the repressive instruments on its own people?

I almost fell off the chair when someone uttered the unthinkable — that Bersih 3.0 would serve only to whip up Malay nationalism. Because of Bersih 3.0, Malays will gravitate towards Umno? Read the rest of this entry »


A response to Chandra Muzaffar’s lambasting of Bersih

by Dr Lim Teck Ghee
Friday, 04 May 2012
CPI Writings

Friends have asked me what prompted the extraordinary hatchet job that Dr Chandra Muzaffar attempted on the Bersih 3.0 movement and its leaders in his recent article misleadingly titled ‘Bersih and the Quest for Human Rights’ published in various media.

What was in the article that could be of academic or scholarly value to warrant any close reading? Those attracted by the title may have expected an article on how the quest for human rights in Malaysia may have taken on fresh urgency given the police manhandling of the demonstrators and media, and the many instances of violation of democratic rights.

In the internet and mainstream media, the issue of police brutality has become the main focus and memory of demonstrators and the Malaysian public. That could have been a topic that Dr Chandra – in defending the status quo – could have brought fresh insights from a human rights perspective.

However, he chose not to do so. Instead he churned out a propagandistic piece praising the political reforms undertaken as well as aimed at demonizing the Bersih leaders and its supporters from the opposition. Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih 3.0 is even greater public relations disaster for Najib than Bersih 2.0 – with damage growing in magnitude and impact when all the horror stories of police rampage of violence and brutality are told

As I said after the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 last year, there were many casualties especially the police, the mainstream media and the election commission but the biggest loser of all was undoubtedly the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

This is even more the case with the Bersih 3.0 “sit-in” last Saturday on April 28 as Bersih 3.0 is an even greater public relations disaster for Najib than Bersih 2.0 – with the damage growing in magnitude and impact when all the horror stories of police rampage of violence and brutality on that day are told where hundreds of thousands of Malaysians who came to Kuala Lumpur in peace were not allowed to disperse in peace.

No reasonable and thinking Malaysian would buy Najib’s blame yesterday alleging that Bersih 3.0 organisers were responsible for last Saturday’s violence, in particular the police rampage of violence and brutality against peaceful protestors and media representatives.

The excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate use of police force, whether firing of tear gas and chemically-laced water cannon or downright police violence and brutality, cannot be justified by any breach of the Dataran Merdeka barricades last Saturday.

A critic of the government’s gross mishandling of Bersih 2.0 rally for free and fair elections in July last year had urged the Najib administration to discard its “Cold War” mindset and to modernize its concepts to address internal security and national issues.
Read the rest of this entry »


BN-owned media’s shameless whitewash

CL Tang
May 1, 2012

Three days after Bersih 3.0, Malaysian hermits who lives in caves, who have never heard of the Internet and who only read the mainstream newspapers would probably have the impression that it was the police force who were protesting and ended up physically assaulted by angry civilians.

Despite clear evidence of police brutality available on YouTube, hundreds of personal testimonies by victims and personal witnesses, and pictures of appalling injuries spread all over the Internet, the BN-owned media shamelessly whitewashed the government-sanctioned atrocities against its own people.

Despite hundreds if not thousands of Bersih participants, most of whom were already dispersing, being beaten and chased like criminals by baton-wielding police and ending up with injuries, these crimes were not reported.

Despite thousands of the ordinary rakyat suffering beatings from the authorities, the mainstream media chose to highlight one single case of an injured police personnel.

Despite scores of journalists and media personnel being abused by the police, their cameras and memory cards confiscated, The Star, instead of coming to the defence of its colleagues and upholding the media’s right to cover events without fear of reprisals from the authorities, it chose to showcase one single reporter’s story of being roughed up by the protesters.

So much for BN’s so-called greater freedom for the media via the Printing Presses and Publications Act amendments. Read the rest of this entry »


Ugliest day in media history of Malaysia

— Lim Mun Fah
The Malaysian Insider
May 04, 2012

MAY 4 — The United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 as World Press Freedom Day in 1991 to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right of freedom of expression.

On this day over the past 19 years, the world’s members of the media had reaffirmed the basic principles of the freedom of the press, expressed their determination in defending the freedom of the press, and even paid the highest respect and remembrance to those who have lost their lives in harness.

In Malaysia, we must use the opportunity to reflect and repeatedly ask ourselves: do we enjoy the freedom of press?

Unfortunately, pressmen were violently treated during the recent Bersih 3.0 rally. Some of them were assaulted and injured, some of them had their cameras snatched and some of them had their photos deleted. That day is undoubtedly the darkest and ugliest day in the media history of Malaysia! Read the rest of this entry »

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The legitimacy of law

by Zairil Khir Johari
The Malaysian Insider
May 04, 2012

MAY 4 — I don’t know if the government actually noticed, but more than 100,000 people broke the law last Saturday. They did so not only unashamedly, but also proudly and cheerfully.

The Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28 saw what is estimated to be hundreds of thousands of Malaysians gathering at six different locations in Kuala Lumpur before marching towards a single destination point — Dataran Merdeka, or as some temporarily-erected signage labelled it, Tel Aviv.

In case the authorities have forgotten, this constitutes a breach of the newly enacted Peaceful Assembly Act which clearly outlaws “street protests”, legally defined as an “open air assembly which begins with a meeting at a specified place and consists of walking in a mass march or rally for the purpose of objecting to or advancing a particular cause or causes.” Which was exactly what a few hundred thousand of us did.

I point this out because for everything that has happened, no one, especially those on the side of authority, seems to have noticed this technicality. If the authorities did, then they certainly didn’t do anything about it. In fact, the Inspector-General of Police himself has claimed that his officers had been instructed to give way to demonstrators.

Am I to understand that our police will now facilitate law-breaking? Perhaps, if one were to grant them the benefit of the doubt, one could say that they were being pragmatic, or understanding, or merely turning a blind eye. Or perhaps it is simply that there was nothing they could reasonably do because the law made no sense in the first place.

In other words, the legitimacy of this particular legislation now comes into question. Here, I think it is important to distinguish between legality and legitimacy. Legitimacy hinges on popular acceptance, while legality rests solely on conformity and observance of the letter of the law. Just because a law exists doesn’t make it legitimate. After all, Hitler’s systematic subjugation of the Jewish people was for all intents and purposes perfectly legal, yet can we accord legitimacy to his actions? Read the rest of this entry »

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Doing the right thing for the right reasons

Zaleha | May 3, 2012

For those who think Bersih 3.0 is about Najib Razak, Anwar Ibrahim, Mahathir Mohamad, S Ambiga, you’re missing a point.

I am a Malaysian, rightly proud of my country’s achievements in economic and social progress. I am proud that in this unique multi racial Malaysia, peace and harmony can be maintained.

But now I ask myself – have I been hoodwinked all this time? I asked myself these questions:

•Is my country truly free from hatred, deceit, selfishness and injustice?

•Is Malaysia today free, clean, refined and proactive?

•How do we, Malaysians, measure civilised society?

•Do we measure it by how much we abide by standards of law, behaviour and value systems

•How much do we value freedom? Read the rest of this entry »


Joy in seeing spirit of Bersih in so many

A True Malaysian Pastor | Apr 30, 2012

After having rested and had time to reflect on Bersih 3.0, I have come to the following conclusions.

Compared to Bersih 2.0

1.It was so much easier to mobilise my church members to go. Many who regretted not taking part in Bersih 2.0 out of “fear”, managed to overcome the invisible fear barrier and made their physical presence felt.

2.We were much better prepared physically, spiritually, emotionally and psychologically for Bersih 3.0 compared to 2.0.

3.As a church we could openly pray about the situation and condition of our beloved nation and where it is heading.

4.There was obviously more Chinese people present this time around.

5.More young people were in attendance.

6.More recording devices were evident.

7.People came much earlier.

8.More food stalls were open this time around and did a roaring business eg along Petaling street.
Read the rest of this entry »


BN’s Dirtaran Merdeka

Dean Johns | May 1, 2012

BN’s attempt to thwart the Bersih 3.0 rally by transforming the people’s Dataran into its own ‘Dirtaran’ with razor wire, barricades and battalions of police was a monstrous mockery of the meaning of Merdeka.

And this was the clearest sign yet of how terrified the regime is that clean and fair elections would spell an end to its corrupt and kotor rule of the country.

Yet Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his accomplices in crime and grime are still spouting all their usual filthy lies. Read the rest of this entry »