Archive for May 5th, 2012

SUHAKAM inquiry on Police Violence on April 28

Press Statement
Steering Committee
Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0 (BERSIH 2.0)
5 MAY 2012

While the government focuses on the breaching of the barricades at Dataran Merdeka by a few, and what they see as a threat to their power, there is a deafening and irresponsible silence about the unprecedented violence inflicted upon unsuspecting members of the public by the police force.

Whilst BERSIH 2.0 does not condone the breaching of the barricades, the legality of those barricades is questionable, as is the legality of the hurriedly obtained court order. We are also receiving information that much more was happening at the barricades than meets the eye.

The unanswered question still remains – who is responsible for the untold violence upon participants of the Duduk Bantah that occurred after the first tear gas was fired?

Evidence based on medical reports of some of those who were detained by the police appear to show that some members of the police force were out to punish those who wore BERSIH 3.0 t-shirts, anti-Lynas t-shirts or any yellow t-shirts, by inflicting excessive and completely unjustified violence on them.

Some detainees were attacked at the time of arrest, when they were in shops dining, or about to board LRTs while others were attacked after arrest and despite the absence of struggle. Some were alleged to have been assaulted by over 30 police personnel. Many speak of having to “run the gauntlet” of police personnel and beaten repeatedly before being loaded onto police trucks.

The brutality suggests that a segment of the police force on duty that day had acted with vengeance against BERSIH 3.0 participants whether due to orders given to them or because they had lost control. There are too many reports of police officers who were wearing blue police uniforms but without their names and police identity numbers so as to prevent the victims of violence from identifying the perpetrators of police violence.

In addition to BERSIH 3.0 participants, it must not be forgotten that more than 12 photographers and journalists were assaulted, intimidated or detained by police while reporting the rally, and cameras, memory cards and video equipment were taken away. Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih and the mystery of the missing PM

By Nathaniel Tan | May 4, 2012

This is part two of an attempt to examine the following: what matters most about this rally (versus what does not), an analysis of both the police car that ran into protesters as well as the barricade breach incident, and what Saturday tells us about the government, leaders and people of Malaysia.

Whither Najib?

Videos of the police car being overturned during the Bersih 3.0 rally must have been a wet dream come true for BN spinmeisters the likes of Tan Keng Liang.

What can we say objectively about the violence at the rally?

Some posit that all the “violent protestors” were in fact agent provocateurs planted by the powers that be.
Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih 3.0: What matters most and what does not

By Nathaniel Tan | May 3, 2012

This article will in two parts attempt to examine the following: what matters most about this rally (versus what does not), an analysis of both the police car that ran into protesters as well as the barricade breach incident, and what Saturday tells us about the government, leaders and people of Malaysia.

What matters most

While I cannot resist commenting on the two incidents analysed below, I would like to agree with commentators who observe that harping on these issues are a distraction from what really matters.

What is a distraction is spending hours trying to interpret hand signals. What really matters is electoral reform.
Read the rest of this entry »


Najib’s Malaysia still stuck in the murk

by Hamish McDonald
Sydney Morning Herald
May 05, 2012

It’s an encounter that has gone into the folklore of our diplomatic service.

An Australian envoy meeting a senior Malaysian official heard a familiar complaint about critical coverage of his country’s politics in the Australian media.

He snapped back: ‘Xenophon’s experience suggests the settings won’t change for the election Najib seems about to call. It’s a pity, given what Malaysia could be.

‘The media in Australia are not owned or controlled by the government,” the envoy said. ”Here they all are, and throughout my time here, I’ve never seen a favourable report about Australia.”

Senator Nick Xenophon, who went up last month to join an international team looking at Malaysia’s electoral system, has just had a personal lesson in just how slanted and hostile its media can be. After the team published a highly critical report, the New Straits Times newspaper, owned ultimately by the ruling United Malays National Organisation or UMNO, went to work on him. Read the rest of this entry »


Eight questions that a full and credible public inquiry into the “428” Bersih 3.0 violence must provide answers

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is leading the Barisan Nasional propaganda campaign of damage control to minimize the adverse fall-outs from the government mishandling of Bersih 3.0 “sit-in” at Dataran Merdeka for free and fair elections with wild and far-fetched allegations, for instance, that Bersih 3.0 was an attempt by the opposition to topple the Barisan Nasional government.

In actual fact, Bersih 3.0 marked the greatest awakening, empowerment and unity among Malaysians transcending race, religion, class, region, gender or age to demonstrate their love for the country and concern for clean elections for a clean Malaysia.

What is undeniable is that Bersih 3.0 is proving to be a bigger public relations disaster for Najib and his image as a “reformer” and “transformer” with every passing day.

Suhakam has said that the “heavy-handed and arbitrary manner” in which the police used “disproportionate and unwarranted force against the participants of the rally as well as members of the media” in the Bersih 3.0 rally was “unacceptable conduct” while the Bar Council has said that police brutality against protestors during Bersih 3.0 had worsened as compared to the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 last year. Read the rest of this entry »


A bittersweet experience

By A Humble Malaysian
The Malaysian Insider
May 04, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — I personally believe that there are three occasions where you can experience the spirit of 1 Malaysia: football, badminton and rally.

Why did I join Bersih 3.0? Various reasons, but certainly NOT for politics.

I woke up automatically at 6.30am on April 28, an hour ahead of my alarm set. The first thing I did was to turn on my laptop and checked the updates on Facebook.

There were already an estimate of 5,000 people around Dataran Merdeka. Next, I checked RapidKL Twitter to ensure the train was in service. No service disruption. Good.

I left my house at about 8am for the Kelana Jaya LRT station. At the car park, I saw a few groups of people, clad in yellow and green. That was when I realised, I was not alone.

We looked at each other, with smiles on our faces, as if we could read each other’s mind.

Each stop at the LRT station, I could see more and more people in yellow and green boarding the train.

A big crowd went off at Pasar Seni for one of the main meeting points, Central Market.

I got out from Masjid Jamek. After meeting my friend at the platform, we walked towards Petaling Street.

I could see yellow everywhere, even yellow “Angry Birds”. We headed towards the food stall area for breakfast. All the stalls and restaurants were jam packed. We actually stood while eating. Read the rest of this entry »