We will not be cowed, says Bersih

S Pathmawathy | May 21, 2012

Bersih, the coalition for clean and fair elections, will continue with its nationwide roadshow despite a recent threat, co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan said today.

“It was targeted at me, but nothing will change. Our campaign is about voter education and it will go on,” she said when contacted today.

Ambiga had been told to stay away from an event in Merlimau, Malacca, last Saturday after a number of local pressure groups lodged police reports objecting to her presence.

A group of angry individuals later pelted two DAP state assemblypersons and supporters with eggs and stones.

“In fact, acts like this are also part and parcel of voter education – it allows voters to make decisions as to whether this is the kind of Malaysia they want to live in. (It) allows them to decide if this is the kind of institution they want to vote for.”

Ambiga, a former Bar Council head, has been repeatedly admonished for having led two mass rallies – on July 9, 2011 and on April 28 this year – calling for a revamp of the election system.

On May 10, a group of petty traders set up a burger stall outside her house, in protest of the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28 which, they claimed, had caused them financial losses.

Last week, members of the Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans Association bent over and shook their buttocks in the direction of Ambiga’s house, saying she had smeared Malaysia’s good name.

When Ambiga condemned this as an invasion of privacy and called on the police to act, deputy police federal chief Khalid Abu Bakar said it was not an offence and that the police need not interfere.

‘Losses yet to be quantified’

Ambiga also chided some 60 petty traders who plan to set up stalls in front of her house on Thursday and Friday, describing this as “intimidation”.

The Kuala Lumpur Petty Traders Action Council announced yesterday that the traders had suffered severe losses during the rally.

“The most interesting thing is – they (the traders) have yet to state their claims on their losses and their details,” said Ambiga, who had told the earlier group to take their claim to court.

She urged members of the public not to be distracted from Bersih’s goals to achieve clean and fair elections.

“The question remains whether we are going into the 13th general election without meaningful reforms to the system,” she said.

  1. #1 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - 6:23 am

    This is clear intimidation carried out under the guise of protests. One should never give in. How long can police say this is not criminal intimidation or an offence, without sounding ridiculous? How long can DBKL acquiesce with petty traders hawking in front of residences there without appearing selective in its enforcement? They are just targeting Ambiga and exerting psychological pressure. If Ambiga were to temporarily lock up and stay elsewhere else how purposeful is it for the burger stalls to remain there?

  2. #2 by B33Rhipp0 on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - 6:50 am

    Just read on another blog that dbkl denied the license for the 60 ppl

  3. #3 by PRmaju on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - 7:56 am

    22 years of mahathir rules have resulted in umno, having nincompoops joining the party. The sever intellectual anemia, the severe shortage of talent in umno is full blown now. We must hasten the death of this anemic zombie

  4. #4 by rockdaboat on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - 8:18 am

    I saw a group of goons defacing the road in front of Ambiga’s house with yellow paint.

    These goons have no respect for the law.
    Are the police going to take action on them?

  5. #5 by drngsc on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - 1:09 pm

    Dear Ambiga,
    Please know that our hearts are with you. 99% is with you. Only 1% is not. Please stand steadfast. If there is anything that we can do to help, just let us know. We are not going to break the law, in a tit for tat move against the 1%. Unfortunately, the 1% includes the people who are very very afraid of a clean, free and fair election, and their cronies, the press. Looks like they are targetting you, wanting to make it also into a racial issue.
    Please know that you are not alone. We have all signed the on-line petition and many have send flowers. Times are tough, but we all know that changing this gomen is not going to be easy.
    You are not alone. The 99% are with you.

    We need to change the tenant at Putrajaya. GE 13 is coming very soon. With a clean, free and fair election, we will change the tenant at Putrajaya. They know it.Unless we see real electoral reforms, first to Bersih 4.0, then to GE 13, then to Putrajaya.

    Change we must. Change we can. Change we will.

  6. #6 by Winston on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - 1:31 pm

    Looks like the list of phobia for the UMNO/BN government is growing all the time.
    At first, it’s the political personalities in the PR.
    Now, even NGOs can cause them so much phobia!
    And they have to waste so much taxpayers’ money and time to do all sorts of absolutely tasteless, ridiculous acts.
    To what avail?
    None whatsoever!
    Because all their acts will drive the people further and further away from them.
    Way past the point of no return!!!
    They only make themselves out to be idiots in the eyes of the whole world!
    Perhaps, the Guinness Book of World Record has a place for the stupidest, idiotic, shameful, low class government on record, look no further!
    They can be found here!
    In Malaysia!!!

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