There are those who say that that the greatest loser in the Bersih 5 rally yesterday were the Red Shirts, whose leader pledged a turn-out of over 300,000 people but could muster a turnout of only one per cent of some 3,000 to 4,000 people.
An inquiry should be conducted whether tens of millions of ringgit had been committed for a turn-out of 300,000 Red Shirts in Kuala Lumpur at Bersih 5 rally yesterday, and what happened to the mega sum of monies after such a dismal turnout of Red Shirts people, who clearly were quite ashamed of their actions which caused them to hide their faces.
But the real loser in yesterday’s successful Bersih 5 rally are not the Red Shirts, but the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself, without whom there would not be the Red Shirt phenomenon in the first place.
It is most remarkable that after a successful Bersih 5 rally, by whatever reckoning, the Prime Minister, far away in Lima, Peru, could say that Malaysians have become fed up with the Bersih electoral reform group or feel that its rallies do not bring any benefit to the country.
This is a classic case of a person able to see the speck in another’s eye but unable to notice the beam in his own eye.
The successful Bersih 5 rally yesterday was all the more remarkable as it was achieved under great odds and against a backdrop of an intensive six-week high-powered campaign of racial provocations, threats, lies and spread of hatred and unashamed cyber-bullying to frustrate and thwart the Bersih 5 rally, culminating on the eve of the rally with the arrest of key Bersih leaders and the lockdown of Kuala Lumpur by the police.
If Najib was confident that Malaysians have become fed up with Bersih and/or feel that its rallies do not bring benefit to the country, why was it necessary for Najib’s strategists to launch a six-week high-powered campaign to demonise, frustrate and thwart it?
The Najib government should have just left the proposed Bersih 5 rally alone, and not abused state resources and powers to sabotage it, for if Najib is right that Malaysians are fed up with Bersih, then Bersih 5 rally would be a dismal failure. Najib could then with legitimacy and credibility point to Bersih’s failure and futility!
But not now, when Bersih 5 rally had been an unqualified success, not only in getting more Malay participation than the previous Bersih rally, but in re-igniting the hopes of Malaysians, particularly of the new young generations, that Malaysian can still be saved if Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, gender, age or even politics, are prepared to take a stand to prevent Malaysia from becoming another kleptocracy like Zimbabwe, or another autocratic state like North Korea or another failed economic state like Argentina.
It beggars the imagination as to how Najib could declare with a straight face that he would focus on good governance, when this is the very element which is sorely lacking in his administration and explain why he could single-handedly catapult Malaysia into the stratosphere to be regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy” – the very antithesis of good governance!
The Bersih 5 rally was a clarion call by Malaysians for Malaysia to become a democracy and not a kleptocrary.
The Bersih 5 rally was the first gathering of Malaysians since the US Department of Justice (DOJ) kleptocratic action against multi-billion dollar 1MDB embezzlement and money-laundering to declare loud and clear their rejection of Malaysia from becoming a kleptocracy and their reaffirmation in wanting Malaysia to be a democracy.
This is what Parliament should have done during the past six weeks of meeting, but to its eternal shame and disgrace, Parliament had failed to defend the national honour through a motion whether to rebut and refute the international infamy and ignominy of being regarded world-wide as a global kleptocracy, or to purge and cleanse Malaysia of such infamy and ignominy if there is basis for such an epithet of “global kleptocracy”.
In my 50 years in politics, I have never come across a Prime Minister who had been so unpopular as Najib. It has not happened to Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Abdullah, and although Tun Mahathir had during his 22 years as Prime Minister been quite unpopular, Najib’s unpopularity is of a different magnitude altogether.
Tribute must be paid to the Malaysian police for ensuring that the Bersih 5 rally yesterday was quite incident-free.
I am on public record as stating my belief that the majority of the Royal Malaysian Police officers and personnel cherish police honour, dignity and morale which come from their performing their police duties in a professional and non-partisan manner, to be the guardians of the Constitution, law and order of the country and not to play in any political games.
This was shown by the exemplary performance of duties by the police yesterday.
The arrest of Bersih 5 and MPs from DAP and PKR like Anthony Loke (MP Seremban), Tian Chua (MP Batu), Zuraida Kamaruddin (MP Ampang), Howard Lee (ADUN Perak Pasir Pinju) and Ronnie Liu (former Selangor Exco) are a different kettle of fish altogether and must be deplored in the strongest possible terms as a violation of the constitutional rights of Malaysians to free speech, expression and free assembly, as well as unprecedented threat to Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen from carrying out their legitimate activities as elected representatives of the people.
The arrest of the principal Bersih organisers, in particular chairperson Maria China and others like Mandeep Singh, Hishammuddin Rais and Safwan Anang are wrong and unwarranted.
Maria’s detention under the Special Offences (Security Measures) Act 2012 as well as Section 124C of the Penal Code for activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy are particular vicious, vengeful and vindictive.
The police should release all the Bersih, DAP, PKR and NGO leaders and activists without delay or the world would regard Malaysia as entering a new dark age of repression and undemocratic rule because the Najib government is fighting for its life as a result of the Bersih 5 rally yesterday.