|BERSIH was indeed the organiser for the NOV 10 Peaceful People’s March. But that’ our right under the Federal Constitution. No one, incl the PDRM and the PM, have no right to deny our right of assembly. And the RAKYAT have proven beyond any doubt that we can march in peace despite of the huge turnout. Even provocations and attacks from certain bad elements of the police force have failed to stop us. We were very proud of everyone who has taken part in the long march.
Also tomorrow, we will be paying visit to Sdr Alyesak Hamid who was injured by the police. His left leg was broken as a result of a push by an FRU member.
The Unit Amal from PAS (some 2,000 of them) did a fantastic job in maintaining order and peace throughout the event.We were deeply impressed by their performance.
We in BERSIH have done no wrong and BERSIH is not a commercial entity. Why direct the Commercial Crime Department to summon us for question, Mr AAB? We in BERSIH see this as a harassment.
Anyway, we will see them at Bukit Perdana, Jalan Onn at 10 am and see what they have got to say.
The police should be neutral and they should not be used by the BN politicians for their political agenda. Their job is to maintain law and order in this country. They should stay away from partisan politics.
BERSIH will certainly move on to pressure for true electoral reforms until we succeed.
Police summon Bersih leaders to meeting
|Four Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) leaders have been told to report to the Commercial Crimes Department in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow morning over a police report made against them. PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah, DAP’s NGO bureau chief Ronnie Liu, and PAS vice-president Mohamad Sabu and party central committee member Dr Syed Azman Nawawi – all of whom are Bersih committee members – received their summons yesterday.
Liu, when contacted, confirmed receiving the summons under Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which allows a police officer to require the attendance of witnesses.
“Yes, we will be going there at 10am. The letter that we got yesterday did not state what they will ask, but we’ll see,” he said.
According to Bersih secretariat member Medaline Chang, eight of the organisation’s committee members have received calls and letters from the police but only four have been hauled up under Section 111.
“Under Section 111, they are compelled to appear before the police. The other letters did not cite that section so we believe it’s not necessary for them to turn up for questioning,” she said when contacted.
She claimed that no such legal obligation was attached to the letters sent to PKR information chief Tian Chua (left), Khairul Annuar Zainuddin and Johari Abdul, as well as DAP parliamentarian Teresa Kok (right).
The meeting will be the committee’s first after a series of postponements prior to, and after, the massive rally for electoral reform, held last Saturday.
On Nov 3, eight committee members were contacted for questioning by ASP Amran Jusin over a police report lodged by an individual in Setapak about the organisation’s status as an illegal entity.
Some were issued notices to attend a meeting on Nov 9. However, the committee members unanimously declined to show up as they were busy preparing for the rally the next day.
A consensus was then reached for the Bersih leaders to be available for questioning after the rally on Nov 12, but the meeting was postponed again.
Bersih – launched in November 2006 – is a coalition of five political parties and 67 civil society groups campaigning for electoral reform.
About 40,000 people massed outside Istana Negara in defiance of a government ban on the rally calling for clean and fair elections. Hundreds of police personnel were deployed in and around Kuala Lumpur, as traffic ground to a standstill.
A memorandum was handed to a palace official by a delegation led by PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, before the crowd dispersed peacefully.
PROTEST IN MALAYSIA:
Emboldened protest organisers warn of more mass street rallies to come
By Chow Kum Hor, Malaysia Correspondent
The Straits Times
FRESH from holding a rare massive rally on Saturday, Malaysia’s opposition is now emboldened to organise more protests.
Saturday’s protest, the largest in a decade, took place despite earlier threats of a government crackdown. It was organised by opposition parties and civil groups.
‘Saturday’s rally was only the beginning,’ Mr Ronnie Liu, a senior leader of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), told The Straits Times.
The demonstrators were trying to march to the palace to hand a petition to the King asking him to press the government for electoral reforms.
Except for a skirmish between riot police who fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters at one of the rally’s meeting points, the 10,000strong march was generally peaceful.
Those gathered at other meeting points were not stopped by the police as traffic in the city came to a halt. Hundreds of riot police stood watch in front of the palace gates as protesters filled up the three-lane highway some 50m away.
Such scenes are rare in Malaysia, which has not seen public protests on such a scale since Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sacked as deputy prime minister in 1998.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s treasurer, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, told reporters on Saturday that he was satisfied with the turnout and vowed to hold more rallies in the future.
In September, about 1,000 lawyers and activists marched from a court complex in Putrajaya to the nearby Prime Minister’s Office demanding a royal inquiry into a video clip showing a prominent lawyer attempting to fix the appointment of top judges.
Since taking over in 2003, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has pledged to grant more civil liberties to the people, including easing strict government control on the media.
Commenting on the rally, Datuk Seri Abdullah yesterday expressed regret that the opposition had tried to drag the royalty into politics.
‘I believe the King is mature and the royalty will not be trapped in their politics,’ he said.
The Malaysian King and nine other hereditary Malay rulers, widely respected by the people, are deemed to be above politics in the country.
While more opposition- backed rallies may be on the cards, the move may not necessarily be good for the opposition, a political analyst says.
‘In the past, we have seen how large-scale public protests led to violence. Malaysians are just not ready for violence,’ said Professor Mohammad Agus Yusoff, a political scientist with the National University of Malaysia.
Street rallies after Datuk Seri Anwar’s sacking saw protesters vandalising public amenities such as telephone booths. Many businesses were shut during the chaos while tourist arrivals dipped.
Prof Mohammad Agus told The Straits Times that the Chinese, who control the business sector in the country, would be worst-hit if public demonstrations spiralled out of control.
‘Considering that the Chinese are most unhappy with the government now, the opposition must be careful not to turn away the people who would have otherwise voted for them,’ he added.