Nov 10: Marching in the rain. We were on the way to the Palace.
I was alomost arrested for distributing the BERSIH leaflets with other supporters of BERSIH this afternoon at the Sentral Monorail Station in Kuala Lumpur.
Some 20 over SB officers from the Brickfields police station disrupted the launching of the Yellow Saturdays campaign. The took our Mykads and wanted us to go to the police station for investigation.
I challenged the police officer to state the reason for retaining our Mykads but to no avail. I refused to follow them to the balai because we have the rights to distribute leaflets and they have no rights to stop us.
After some 15 minutes of stand-off with the police, they finally returned the Mykads to us without the need to go to the balai for investigation.
They have also confiscated some of our balloons and leaftlets without justification.
We managed to read out our statement and distributed some ballons and leaflets to the public before the disruption.
We in BERSIH will continue to promote our Yellow Saturdays campaign all over the country. No amount of pressure from the police/ BN could stop us from pushing for clean and fair elections.
This is the statement from BERSIH today…
|Coalition For Clean And Fair Elections (BERSH) 4A Jalan Sepadu, Taman United, Off Jalan Klang Lama, 58200 Kuala LumpurTel: (03) 79806571 Fax: (03) 79802697 URL: www.bersih.org Email: email@example.com|
Press Release 17 November 2007 The Yellow Wave Continues…
Hot on the heels of the highly successful and historic 100, 000 People’s Gathering on 10 November, BERSIH continues on its mission for clean and fair elections with the launch of the Yellow Wave campaign.
As evident in the People’s Gathering on 10 November, we can truly make an impact if we all stand together and speak as one voice. On 10 November, we made a statement that was heard all over the world. And the world took notice, not least because we stood out in YELLOW, the colour chosen to symbolize our protest.
BERSIH believes that our flawed electoral process is a core cause for the exploding political, administrative and judicial rot in Malaysia, therefore we have an obligation to maintain the momentum for change and reform. We need to send a strong, consistent signal to the government, and what better way to remind them of our demands than to wear YELLOW, the colour of 10 November!
BERSIH urges all concerned Malaysians and their friends to wear something YELLOW every Saturday, starting from today. Wear a yellow ribbon on your shirt. Wear a yellow necktie or scarf. Use a yellow umbrella. Tie a yellow ribbon on your car’s antenna or side mirrors. Tie a ribbon on your bike. Wear a yellow armband. Better yet, wear your BERSIH T-shirt!
Our voices must be heard. Our message must get across. Our rights must be restored!
Let us paint the country yellow, starting today!
Launched in November 2006, BERSIH started off as a coalition of 26 NGOs and 5 political parties. Today BERSIH is supported by over 70 NGOs and 6 political parties. BERSIH’s four immediate demands for electoral reform are:
- The use of indelible ink to prevent multiple voting
- The abolition of postal voting for the armed forces
- A thorough cleanup of the electoral roll to eliminate fraudulent registrations
- Fair and equitable access to the media
|Launch of ‘yellow day’ marred by police harassment|
|Today’s launch of polls watchdog coalition Bersih’s ‘yellow day’ was marred by what one Bersih leader described as police harassment in order to disrupt their campaign for clean and free elections.Several Bersih leaders, including DAP leader Ronnie Liu and PKR leaders N Subramaniam and Faisal Mustaffa, had just begun distributing balloons and pamphlets to pedestrians and commuters in front of the KL Central monorail station in Brickfields.Reading from a prepared statement, Liu called on the public to wear “something yellow” every Saturday as a statement of support for electoral reform and to send a message to the government for clean and free and elections.“Wear a yellow ribbon on your shirt! Wear a yellow necktie or scarf! Use a yellow umbrella! Tie a yellow ribbon on your car’s antenna or side mirrors! Tie a ribbon on your bike! Wear a yellow armband! Better yet, wear your Bersih t-shirt!“Our voices must be heard. Our message must get across. Our rights must be restored!” said Liu when the launch started at 2:30pm a few feet away from PKR’s information office.
Pamphlets, balloons seized
The upbeat mood of the activists, however, took a downturn 15 minutes after they started their distribution campaign when several police officers from the Brickfields district police station appeared and ordered them to surrender their identification cards (IC).
Leading the operation, district ant-vice division chief Kamaruddin Yusof initially told Liu and the others that they were suspected of violating the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.
About 50 copies of Bersih pamphlets – and 20 of Bersih’s yellow balloons – were seized.
Kamaruddin refused to say, however, what offence had been committed exactly or the relevant section that had been infringed.
“You cannot just tell me we’ve done something wrong under the Presses Act. You have to tell me what we’ve done exactly,” said Liu.
“Don’t argue with me. Not here. I’m not going to argue with you. Whatever you want to say, say it at the police station,” Kamaruddin responsed.
Several minutes later, Kamaruddin also said the Bersih activists were disturbing public order as “we have observed that you have been creating public disorder here.”
Also present with him was district public order division head Mohd Khalid Adun.
Kamaruddin told Liu and several others that their ICs were needed to record their particulars. A vehicle was called to take them to the district police station.
‘Orders from above’
The 15-minute wait for the police vehicle in the hot sun, however, seemed to to mellow the initially rigid stance of Kamaruddin and other police officers.
“You don’t have to come to the police station. You can have back your ICs. You’re free to go,” said Kamaruddin before ordering the documents to be returned to their owners.
“I have orders from above, lah,” Kamaruddin told reporters when asked what the whole affair was about.
Speaking to Malaysiakini later, Liu said the episode was a clear example of harassment by the authorities in order to disrupt Bersih’s public education and awareness campaign.
It will not, however, dissuade the coalition from continuing with its efforts.
“We will continue the campaign. We still want the people to know about the Bersih campaign and to wear something yellow every Saturday,” said Liu.
Bersih – made up of 67 NGOs and five political parties – has taken the royal colour of yellow to beseech the King’s hand in calling for electoral reform.
Last Saturday, they held a rally and march to the national palace to submit a memorandum to the King’s representative.
BERSIH’s response to the statement issued by Datuk Pengelola Bijaya …
Who’s this fler? Datuk Pengelola Bijaya Diraja Istana Negara, Datuk Wan Mohd Safiain Wan Hasan, IC No: 461214035359, is an UMNO member, membership No: 03728983, from Cawangan Taman Desa Minang, Gombak Setia, Gombak. Aha…
|Coalition For Clean And Fair Elections (BERSH) 4A Jalan Sepadu, Taman United, Off Jalan Klang Lama, 58200 Kuala Lumpur Tel: (03) 79806571 Fax: (03) 79802697 URL: www.bersih.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
Press Release 17 November 2007 BERSIH’s response to the statement issued by the Palace
BERSIH wishes to put in on record that we have never said at any time that the memorandum handed over to Yang DiPertuan Agong on 10 November was handed over with his Majesty’s tacit or express approval. The Rakyat of Malaysia are free to petition our King at any time on matters of major public interest, including free and fair elections, a position we are sure His Majesty would surely agree with. BERSIH again thanks the Palace for receiving on Tuesday, 6 November 2007, our written request for the appointment at 5 pm on 10 November 2007 to hand over the memorandum. We also appreciate the request from the Palace for the list of names of the delegation who was to hand over the memorandum to a representative of his Majesty and which we duly submitted on Friday, 9 November 2007. Finally, BERSIH wishes to record again our thanks to His Majesty for receiving the memorandum through his appointed representative on 10 November 2007. As citizens of Malaysia, it is our expectation that His Majesty will continue to play the role that he has been entrusted with under the Federal Constitution, and in so doing, to protect the rights and interest of all Malaysians and to ensure the integrity of our institutions. On our part, BERSIH will continue its struggle for free and fair elections and for genuine democracy in Malaysia. For enquiries, please contact the secretariats; Faisal Mustaffa 019-2232002 or Medeline Chang 012-2192010.