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Monday, July 11, 2011

On Facebook, more than 100,000 want Najib to quit

Screenshot of the Facebook page "100,000 people request Najib Tun Razak resignation" as of 12.40pm July 11 2011.
KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — More than 100,000 people have backed a Facebook campaign calling Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s to resign, just two days after Saturday’s Bersih 2.0 rally. The page, believed to have been set up shortly after the thousands dispersed from the city’s streets on Saturday, has been attracting at least five “likes” per second and hit its 100,000 mark at about 3.50am this morning.
Immediately after hitting its target, hundreds of users wrote “Your fired” on the wall, directing their messages to the nation’s sixth prime minister.
Since then, the number of “likes” have continued to grow and netizens now appear to be aiming for the one million mark, hoping the swelling number of supporters on the page will attract Najib’s attention.
Some users even suggested that those who clicked “like” on the page would “unlike” Najib’s fan page on Facebook, to show the prime minister his eroding support.
“Tik tok tik tok, the number of likes increasing just like every second. We can see how much we wan him to resign. He should think about wat he done wrong to innocent public in this peaceful demonstration,” said user Iven Leh.
Most of those who clicked “like” on the page are believed to be pro-Bersih 2.0 as the page’s wall was showered with angry comments against how the administration had dealt with Saturday’s rally.
“Najib, I strongly urge you to view the official fan page of Bersih 2.0 and eat every word you’ve spoken. No physical contact? No brutality? Or your definition of brutality is a genocide, so this is too light to be called brutality?,” said user Kenny Chong.

MORE TO COME

Najib Berlakun

Bersih's legacy - the eradication of fear

COMMENT (Malaysiakini) Despite weeks of threats and intimidation over the Bersih 2.0 rally and a massive operation to lock down Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, my wife and I joined tens of thousands of Malaysians from all walks of life to give the government a simple message - give us free and fair elections, true democracy and a better future for our children.

Walking down traffic-free downtown Kuala Lumpur near Petaling Street at about noon, I see people representing a cross-section of Malaysian society congregating, patiently waiting for the Bersih rally to start.

bersih rally petaling street 090711I bumped into several friends along the way – a CEO of a trading company, a senior insurance agency manager and the head of a company secretarial services firm. They told me it was the first time they were joining any form of public protest or demonstration.

I wondered why they, like me, were willing to temporarily leave the comfort of our upper middle-class existence and participate in an event which has been declared illegal by the government.

To risk getting caught up in the crossfire of tear-gas launchers, water cannons, baton charges by the FRU and the indignity of arrest in public was something quite unthinkable not too long ago.

However, they all expressed the same sentiments - dismay and disbelief at the government's irrational and heavy-handed response against a coalition with a perfectly noble objective. Isn't having free and fair elections the legitimate right of the people?

Are we now living in a dictatorship that we no longer have the right to wear T-shirts, shoes and drive cars of a particular colour? they asked. In short, they were now willing to take the risk, and perhaps pay a price, to reclaim the rights of Malaysians which have been steadily eroded over the years.

One key lesson from the Bersih 2.0 rally is that many Malaysians are no longer afraid and cowed by an authoritarian government.

I can see that when young adults, college students, professionals, housewives and even retirees of all races are willing to stand up to police strong-arm tactics, choking clouds of tear gas, bursts of chemically-laced water, and even arrest.

Close to 1,700 people were arrested, according to police. It must be a new Malaysian record for Prime Minister Najib Razak. Even during the dark days of Operation Lallang under Dr Mahathir Mohamad, only about a couple hundred people were detained.

It's BN's turn to fear


Thomas Jefferson, one of the drafters of the US Declaration of Independence, said: “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

For the BN government, that must be an extremely troubling realisation. When ordinary Malaysians are liberated from their fear of a government which unleashes the full force of state power to stamp out legitimate cries for true democracy, then it is the BN's turn to fear.

How else do you explain the paranoia of the PM, his ministers and police and their demonisation of Bersih 2.0 and its supporters in the run-up to the rally?

Perhaps the BN government knows this is the beginning of the end for them. That may well explain why government leaders are terrified of a people's movement demanding clean and fair elections. They probably know that if elections are held on a level-playing field without manipulation and fraud, they will be swept out of Putrajaya by a tidal wave.

NONEThe second key lesson of July 9 is that the race-baiting by Perkasa and its ilk, and incendiary reporting by Utusan Malaysia, appears to have fallen on deaf ears, at least for the people in the Klang Valley.

On the streets of KL's Chinatown, I saw Malays, Chinese, Indians and East Malaysians mingling, walking side-by-side, peacefully and united in their quest for a better Malaysia - a more democratic, equitable and harmonious nation.

Seeing that gave me a renewed sense of belief that there is indeed hope for our beloved country. The Bersih movement appears to be gathering momentum, and has already achieved something more monumental than Najib's hollow 1Malaysia slogan ever will.

LEE MIN KEONG is a veteran writer and editor who has eschewed working for the Malaysian mainstream media.

‘Lady of Liberty’ at Bersih march draws online support

A screenshot of "Malaysian Lady of Liberty" as of 9.45am July 11 2011.
KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Quiet has settled over Saturday’s chaos but one image is still making waves on the Internet — the picture of an elderly woman in yellow, drenched in rain and chemical-laced water, walking away from riot police while clutching on to a long-stemmed flower and a near-empty mineral water bottle.


She is Annie Ooi Siew Lan, a 65-year-old retired English teacher who took a bus from Setapak in the early morning of July 9 to join thousands of others in Bersih 2.0’s march for free and fair elections. An unknown man had offered her the flower in the morning and she waved it like a flag throughout the four-hour march.

Netizens have dubbed her “Aunty Bersih”, and even Malaysia’s “Lady of Liberty”, for placing her health and safety at risk to join a march the government had declared illegal.

Pictures of the diminutive Ooi strolling in the war zone that Kuala Lumpur had turned into are all over the Internet, inviting messages of awe and wonderment from netizens across the country.

On Facebook, at least three fan pages were set up in dedication to Ooi immediately after the event. One page called “Malaysian Lady of Liberty” attracted 17,176 “likes” as of 9am this morning.

Ooi was one of the few who dared to turn up in yellow to mark the occasion, despite earlier warnings that those with clothes indicating support for the outlawed Bersih 2.0 coalition would be arrested.

Speaking to The Malaysian Insider through her daughter over Facebook chat last night, Ooi confirmed that she had been tear gassed four times and sprayed with the water cannon once during Saturday’s pandemonium.

She said she was unsure of what time the rally was scheduled to start or where, but was determined to support its cause by participating in it even if she had to do it alone.

“She took the bus to General Hospital because the roads into town were blocked,” her daughter related. “She walked to Chow Kit, Maju Junction, went into the back lane of Little India to pass Masjid Jamek, avoiding cops, heading to National Mosque but was stopped at Dayabumi.”

There, Ooi was interviewed by one uniformed policeman and four others in plainclothes. They asked for her IC and recorded her details, then asked her why she was dressed in yellow. “Why can’t I wear yellow?” she asked in return.

According to a post by a blogger who claimed to have spoken to Ooi before the march began, the feisty retiree had asked other protesters why they did not turn up in yellow as well. “Why do we have to feel so scared in our own home land . . . and by own countrymen,” she had reportedly said.

A newbie at street protests, Ooi also did not know what to do in the event that she got gassed, and had not brought anything to protect herself, her daughter said.

Annie Ooi Siew Lan “Lady of Liberty” next to Puduraya during the Bersih rally in Kuala Lumpur July 9 2011. — Picture by Jack Ooi
“She wasn’t prepared for any of the attacks,” her daughter said. “She went without protection; no goggles, no masks, no salt, nothing. It was horrible .

. . the coughing, and didn’t know how to stop the discomfort and pain. After the second gassing, she was offered salt by someone and it helped a lot.”

Despite this, eyewitnesses claimed on the Internet that Ooi had marched on determinedly during the protest and despite the chaos, even yelled at others not to run.

When told to ask her mother if she would dare to brave another march for the same cause, her daughter replied, “Without a doubt”.

“There was a very strong oneness in spirit which she had never felt before in this country,” added the daugter. “Especially from the younger generation which have their years ahead of them yet marched on despite the possibility of ruining their lives by getting arrested.”

Ooi was among the thousands of protesters who took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday to march in support of Bersih 2.0’s demand for electoral reforms.

More than a thousand people were arrested, and chaos broke out at midday after the police fired tear gas canisters and sprayed water cannons to break up the crowd.

Bersih 2.0 UK rally: No arrests, no water cannon

The police arrived, assessed the situation, concluded that they were in decent company and allowed the protesters to make their valid points and then take themselves home.

By Clare Rewcastle Brown
LONDON: The genteel nature of London’s Bersih 2.0 sympathy rally was reflected in the smart leafy surroundings of Belgrave Square, where they collected just before midday outside the Malaysian High Commission, which was firmly shut.

The polite gathering created a dignified splash of floral, Bersih 2.0 yellow T-shirts (accompanied by cheeky bananas and balloons) against the green backdrop of London’s poshest private garden, which was looking its best on a British summer afternoon.
News had just come through of the earlier outrages against friends and relatives who had set the day rolling in KL.

This created a mood determination tinged with a joy of friendship and solidarity amongst the people there.
Some 500 people, largely made up of Malaysian nationals, then walked the short mile through London’s most elegant streets to finish up outside the Malaysian tourism office in Trafalgar Square.

The police arrived, assessed the situation, concluded that they were in decent company and allowed the protesters to make their valid points and then take themselves home.

There were no arrests. There was no water cannon, no tear gas, no threats, no violence.
Why couldn’t Malaysia do the same for their own people in their own town square?

Banners bearing such ‘inflamatory’ phrases as “strengthen public institutions”, “free and fair access to media”, “end money politics”, “stop corruption” and “minimum 21 days election campaign period” were not the rabid outpourings of extremists.

If anything, they are the considered requests of intellectuals.

What was painfully apparent in Belgrave Square and in KL on July 9, was that Malaysia’s 50-year-old government has alienated its middle classes and its intellectual elite.
The reason simply being “corruption”.

What was equally glaring was that, far from being a dangerous, extremist and anti-Western group, the supporters were a mixture of Malaysia’s different social, religious and ethnic groups, all working successfully together without a trace of bigotry, racism or hostility.

These people were united by shared ideals, not divided by religion or race as BN would have people believe.

This is an excerpt from Sarawak Report of which the whe writer is the founder and editor.

KL police: No tear gas fired into hospital

However there are numerous eyewitness accounts, photographic and video evidence to show that the police had infact fired tear gas into Tung Shin Hospital.

KUALA LUMPUR:  The city police have rejected accusations that its personnel had fired tear gas into the compound of the Tung Shin Hospital on Jalan Pudu during the Bersih rally yesterday.

City acting police chief Amar Singh was adamant that his men did not target the private hospital.

“… there was no tear gas thrown. I saw the whole incident, I was there,” he told reporters during a press conference, according to a Malaysiakini report today.

However there are numerous eyewitness accounts and photographic and video evidence to show that the police had infact fired tear gas and sprayed chemical-laced water into the hospital compound to lure out Bersih supporters.

When informed of these evidence, Amar said the police would investigate claims that water cannon was shot directly into the compound.

Yesterday, eyewitnesses, including several political leaders, claimed that police fired shots into the Tung Shin Hospital, where several hundreds of Bersih supporters had taken refuge after fleeing from police riot squads.

Speaking to FMT, DAP Serdang MP Teo Ni Ching said she witnessed the entire incident.

“The police were trying to march forward from both ends of the street. We had nowhere to run and started hiding ourselves and went into the Tung Shin hospital.

“Earlier, they only shot water cannon into the crowd on the street but then they started firing into the car park area of the hospital. It was followed by tear gas cannisters,” she said, adding that everyone tried to leave the compound through a slope and muddy backlane without proper walkways.

“I felt the sting of the teargas inside, how can the police deny it?” she asked.

Not enemy of the state


Teo said DAP today visited the hospital again with party leaders, including Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng and Tony Pua, and confirmed that patients were not affected.


“Thankfully, the main building was quite a distance from where the police fired their tear gas. But in any case, I think that police should never do something like that,” she said.

Pointing to the Geneva Convention 1949, Teo said that it stated that even during war time, no one should attack hospitals.

“We are not in the wartime. And we are not enemy of the nation. There is no reason for police to shoot tear gas and water cannon.

In the same press conference today, Amar also defended his mens’ action in employing “reasonable force” to disperse protesters, adding that the crowd had provoked police and were “not very friendly”.

He also stressed that the figures given by Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar yesterday of about 6,000 demonstrators were correct and not the 50,000 claimed by the Bersih 2.0 steering committee.
He also said that detainees were all released yesterday night and were treated very well.

“We spent RM25 on each detainee for their food and care, more than for our own policemen,” he said.

Man died due to heart complications

Amar also said that the death of a taxi driver who participated in the street demonstration was the
result of heart complications and not caused by the firing of tear gas or water cannon by the police to disperse the protesters.

Amar dismissed Twitter reports making the rounds that Baharudin Ahmad, 59, had died due to the police action when he was in the vicinity of KLCC.

“There was a death, but the death has got nothing to do with action taken by the police. The doctor in attendance confirmed that the death was due to heart complications,” he said at the same news conference.

Amar said Kuala Lumpur Hospital medical specialists tried their best to revive Baharudin at about 5.30 pm.

During the medical examination and the post-mortem conducted at 11.30 pm, it was determined that Baharudin suffered no internal or external injuries, he said.

Amar also said the police did not fire any tear gas or direct the water cannon to disperse the demonstrators in the vicinity of KLCC at the time that Baharudin was alleged to be there.

He said that while the police were trying to get the crowd to disperse, Baharudin ran towards KL Avenue and that was where he suffered breathing difficulty.

My Bersih 2.0 Experience


So I went.
I have to say that the night before I had many many misgivings, especially after reading about the army doing exercises with the FRU. Could the government seriously be contemplating shooting their own people? Who knows? My stomach was in knots thinking about the many young people I knew who were intent on going, including my daughter. Would I be able to forgive myself if something happened to them?
After seeking advice from various friends, I finally decided that I could not stay safely at home while my daughter, friends and colleagues faced possible danger. I had to walk with them. Besides even if I stayed home, I would have spent all my time worrying. So I had to go.
 
A friend who lived in the city offered to be my protector and together we devised a plan on what to do. Hubby was supportive and gave some advice on how to stay safe. My neighbours also wanted to come along. So fairly earlyish, my friend drove over to get me with no problem and we headed back into the city. Despite the roadblocks in some areas, we encountered no problems. In fact driving into KL was so pleasant because the roads were so clear. The police directed traffic where they had to and were generally cooperative ( except for one we saw arguing with a man trying to get into his own condo). We got to a roadblock in the KLCC area and my friend explained that he lived in the area and they let us through, four people in a car dressed as if we were going hiking!


From my friend’s apartment block, we walked to Times Square and parked ourselves at the Starbucks for a coffee while we waited. A cursory look around the outlet and mall revealed that many people were doing the same thing. Meanwhile a whole van of police was stationed outside the mall but after a while they all went off. 
 
We kept in touch with various friends around the city to find out where they were and what the situation was. At about 12.30 we started to walk up Jalan Hang Tuah towards the stadium area. We were not in big groups, just people out on a weekend stroll. We thought we would encounter police in front of the big police headquarters in front of Pudu Jail but there was nothing. When we got to the corner of Jalan Hang Jebat, we saw some police motorcycles and only a couple of cops. Lots of people were just sitting on the curbside under the eye of the cops. It was pretty clear what all these people were there for.
 We walked along Jalan Hang Jebat in front of Stadium Negara towards the OCM and found many other friends waiting there. Apparently at one point the cops had given chase even though there was no reason to and caught some people and hauled them off. But from then on we could sit and wait by the curb without anyone disturbing us. 
 
 Jalan Hang Jebat and the small road that led up to Stadium Merdeka stayed pretty quiet. Members of the Bar Council (who had to suffer wearing their suits in the heat just so that we could spot them easily) walked around observing what was happening. At one point one woman in a suit sat herself at the intersection to take notes.
One lone woman lawyer at her station, Jln Hang Jebat

 We all debated whether to stay there or move down to Petaling Street but we were afraid that we wouldn’t be let back up again. Then it started to rain. My friend and I sought shelter under some hoarding along with young people. Just then I got a message that we were to go to KL Sentral. After confirming this with a friend at Sentral, my friends and I started to walk down Hang Jebat just as a large group of people started walking up. The rain was pouring at that point and I didn’t know quite what to do, whether to tell people they should turn round or not.

Seeking shelter for a while under a shop five-foot way, I talked to various other friends and eventually decided to head back to the stadium area where I found my daughter and lots of other friends there. The main group earlier had gone up to Stadium Merdeka, did some chanting in front of the FRU and then headed down again. But many people hung about just to observe everything and soak in the atmosphere. One group of young people had yellow ribbons on sticks and started a little dance. Others were buying ice cream from a bicycle vendor who came by. There was a real carnival atmosphere.
 
 Here's a video of the rally yesterday taken by my daughter. As you can see, it was peaceful. And every time some people started chanting 'reformasi', someone else would start a louder chant of 'Bersih'.

I have to say that I never felt safer than when I was in the crowd. People recognized me and said hello. Some wanted to take photos. It didn’t feel any different from any other Saturday out. And to be perfectly fair, the cops and FRU in my area showed admirable restraint. They saw that people were not doing anything more than chanting and nobody was harming anyone so they just stood there and left everyone to do their thing. We came across a whole FRU unit blocking a lane next to the Chinese temple at the roundabout at the bottom of Jalan Maharajalela, waved at them and they waved. Cool cops!
 Of course not everyone had the same experience. Here’s an account from a colleague who was in a different street:
 Unfortunately my experience wasn't so benign. I was part of the marchers (along with A and others) who were effectively kettled by the police in Jalan Pudu. FRU units to the front and back of us prevented us from leaving, and we were trapped by the walls of a construction site opposite Tung Shin Hospital after the FRUs pushed us back. It was probably the worst of the hotspots because of that: when the police started firing round after round of tear gas at us, we had nowhere to run to. I think they were determined to make an example out of us, because they bloody well tear-gassed and sprayed us with water cannons when they had no reason to do so.

We were all tear-gassed at least three, four times. An NGO staffer was hit by a canister. V told me that she saw people jumping off the second floor of the Puduraya bus terminal because the police had released tear gas too close to the terminal and the wind carried the fumes into the enclosed building. When the marchers ran for shelter in Tung Shin Hospital, the police fired tear gas and water cannons INTO the hospital grounds. Later the police lured us into re-assembling on the road on the pretext of negotiating a peaceful dispersal. They arrested the MP (Sivarasa) who was doing the negotiating, then -- after ordering us to sit down so (as we realised later) we would be sitting ducks -- they fired more tear gas and water cannons at us. A, myself and our companions eventually managed to find a way out from the trap via the Santo Antonius church and (irony of ironies) the car park of the Hang Tuah police station (near the monorail station). There were so many very brave people yesterday.


I now know that smearing toothpaste under the eyes to reduce irritation caused by tear gas actually works (thanks, A)! I'm still itchy and short of breath from all that tear gas, which is a bit annoying. But really, mostly what I remember of the rally was how moving it was: the solidarity among the protesters, how people looked out for one another. Whenever I was tear-gassed there was a stranger running along at my side and offering me and my friends salt to counteract the effects. When the police sprayed chemical-laced water cannons into the crowd and the people affected cried out for water to wash the stuff away, others turned and ran back toward the cannons with bottles of water to help. People helped others climb up a hill towards the hospital to escape (some guy helped me up the steep slope). Someone always stepped up to make sure that a panicked run doesn't turn into a stampede, including an elderly woman who took it upon herself to guide the marchers to safety. She's a first-time marcher to boot! Actually there were lots of first-time marchers, and more young middle-class urbanites than I've ever seen at any other rallies including the 2007 Bersih rally. At one point people started picking up the tear gas canisters and throwing them back at the police, or kicking the canisters safely away from the marchers and bystanders. I heard via the #bersihstories Twitter hashtag when the police fired tear gas into Tung Shin, there were people who grabbed the canisters and wrapped them in their own towels, then threw the canisters into the drain so there wouldn't be so much fumes.

And another one, about people’s goodness:
My group has a lovely little story to tell as well, of how we escaped from the Tung Shin hospital area after one of the tear gas attacks.  We took a little alley uphill between the shophouses, and there was a block of flats there.  One of the residents told us to go through the building to get out through the back!  We climbed upstairs and then along the opposite corridor a woman shouted and pointed, "That way, go that way, there is an exit out the back!" and we scuttled along our corridor, down the back stairs and found ourselves safe outside on Changkat Tung Shin or something like that. 

Rakyat all contributing in their own ways! 

There are many stories and photos, both good and bad, of the whole event. But to me what was most important was that Malaysians proved two things: one, they can assemble together on a common cause peacefully and two, therefore showed that they are a mature people.  The fact is that there were all kinds of people there, young and old, all races and religions and all classes and creeds. I bumped into many young people, the children of my friends, who had come to see what it was all about and decide for themselves what to think about the issue.
Do these people look like hooligans to you?

 Whatever one thinks about the issue that Bersih is espousing, we should all be proud of our fellow Malaysians who did not, despite dire predictions by some, behave like hooligans and destroy property and hurt one another. There were people hurt and one death but people who had participated in the rally did not cause them. The restaurants and shops around the area were doing roaring business as people got thirsty and hungry.

There are also some people claiming that the world now has a bad impression of Malaysia because the foreign media (and the local media for that matter) reported only about the teargassing and water-cannoning. I think people are confusing the government with the people. Yes, the world now has a bad impression of the Malaysian government because it has handled this whole issue so badly. They don’t have the same impression of the Malaysians who stood up for their rights and their cause.
This is what gives a good impression: protestors and police shaking hands before dispersing at 4pm.
And by the way, I can’t believe some of the mean things being said about the man who died after being teargassed! My goodness, every time I read totally uncompassionate things like that, I know that I’m on the right side.

For more accounts by people who were there, read this.

Bersih 2.0, Malaysia 0.0

Image
Anwar: I was just walking along, minding my own business (photo from malaysiakini.com)
Crackdown lowered rally numbers but made Malaysian government look bad
Although Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak appears to have won the battle by closing down Kuala Lumpur on Saturday and arresting 1,667 mostly peaceful marchers and would-be marchers, the consensus seems to be that Malaysia has suffered a blow to its international reputation as a moderate, democratic country.

Bersih 2.0, as the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections is known, appears to have won on points. a wan-lookng Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, the head of the three-party Pakatan Rakyat, was photographed in his hospital bed where he was kept for observation, a neat coup de theatre whether intended or not.

While it didn't draw anywhere close to the 100,000 people Bersih's leaders forecast, they can claim that the police intimidation kept marchers away. Crowd estimates ranged from 10,000 by the government to 50,000 by Bersih. Pictures of marchers being chased by baton-wielding police and hosed down by water cannon have made most of the world's major newspapers and the story was given prominent on-line coverage by Al Jazeera. Despite the fact that Bersih is an umbrella group of 62 non-government organizations, with a great many Chinese and Indian faces rather than Muslim ones, the march has been tied internationally to the Jasmine Revolutions of the Middle East, with at least one blog -- Time Magazine's Hannah Beech -- even alluding to opposition leaders hoping for the smell of jasmine.

The crackdown, which included razor wire strung at strategic entry points to the city, legions of police, tear gas, water cannon and truncheons, is especially embarrassing given Malaysia's membership on the United Nations Human Rights Council. To prove it is supported by the electorate, however, the government has promised a massive counter-rally that will draw hundreds of thousands of supporters, which probably will not be accompanied by water cannons, truncheons, tear gas, razor wire and legions of police intended to keep marchers away.

The Barisan Nasional, the ruling national coalition, characterized the Bersih 2.0 march as a tool of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition, and indeed top Pakatan leaders did show up and were duly arrested. It also alleged that the US was behind a plot to destabilize the country through the National Endowment for Democracy, which gives money to Bersih. The NED is a private, non-profit foundation funded by the US Congress whose ostensible aim is to support democratic goals.

Often the government's tactics seemed a puzzling throwback to previous arguments. In the run-up to the march itself, police arrested 30 members of the Malaysian Socialist Party on June 26 and charged them with seeking to overthrow the country's monarchy and make a hero of Chin Peng, the elderly one-time leader of the Communist insurgency against British Malaya who remains in exile. Last week, police held a press conference to announce they had found caches of machetes and Molotov cocktails secreted around Kuala Lumpur along with yellow Bersih tee-shirts, leaving the question open why Bersih members would leave the shirts with the weapons to identify them as violent when they professed to be peaceful marchers. The caches of weapons were mostly dismissed as a dirty trick.

"I think it has tarnished Malaysia's image and its membership in the UN Human Rights Council," political analyst Khoo Kay Peng told Agence-France Press. Describing the police action as "completely overdone," Khoo said, "It is a killer to our image as a progressive democratic country."

Beyond the question of who won or lost, the massive police crackdown raises the question why the ruling coalition reacted so strongly. The answer goes back to 2007, when the first Bersih rally drew 40,000 protesters, one of the biggest in modern Malaysian history, and engendered the same kind of crackdown by the government of then-Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

That rally was widely regarded as the spur that ultimately drove the Anwar-led coalition to victory in five Malaysian states and broke the Barisan?s 50-year-old two-thirds parliamentary majority. Although opinion polls show Najib himself as popular with the electorate, the three political parties that make up the bulk of the ruling coalition -- the United Malays National Organization, the Malaysian Chinese Association and the Malaysian Indian Congress -- all are regarded as corrupt by segments of the electorate. The Chinese in particular have abandoned the Barisan.

With an election expected to be called sometime before the middle of 2012, Najib and the Barisan believe Pakatan Rakyat would be able to gain traction out of the protest, as it did in 2008.

Bersih argues that the Barisan is kept in power by electoral laws that create an unfair advantage. In particular, according to Bersih Steering Committee member Wong Chin Huat, 2.5 million young people are being kept off the electoral rolls at the same time many more ghost voters are being kept on the rolls.

The eight-point demands that Bersih had hoped to present to the king include cleaning the electoral rolls, reforming the postal ballots and marking voters with indelible ink to discourage repeat voters.

The organization also called for a minimum 21-day campaign period, complaining that the government can put its electoral machinery in place before the opposition has the chance to gear up. In one election, Wong told Asia Sentinel, only eight days elapsed between the dissolution of parliament and the polls.

With all of the conventional media -- newspapers, radio and television -- in the hands of the major political parties, Bersih is also asking for "free and fair access to the media," Although the opposition parties have their own press, it is subject to licensing by the government and can only be distributed to party members.

The press has become a potent issue, with seemingly hundreds of bloggers on the scene whose barbs are believed to have played a major role in the 2008 national elections. The government has periodically threatened to pass legislation to license Internet journalism, but has backed away. Wong, however, said that Internet journalists are unable to reach the rural Malay villages that form the bulk of UMNO's support.

One UMNO stalwart, however, denied that election reform is necessary, saying the fact that the opposition won five states in the 2008 elections is an indication that elections are already free and fair.

In any case, it's pretty sure that electoral reform is not going to happen. The Barisan maintains a strong hold on parliament and the chances of reform legislation passing are nil. Najib, in a triumphal press conference on Sunday, however, said the government is introducing its own election reforms including putting a biometric system in place.

Electoral system pledge

The New Straits Times
by Eileen Ng


KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has pledged to uphold the country’s democratic principles and called on the Malays to close ranks and unite.

“If we are united, I will request theYang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament for the 13th general election.

“We want Malaysia and Umno to be respected by the world. So, go back, strengthen our unity and Insyallah, we will be successful in our struggle.” In a fiery speech that received thunderous applause fromthe 6,000 participants at Majlis Himpunan Perdana in PutraWorldTrade Centre yesterday,Najib said Barisan Nasional and Umno could win the next general election if the Malays were united and strong.

The participants comprised Umno members, representatives of non-governmental organisations and heads of government-linked companies and government agencies.

Present were Deputy Prime Minister and Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Umno vice-presidents Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi,Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Datuk Seri ShafieApdal, Umno secretary-general DatukTengkuAdnanTengku Mansor, Umno information chief DatukAhmadMaslan, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin andWanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

In pledging that Umno and Barisan Nasional would continue to uphold the country’s democratic principles, Najib said the government would not only defend the current electoral practices but also improve on them.

“We are aware that we must win over the hearts and minds of the people.

It is for this reason that I urge all of you to go down to the ground and meet the people.

“Tell them that Umno and BN will continue to defend the principles of democracy in the country. We will ensure democracy and a free and clean general election.” Najib said Umno and BN were not afraid of facing a free and clean election as the government would ensure that every election was free and transparent.

In citing an example, he said the opposition and BN representatives were around when each ballot box was unsealed for the counting of votes.

“So, how can there be phantom voters? We even display the electoral list for voters to check. This is our process.

“If we can manipulate electoral results, then we would not have lost five states. We would not lose our twothirds majority in Parliament and Pas would not have been administering Kelantan for the past 21 years.” Najib also advised Malaysians not to subscribe to the culture of street demonstrations, pointing out that the country upheld the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

“We do not like chaos, we like peace. We like a country where the people live in harmony and where we know our future will be better than today. ” Najib said the Majlis Himpunan Perdana was not meant to be a show of force but to demonstrate that the silent majority was strong and with the government.

He said if it wanted to, Umno, with its three million members, could mobilise an even bigger rally than the one on Saturday.

Najib also criticised the organisers of the Bersih 2.0 rally for wanting to show to the world that Malaysia was an undemocratic country.

He pointed out that the organisers had gone back on their word by first pledging to abide by the king’s advice to call off the rally, but later went ahead with it.

“They claimed that they wanted a peaceful walk but, in the end, it wasn’t because they wanted to show to the world that the government was purportedly undemocratic and disrespectful of human rights.

“In fact, we are very liberal. The majority of the online media and blogs criticised us, but we did not shut them down. The opposition claims that it is not being given space to campaign but it has already star ted campaigning.”

35 Killed, 200 Injured As Delhi-bound Train Derails

FATEHPUR (Uttar Pradesh), July 11 (Bernama) -- At least 35 passengers were killed and over 200 injured when the Delhi-bound Howrah-Kalka Mail, barrelling down at 108kmph, derailed on Sunday afternoon after the driver applied emergency brakes.

The train had left Fatehpur and was speeding towards Kanpur, its next halt, when tragedy struck at 12.20pm.

Seconds after the train passed Malwan and lunch was served to passengers at 12.20pm, the engine and 13 coaches spun off the tracks and turned into a mangled heap amid ear-splitting noise.

In the silence that followed, all that could be heard were the wails and screams of hundreds of passengers trapped inside, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported Sunday.

Following the accident, Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal said the preliminary investigations says that the signals were functioning normally and the fish plates on the tracks were intact.

To a question, Mittal said the driver was not drunk.

"I can't comment," he said on being asked whether he suspected mischief.

General manager of North Central Railway (NCR) H C Joshi said the exact reason for derailment was not clear, and the commissioner of Railway Safety is probing the accident.

While some of the bogies had toppled, others were turned into a mangled heap of metal. Gas cutters and other equipment were used to slice through the metal in the AC and other coaches to rescue the trapped passengers, said Joshi.

"The rescue workers have not been able to enter two of the bogies," Superintendent of Police, Fatehpur, Ram Bharose said, adding the dead included women and children.

On July 7, the Mathura-Chhapra Express had crashed into a bus carrying a marriage party at the Adhurpur unammaned railway crossing Kanshiram Nagar, about 250 km from Lucknow, leaving 38 bus passengers dead.

In today's mishap, 15 out of the total 24 compartments derailed in the accident of which 10 bore the maximum brunt.

Of these, six air-conditioned coaches were affected. While one AC 3-tier coach had turned turtle, another coach was pushed to its top with the impact of the train speeding at about 108 km per hour.

Two other AC coaches banged against each other and stood almost vertically. Desperate to wriggle out of the mangled compartments, some of the trapped passengers were seen smashing the window panes.

Deepali Pradhan, who was travelling from Kolkata to Chandigarh, with seven family members, said the train was moving at a fast speed when she suddenly heard a loud explosion.

"Everything happened within seconds. There was a loud explosion. I was lying down on the top berth and was flung down. My brother-in-law suffered serious head injuries. My mother and children were hurt," said Deepali who had bandages on her hand and leg.

Locals, railway and district authorities immediately launched the rescue operation. The army has also sent about 120 personnel from adjoining Allahabad and Kanpur to assist them. A team of National Disaster Relief Force was also deployed.

Some of the seriously injured passengers were flown to Kanpur by helicopters, Fatehpur District magistrate Mahendra Kumar said.

Two relief trains -- one each from Allahabad and Kanpur -- were sent to ferry the passengers . Another relief train was also sent from Delhi, Minister of State for Railways

Mukul Roy said helplines have been opened at both the Howrah and Delhi stations.

Families of the dead and injured will be given financial aid.

ALGERIA: PROSTITUTES TARGETED BY EXTREMISTS

A woman beaten by fundamentalists in Algeria, who accused her
 of being a prostitute because she is single and lives by herself.

















 (ANSAmed) - ALGIERS, JULY 7 - In addition to being called the oldest profession in the world, in Algeria prostitution may also become the most dangerous, or at least in the city of M'sila, where over the past few weeks Islamic extremism has fostered an anti-prostitution crusade steadily taking on the semblances of a ruthless ''hunt''.

A few days ago, the Chebilia district saw fresh violence break out with an ''expedition'' which only by pure chance did not result in mass casualties. About 400 young men attacked and set fire to a building in which two female prostitutes worked, with the attackers' rage not even taking into consideration that many families also lived in the building and had absolutely nothing to do with prostitution.
The attack, carried out by hundreds of young men, ended with a fire set to a first floor flat which quickly spread to the upper floors, leading to scenes of terrorised people trying to escape the flames. While the fire consumed everything in its path, the smoke reached many other buildings nearby and forced hundreds to flee.

In reporting the incident, El Watan placed the blame on police who - instead of going into the streets and arresting the young extremists - simply stayed in the police station, leaving de facto control of the district to them. Their behaviour was called a ''bona fide mess'' by El Watan, which published a vignette alongside the story in which an old man dressed as an Islamic priest harangues a mass of young people looking lost and almost as if they were unwitting automatons in the hands of their manipulator.

Unfortunately, Chebilia is by no means no to this sort of punitive expedition. A few weeks ago another anti-prostitution raid ended with the death of a man and almost the lynching of some women who barely managed to survive but were forced to leave the city.

The concern expressed by many is that the Islamic fundamentalist fostering these incidents may turn into a ''prostitute hunt'', like the one seen in the 1990s in the city of Ouargla, where many women were burnt alive amid enthusiastic yelling of those killing them. (ANSAmed).

Tindakan polis hadapi Bersih tidak bertamadun



'Hospital hit by water cannon spray, tear





PKR: Police teargas action at KL Sentral 'criminal act'

(Malaysiakini) PKR has accused the police of launching an "unprovoked and brutal attack" on peaceful Bersih marchers in the Kuala Lumpur Sentral underpass.

NONEThe party's vice president N Surendran said that the victims of this attack included Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and his spouse Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang, and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

Surendran added that Bersih 2.0 chief S. Ambiga and national laureate A Samad Said were also among those who were attacked.

The group had lodged at the Hilton Hotel in KL Sentral to avoid the dragnet set up since midnight to scour the city of the movement's supporters.

"As our entirely peaceful group entered the underpass, we were confronted by a line of LSF (Light Strike Force) personnel armed with tear gas guns," Surendran claimed in a statement today.

NONE"PKR vice-chief and Batu MP Tian Chua then walked towards the police line to negotiate," he added.

"However, the police immediately responded by shouting, hitting their shields with their truncheons and pointing tear gas guns at us," he stressed.

Surendren said the police action was "calculated to kill, maim and injure the peaceful marchers" as the firing of tear gas into the confined space of the underpass was a criminal act.

The action could also have caused serious injury and death, and as such is punishable under Section 326 of the Penal Code.

"We call for the investigation and prosecution of all senior officers, including the Home Minister, who were responsible for or gave orders for these criminals acts to be carried out," said Surendran.

"A Royal Commission of Inquiry must also be set up forthwith to inquire into the violent suppression of the rakyat's fundamental right to freely assemble by the BN government," he added. 

NONEAccording to a Malaysiakini journalist on site, the city's main transit point was a scene of mayhem as cops, hell-bent on stopping the organisers and Pakatan Rakyat leaders from making their way to Merdeka Stadium, spared no effort.

Their momentum, led by Tian Chua, was culled when police unleashed tear gas upon them and rushed in full force, arresting key figures and injuring some along the way.

It was at this location that Ambiga and another Bersih 2.0 organiser, Maria Chin Abdullah, was arrested.

NONEIt is learnt that during the chaos, journalists were blocked from entering the area after the cannisters were shot, and no one knew what was happening inside in the underpass.

Relating the episode further, Surendran said that within minutes of the attack, tear gas canisters were fired direct into the marchers massed together inside the underpass.

Simultaneously, he added, tear gas was also shot from the opposite side directly into the trapped group.

Inside the underpass, he noted, the gas was so thick that visibility was almost zero.

The width of the underpass leading to the trains are estimated to be about 10 metres, rendering the area narrow and inescapable.

"People were blinded and choked by the thick gas. It was a truly merciless attack that left us gasping for breath and suffocating from the gas," he lamented.

NONEThe attack injured Anwar, his bodyguard Fayadh Al-Bakri and PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, reported Surendran.

Both Fayadh and Khalid sustained direct hits from tear gas canisters and were seriously injured, he added.

However, Inspector-general of police Ismail Omar had defended the police's use of tear gas and water cannons, claiming yesterday that they were provoked into action and used only "minimal" force to disperse them.

He also explicitly denied claims that police had injured senior Pakatan Rakyat leaders, including PKR de facto chief Anwar Ibrahim by firing tear gas canisters directly at the crowd assembled at KL Sentral.

Ismail claimed that the opposition leader was not even in the thick of the action.

NONESurendran said it should be noted that police deliberately ignored attempts to communicate with the group, while there were no warning, time limit or dispersal order given to the crowd.

When contacted, Anwar's press secretary Eekmal Ahmad, who was also at the scene said that the group was only about 20-30 metres from the police when they fired the cannisters straight at them.

Eekmal said the underpass was very narrow and dark and the crowd faced the danger of being trapped inside.

He added that situation was very chaotic and it was difficult to ascertain how many cannisters were fired at the public.

Police say 1,401 protesters were arrested during the day-long operation, including 13 children. The authorities estimate the crowd turnout between 5,000 to 6,000, while Bersih claims that up to 50,000 participated.

However, independent reports estimated as many as 50,000 people had turned up for the rally calling for clean and fair elections.

Palanivel: Fewer Indians at rally due to 'realisation'


The decline in participation of Indians in the Bersih 2.0 illegal rally yesterday compared to that in the 2007 street demonstration was because they realised that it was only aimed at tarnishing the image of the BN government.
NONEMIC president G Palanivel said many in the Indian community realised that yesterday's illegal rally held in the federal capital was not actually about questioning the role of the Election Commission.
"The Indians are now more aware that such a practice (street demonstration) is no longer relevant in resolving issues."
He said this to reporters after launching a book on the early history of the Kinta Indian Association and ground-breaking ceremony for its new building.
NONEPalanivel said the realisation came about after proactive measures taken by the government that focused on improving the lot of the Indian community.
He said the Indians were benefiting from the efforts undertaken such as in the education, business, economic and social sectors.
"This has brought about a high level of realisation among the Indian
community of the government's sensitivity to their needs and problems."
indians at bersihPalanivel said yesterday's Bersih-organised illegal rally also clearly
showed that the opposition was actually behind it, from the participation of opposition leaders such as Anwar Ibrahim, Abdul Hadi
Awang, Lim Kit Siang and Azmin Ali.
The MIC president praised the police for their quick and stern action
against the illegal demonstrators to protect public safety and national security.
- Bernama

The battle for Jalan Pudu


Bersih wants Suhakam probe into police conduct

Ambiga (left) together with Anwar (centre) visiting the family of Baharudin Ahmad July 10 2011. — Picture by Jack Ooi
KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan has urged the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) to investigate the alleged use of excessive force by police against Bersih protesters yesterday.


“What took place yesterday should not have happened,” she said after visiting the family of Baharudin Ahmad, who died yesterday after collapsing during the rally.

“I have already spoken to Suhakam and they will take further action.”

PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu said he too is considering taking legal action against the police for allegedly knocking him over while riding pillion on a motorcycle headed towards Masjid Negara yesterday.

He reportedly sustained injuries to a ligament in his right knee during the incident and was seen sitting on a wheelchair at Baharudin’s home here earlier.

“The police acted brutally by hitting, kicking (protesters) to the point where one was suffocated to death from the tear gas. This shows the Third World standard of our police,” he said in reference to Baharudin’s death.

Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu, said the chaos seen yesterday could have been avoided if the police had given protesters “two or three hours” to disperse.


“This... shows that the Najib administration is primitive and uncivilised,” he said.

PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, who visited Baharudin’s family immediately after returning from Mecca, added that Bersih did nothing wrong yesterday as their demands and actions were in line with the principles of Islam and democracy.

PKR has demanded that a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) be set up to look into alleged police brutality, including what the party said were deliberate attempts to injure its leaders.

PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is said to have sustained injuries when police allegedly fired tear gas canisters at him and other party leaders at the pedestrian underpass in Kuala Lumpur Sentral.

Anwar’s bodyguard, Fayyadh Afiq Albakqry, and Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad also sustained injuries during the incident as a result of sustaining direct hits from the cannisters.
All three were hospitalised and warded later.

A day after Bersih, Najib goes on city walkabout

Najib has a chat with shoppers at the front of Sogo shopping mall on Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman here in Kuala Lumpur July 10 2011. — Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 —Barely 24 hours after the dust settled on the Bersih rally that drew thousands against his government, Datuk Seri Najib Razak visited the centre of the capital city in a hastily-arranged tour.


Shopowners and traders along Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Masjid India were abuzz with excitement this evening as the prime minister made his way from one shop to another, flanked by a large security detail of bodyguards and police officers.

A day earlier, roadblocks that ringed the city saw Kuala Lumpur reduced to a ghost town on Friday night before it descended into chaos on Saturday as tens of thousands clashed with police on the streets of the capital.

Traffic along some roads were diverted today to allow Najib conduct his rounds, as hundreds of onlookers looked on with surprise, unaware that the prime minister himself was paying them a visit. Many fought and swarmed around the man of the hour, struggling to get a glimpse of the most powerful man in the country.
“Eh itu Najib ke? Bila dia datang? Tak tahu pun kita (Is that PM Najib? When did he come? We didn’t know anything about it,” Mahmood, a restaurant owner told The Malaysian Insider.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall sweepers (DBKL) were seen frantically cleaning he streets before Najib’s arrival.
“Welcome Datuk Seri, yesterday, we could not conduct our business, was so difficult,” a female shop owner told Najib when he visited her shop, referring to yesterday’s rally.

Najib waves to the people before departing at Bazaar Masjid India July 10 2011. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Najib did not stop by all shops, spending less than a minute in the ones he visited but made an exception for one shop — the massive Jakel textile shop where he spent half an hour speaking to people there.


Aisyah Mariam, 56, a waitress working in a restaurant along Jalan Masjid India said she was surprised with Najib’s walkabout, but was glad that he came.

“When we make our walkabouts, we won’t make any announcement, we just go to the ground,” said another woman wearing a Wanita Umno shirt.

A stall owner along the Jalan Masjid India bazaar was not impressed, cynically questioned the visit, as it was “conveniently” a day after the rally.

“Suddenly he is here... where was he yesterday? He should listen to all those who went (for the rally). He is the PM, he has to make time,” said the stall owner, who declined to be named.

Federal police estimated some 6,000 turned up for the Bersih rally that snaked through the city towards Stadium Negara where they were to press demand for free and fair elections. Despite the heavy police presence, Bersih itself estimated that 50,000 people crowded the city centre for the rally.

What did we achieve yesterday?



And united, as fellow-Malaysians, we took to the streets in one voice to oppose what we consider a corrupt government. And we took to the streets not to do violence. We took to the streets as a demonstration of peace. That’s what we gained yesterday.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin


I got up early today. I wanted to get a head start and write something before I hit the road. That’s because at noon today, GMT, I will be at Julian Assange’s house to celebrate his 40th birthday and his home is a more than four-hour drive from Manchester. I will probably have to sleep in London and come home tomorrow.

But before I started writing I thought I would first have a look at the video below and I starting crying (old men of 61 like me get very emotional when we are nearer to our graves).

The government says that BERSIH was a failure. Some commentaries even said it is a lose-lose situation. No one won yesterday, they said.

I don’t know what they mean by win and lose. How do you translate win and lose? I suppose each person has his or her own way of looking at things. That would be their interpretation, of course.

I don’t know what we are supposed to have lost. But what we did win was that Malaysians all over the world, in particular in Malaysia, came together as one. That is what we won.

Yesterday, we were not rich men or poor. We were not Malays or non-Malays. We were not Muslims or non-Muslims. We were just fellow-Malaysians.

And united, as fellow-Malaysians, we took to the streets in one voice to oppose what we consider a corrupt government. And we took to the streets not to do violence. We took to the streets as a demonstration of peace.

That’s what we gained yesterday. All the rabble rousing and the enemies of Islam and enemies of Malays propaganda and rhetoric failed. Malaysians did not buy these lies and spins of the government. And yesterday was proof of that.

I don’t know in what way we failed yesterday. Was it because we did not get a crowd of 300,000? Was it because one man died and more than 1,000 were arrested? Was it because many got beaten up and injured?

Was it because we failed to present the 8-point memorandum to His Majesty the Agong? Was it because even if we did get to present the 8-point memorandum to His Majesty there would be no electoral reforms anyway?

I don’t know what our failure is supposed to have been. But amongst all those so-called failures we met with one major success that overrides all those failures -- in the event you still see yesterday as a failure.

And that major success is there were no Malays, Chinese, Indians, ‘lain-lain’, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics or whatever on the streets yesterday. For those couple of hours we were all fellow-Malaysians.

That was what we succeeded in doing yesterday. And that is worth all the tea in China.

709 marks the empowerment of the real 1Malaysia

“709” will go down in Malaysian history as the day of empowerment of the real 1Malaysia – where all races and religions came together to demand a “Clean Malaysia”, not just for clean elections but also in the political system and all aspects of national governance.

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak coined the 1Malaysia slogan on taking office in April 2009 but it has been pure gimmicry in the past two years and three months – reduced to 1Malaysia T-shirt 1Malaysia Tupperware circus.

But it was yesterday that Malaysians of all races and religions who gave true meaning to a 1Malaysia by coming out in tens of thousands in the federal capital to support Bersih’s call for free, fair and clean elections. This is something Najib can never understand.


In 1981 a new Prime Minister launched a national slogan of Bersih Cekap Amanah. But 30 years down the road, abuses of power and greed have so corrupted the system of governance that the national government is afflicted with a terminal bout of Bersih-phobia with “Bersih” regarded as so dirty, criminal and subversive a word that it is a justification for police arrest on sight and the heavy-handed suppression of the peaceful Bersih 2.0 rally for Merdeka Stadium yesterday. On top of Bersih-phobia, there is also xanthophobia – fear of yellow!

The violent and brutal police conduct yesterday, resulting in the death of Baharuddin Ahmad, a martyr for justice and fair play in Malaysia; the mass arrests of over 1,400 people; the wanton and criminal firing of tear gas such as into the Tung Shin Hospital and the KL Sentral tunnel aimed directly at Bersih and Pakatan Rakyat leaders violate all principles of democratic policing where the police should protect the human rights of the people.

The 2005 Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission recommended three core functions for an efficient, professional world-class police service – to reduce crime, to eradicate corruption and to uphold human rights. Yesterday, the police did not uphold human rights but suppressed human rights!

There must be a total revamp of the mission of the Malaysian police to ensure that it abandon the regime policing of colonial times to abide by the principles of democratic policing to vindicate and protect the human rights of all Malaysians.

A Clean Malaysia not just for elections, but for the political system and all aspects of national governance is now the rallying cry for all Malaysians who want to see real change and transformation in the country.

The high-handed and repressive actions of the Barisan Nasional government has reduced the choice of Malaysians to very simple terms – whether they are for a Malaysia which is Bersih or Not Bersih!

* Media Statement when visiting Tung Shin Hospital Kuala Lumpur (Police fired tear gas into Tung Shin Hospital during Bersih 2.0 rally yesterday)