Thursday, June 23, 2011


You just can't believe everything you read in the mainstream media.
I was at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall last Sunday for the launch of Bersih 2.0. I find it incredulous that reporters covering the same event can come up with different interpretations of the event. Some chose to omit certain details to give a misleading picture of what actually took place.
Datuk Ambiga speaking to reporters before the official launch of Bersih 2.0 .
Invitations were sent out to all major political parties, including those from the ruling party Barisan National (BN) as well as from the Opposition parties. The front row seats were reserved for them. However, none of the BN component parties sent representatives. It's misleading to say that the Bersih 2.0 launch was an Opposition initiated event. It seemed to be so only because the BN had obviously boycotted the launch, while the opposition turned up in large numbers. A pity, as BN could have made use of the platform given to each representative to make known their party's stand on the need for electoral reforms.

Do these two ladies shown above with Bersih 2.0 organizing chairperson Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan look like troublemakers?
Many of my friends who supported Bersih 2.0's demands were afraid to turn up at the launch because they were worried that political activists would be out in full force to create mayhem. In actual fact, the crowd was made up of people of all ages, races and walks of life. There was a family with their young daughter sitting behind me. There were grey-haired retirees like me everywhere I looked, and youths too, especially from the universities and colleges.

Perkasa members reportedly burned and stamped on photographs of Bersih chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan on Sunday. Its leaflets have depicted Datuk Ambiga, a former president of the Malaysian Bar, as a 'dangerous Hindu woman' and a threat to Malay Muslims. (Source: Straits Times 21 June 2011)
This is the real troublemaker and panicmonger - Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali. He made a thinly-veiled threat about possible racial riots breaking out if Bersih's rally on July 9 went ahead as scheduled. He warned the Chinese to stock up on food supplies as "anything can happen" on the day. The following day he said his statement was twisted by the online press. He was merely 'advising' the Chinese. His group Gerak Aman is also planning to hold a "Peace March" on the same day. Bersih has repeatedly said their rally would be a peaceful "Walk for Democracy". If both groups have assured the public that their respective rally will be 'peaceful', why should Ibrahim, or anyone for that matter, expect trouble?

Ibrahim was also quoted as saying "When there are protests, I don't see the Chinese joining in. They never take part in street demonstrations. The clash is between Malays and Malays." (The Sun 22 June). Well, the NGOs that turned up at the launch to pledge their support and participate in the rally were of various ethnicity. Among them were the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, OHMSI (a Christian-based group) and The Tamil Foundation. All have promised to send their members to the rally on 9 July. For a list of the NGOs supporting Bersih 2.0, visit their website.

Opposition MP Nurul Izzah takes the mike to pledge support for Bersih 2.0. Behind her are representatives of various NGOs. PAS has said 100,000 of their members would be at the rally.
MP Nurul Izzah Anwar was present at the launch, but her father was nowhere in sight. Datuk Ambiga in her speech pointed out that the decision to hold the rally was made by Bersih, not Anwar. She made it very clear that Anwar had no authority to speak or make decisions on Bersih's behalf. So don't believe everything you read in the papers about Datuk Ambiga being Anwar's stooge, or that he is using Bersih 2.0 as a ploy to further his political agenda.

The rally is much more than just a call for electoral reforms. Here are Bersih 2.0's eight demands:

1. Clean the electoral roll.
2. Reform postal ballot.
3. Use of indelible ink.
4. Minimum 21 days campaign period.
5. Free and fair access to media.
6. Strengthen public institutions
7. Stop corruption.
8. Stop dirty politics.

There's nothing racial or political in these demands. No right-thinking Malaysian would object to any of these eight demands. At the launch the audience was shown a video that gave proof of vote-buying and vote-rigging during the recently concluded elections in Sarawak. You can view this video and more on YouTube.


Please view the video below. It's produced by a young lady with the aim of getting youths to join the rally. I think the not-so-young like us will enjoy it too. It's upbeat and tells you in 3.45 mins why there's a need for change in our country.

The right to assemble peacefully is enshrined in our constitution. If you can't be at the rally, but would like to show your support for these eight demands, wear something yellow or carry something yellow as you go about your daily routine on 9 July. There will be simultaneous rallies in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Osaka, Seoul, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, with more cities being added as the countdown to the rally continues. The world will be watching via the major TV news network. Let the world see that Malaysians are capable of holding peaceful street protests to push for reforms and fair and clean elections.

P.S. If you haven't registered to vote, please do so at the nearest post office. Bring along your identity card. If you are already a registered voter, use the power of your vote to bring about the changes you want to see in our country. If you would like to be trained as a polling agent or counting agent (PACA) to spot any irregularities at the polling stations, please take note of the next PACA training session on July 10th, Sunday, 7pm - 10:30pm, MPSJ Hall, USJ 2/4S, Subang Jaya. Do volunteer.

1 comment:

SFGEMS said...

From one senior to another!

W O W!!!!