Monday, July 11, 2011

Najib’s post-709 KL walkabout reminds you of what?

--Lim Kit Siang

There are many casualties in the 709 Bersih 2.0 rally on Saturday especially the police, the mainstream media and the election commission but the biggest loser of all is undoubtedly the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

709 saw the death of Najib’s 1Malaysia but the birth of a true Bersih 1Malaysia where Malaysians of all races, religions, gender and age walked tall despite police threats, teargas, water cannons and sustained media demonisation to reaffirm their faith in a Clean Malaysia where there are free and fair elections, a clean political system and incorrupt national governance.

Najib and his strategists are aware that the Prime Minister is in deep political trouble because of gross mishandling of the 709 Bersih 2.0 rally – hence the instant counter of an UMNO-organised Special Information Briefing for Umno officials, UMNO-linked NGOs and heads of government-linked companies yesterday and a walkabout by Najib at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Masjid India, two “hotspots” of the 709 Bersih 2.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur.

However, the Prime Minister’s credibility has plummeted to a new low as a result of the gross mishandling of the 709 Bersih 2.0 rally so much so that his unannounced walkabout of Kuala Lumpur a day after 709 reminds one of Bush’s unannounced one-day visit to Baghdad after the United States bomb-out of Iraq!

This is why the “100,000-People Request Najib Tun Razak Resignation” facebook reached its target of getting 100,000 likes in some 36 hours, and has now exceeded 120,000 although not yet 48 hours since it was first started.

This is a most eloquent response to Najib’s call yesterday on the “silent majority” of Malaysians to make their stand in cyberspace on the Bersih 2.0 rally. The “silent majority” of Malaysians have indeed spoken out loud and clear, in the most viral phenomenon on Malaysian cyberspace, declaring their denunciation of the Najib crackdown on the 709 Bersih 2.0 rally.

Najib’s popularity has reached a nadir point since becoming Prime Minister 27 months ago – all because of flip-flop leadership reminiscent and which caused the undoing of his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

What is most shocking is the terminal denial complex afflicting the national leadership, with the classic case of the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Ismail Omar trying to deny the undeniable of unwarranted police brutality and violence as firing tear gas and water cannons into Tung Shin Hospital and at Bersih and Pakatan Rakyat leaders at the enclosed KL Sentral tunnel.

The IGP claimed that there were only 6,000 people in support of the 709 Bersih 2.0 rally when tens of thousands to the extent of 50,000 had turned out in support; yet the police mobilised 7,000-strong force and arrested 1,667 men, women and children – the largest mass arrests in Malaysian history!

The majority of Malaysians agree with Marina Mahathir, who together with her daughter took part in the Bersih 2.0 rally, when she blogged that the government’s poor handling of the Bersih 2.0 rally has given it a bad image internationally.

Can Najib save his premiership, make amends and reconnect with the Bersih 1Malaysia citizenry transcending race, religion, geography, gender and age who want a Clean Malaysia in elections, political system or national governance?

This is a tall order and the prerequisites for Najib to reconnect with the newfound generation of Bersih 1Malaysia must include the following measures:

  • Royal Commission of Inquiry for free, fair and clean elections and into the gross mishandling of the 709 Bersih 2.0 rally;
  • Disciplinary action against police officers who were guilty of wanton and unwarranted brutality and violence as causing the death of Baharuddin Ahmad, the firing of tear gas into Tung Shin Hospital and directly at Bersih and Pakatan Rakyat leaders in the KL Sentral tunnel;
  • Immediate and unconditional release of Sungai Siput MP Dr. Michael Jayakumar and five other PSM officials detained under Emergency Ordinance; and
  • Lifting of the ban on Bersih 2 and end of the twin BN phobias of Bersih-phobia and Xanthophobia (fear of yellow).
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