Friday, April 27, 2012

The world is watching on Dataran stand off

 27th April 2012 in Ipoh

Just had a media conference on Bersih 3.0 at PR Perak office. Among present were YB Nizar, Ngeh, Nga, A.Sivanesan, Leong Mei  Meng, Wong Kah Woh, Chen Fook Chye, Chang Lee Kang. Dr. Lee and many more.

Also at the same press conference PR announced the Perak level peoples convention on 30thApril and 1stMay in Ipoh.

On Bersih3.0, I said among other matters:

Kuala Lumpur City Hall has rejected Bersih Committee’s application to hold the April 28 sit in protest at Dataran Merdeka.

The decision has not come as a surprise. However, I was quite surprised at the ground given for rejecting the application.

City Hall’s letter said :-

 ‘Dataran Merdeka untuk acara yang bertahap nasional. Contohnya, Hari Kebangsaan dan Hari Wilayah Persekutuan dan acara yang setaraf dengannya’

How could DBKL give such an excuse when it was reported that food giant Nestle celebrated its 100th anniversary at the iconic square for two days, on March 18 and 19?

I therefore support the Bersih Committee’s decision to hold the event at Dataran Merdeka as planned.

A development which has quite surprised me though was Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s view on the coming sit in protest.

He said that the event  did not pose a security threat to the nation, adding that the civil rights movement’s demands had gained little traction with the public.

“April 28 is not an issue,” he told reporters.

He is certainly right to say that the event is not a security issue though  many Malaysians can still recall how the historic 709 rally last year was handled by the government with water cannons and arrests.

PM must intervene

The sealing of all roads leading to the Dataran on the orders of the KL Mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Faud is irresponsible and unacceptable.

Dataran belongs to all and sundry. The Prime Minister must intervene and order the Mayor to lift the ban on Dataran and advice the police to act in civil manner when the Bersih 3.0 “duduk dan bantah” proceeds. If the PM fails to do this it only goes to demonstrate, he has failed to keep to his promise of political reforms he stated on September 16, 2011.

I am very confident that Bersih 3.0  demands have strong support from Malaysians. The coming general election is going to be the most important election in the nation’s history.

We need to ensure that the impending elections will be a free, fair and clean election.

Hence, we are in total support for Bersih’s 8 demands which are:-

1)   Clean the electoral roll 

2)Reform postal voting

 3) Use of indelible ink 

4) A minimum  campaigning  period of 21 days 

5) Free and fair access to mainstream media 

6) Strengthen public institutions 

7) Stop corruption 

8) Stop dirty politics.

In the last 10 days we have distributed Bersih 3.0 pamphlets at wet markets and at pasar malams all over Ipoh areas. The purpose of the distribution was meant both as an awareness campaign and urging people to attend the Bersih 3.0 event.

I therefore call on Malaysians to give full support to Bersih 3.0 sit in protest and make 428 a historic day in the struggle for free, fair and clean elections in Malaysia.

40,000 people took part in the 2007 Bersih Rally and 50,000 people participated in last year’s Bersih 2.0 Rally.

For those Perakians who can’t make it to KL, don’t worry as the local NGO’s are organizing one in Ipoh. It will be similar to the KL do and it will be held at Polo Ground between 2-4pm on 28thApril2012. In any case,  we call all to wear yellow on the 28th and every Saturday until EC overhauls the electoral process.

Bersih’s Perak representatives Augustine Antony has confirmed that the usage of Polo Ground has been approved by all concerned.

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