Bersih is adamant on Dataran rally site



Bersih 2.0 is adamant that Dataran Merdeka will be the venue for its sit-in rally on April 28, despite persuasions from the authorities to move the rally elsewhere.

Responding to Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein's appeal for Bersih 2.0 to find a "more suitable venue", the coalition's leader Ambiga Sreenevasan said this cannot be agreed to.

She said Bersih 2.0 chose Dataran Merdeka due to its historical relevance to the people's struggle for Independence and a democratic Malaysia.

"We certainly do not see any reason why Dataran Merdeka is unsuitable in the light of the many events that have recently been held there, including 205th Anniversary of the Royal Malaysian Police," she said.
Echoing Hishammuddin's position, de facto Law Minister Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz yesterday urged Bersih to approach the owners of Dataran Merdeka for permission.
Will notify police

The iconic field, which is used for concerts and national level parades, is managed by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

Although Ambiga makes no mentions of seeking DBKL's permission, she said the committee will be writing to the police to notify them of their plans.

“We sincerely hope that the police will assist in facilitating the traffic flow on April 28 for (the rally) as it has recently done so in several public gatherings,” urged Ambiga.

Bersih is holding its third mass rally - dubbed Bersih 3.0 - in protest against the failures of the parliamentary select committee (PSC) in making key recommendations.

They argued that the PSC failed to identify and recommend appropriate remedial action for flaws in the electoral roll and failed to recommend adequate reforms for the Electoral Commission.
PAA not in force
Meanwhile, Ambiga also stressed that the Peaceful Assembly Act 2011 - a new law to regulate public gatherings - have yet to come in force.

"In any event, Bersih 2.0 holds the view that the PAA violates the constitutional guarantee of freedom of assembly," said Ambiga, who is a former Bar Council president and is still a practising lawyer.

The PAA, which was quoted by both Nazri and Hishammuddin in relations to the Bersih rally, has yet to come in force although it has been gazetted because regulations and guidelines have yet to be finalised by the home ministry.

Those who violate the PAA can be fined up to RM20,000.

Critics claim that the stiff penalties and wide powers given to the home minister under this law was against the spirit of encouraging freedom of assembly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dr.Jeffry Kitingan is a Christian Kadazan from Sabah. But is he in favor of Bersih 3.0 or not? He is either pro-Bersih 3.0 or anti-Bersih 3.0. If you are pro-Bersih 3.0, then you are not anti-Bersih 3.0. If you are anti-Bersih 3.0, then you are not pro-Bersih 3.0. I do have a lot of respect for Dr.Jeffry Kitingan, but on this important moment in history, he and other Sabahans and Sarawakians must make a clear unambiguous public stand. I think the Malaysian citizens need to know.

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The UMNO government agreed to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the large presence of illegal foreigners in Sabah and the widespread issuance of Malaysian Mykads and identification documents. But UMNO has yet to do something concrete. UMNO has to do something concrete before the General Elections(GE13). Starting the RCI work after the GE13 is a joke.

The Hindu Malaysians have the same problem. There is a UMNO minister who asked the Hindu Malaysians to have "nambikei" in UMNO. The word "nambikei" means "faith" in Tamil language. The reality is that due cronyism and favoritism, most Hindu Malaysians were sidelined. Now an UMNO Minister is asking Hindu Malaysians to put faith in him. It means that if the Hindu Malaysians vote for UMNO in GE13, then UMNO will respond by helping to uplift the Hindu Malaysians out of poverty. But faith can be given to the Almighty, not human beings because human beings do err all the time. It is dangerous to put faith in human beings because they may betray you too. What Hindu Malaysians need is equal rights and meritocracy.

At some point in time Sabahans must draw the line somewhere. Waiting for GE13 to be over before the RCI can do what they should do may not be a good idea. Any way, its up to Sabahans to decide. Should the RCI do its work before GE13 or after GE13 is the burning question. If the Sabahans continue to tolerate and have faith in UMNO, then it is their own problem. It is for Sabahans to wise up. It is for Sabahans to realize that they have been shortchanged. It is for Sabahans to decide their own future. Sabahans cannot and should not wait and wait for the RCI to do its work. I say that the RCI should do its work before GE13; and this should be the ultimatum.

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The political history of Malaysia can be divided into two chapters: that is, chapter one and chapter two. Chapter One is about UMNO rule with a 2/3 majority in Parliament. Chapter Two is about UMNO rule without a 2/3 majority in Parliament. We are now in Chapter Two. The beginning of Chapter Two is the end of Chapter One. Similarly, the end of Chapter One is the beginning of Chapter Two.

Chapter One had its social, political, and economic implications for the nation. Chapter Two has just begun and its social, political, and economic changes are something we have to wait and see.

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