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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Utusan says Bersih, Pakatan leaders betrayed Sultan and King

Posted: 12 Jul 2011 01:11 PM PDT

By Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — Utusan Malaysia accused Selangor Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Bersih leaders of treason for disobeying both the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Selangor Sultan by going ahead with Saturday's rally.

The Umno-owned newspaper accused specifically the PKR-led Selangor government, naming executive councillors Elizabeth Wong and Teresa Kok as well as Selangor PKR chief Azmin Ali for disrespecting Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

"They still have no idea how to respect the decree of their Sultan.

"Is it wrong to call them treasonous and liars out to damage the institution of the monarchs? This group lied to the Agong when they still brought their supporters to the streets," the Umno-owned newspaper said today.

In a strongly-worded editorial, it also called Bersih and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders hypocrites for telling Malay rulers it would obey them but then do otherwise behind their backs.

"Then they pledge loyalty in the streets to someone who is implicated in the worst moral issues in the country instead," it added, referring to Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is currently fighting sodomy and sex video allegations.

Selangor's ruler had on the eve of the July 9 rally called on his subjects not to attend the demonstration which would throw the state into chaos.

"I am informed about the recent calls for a rally in the city, and I am of the view that the rally, which had been declared illegal by the authorities, will bring much suffering to the people if it goes out of control," the Sultan said when opening a mosque last Friday.

Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin (picture) had also intervened six days before the demonstration, asking Putrajaya and the coalition of 62 NGOs to negotiate over electoral reforms to avoid a street rally.

Despite Bersih accepting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's subsequent offer to hold its gathering in a stadium, it was denied its choice of Stadium Merdeka after the authorities told the group to move its rally outside of the capital.



Investing 101 Means Looking Out the Windows More: William Pesek

Posted: 12 Jul 2011 12:02 PM PDT

(Bloomberg) What can we make of a leader who promised reform and moderation and now sounds like a Roman emperor? Can a nation that arrests almost 1,700 people, some just for wearing yellow shirts, still be called a democracy? 

Arab Spring, meet Malaysia's summer of discontent.

That thought is surely on Prime Minister Najib Razak's mind as the dust settles from Saturday's botched demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur. By "botched" I mean the way Najib mishandled what should have been a ho-hum political-reform rally of little note by the international news media.

Public-relations experts would have told Najib to let the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections have their day in the capital. Let them wave signs and wear their yellow shirts. Instead, he tried to stop the rally, increasing its size. Then, he cracked down. Police fired tear gas and detained 1,697 people, turning the event into a top cable TV news story.

The over-the-top response did something worse: It enraged Malaysians who weren't all that interested in rallying before Saturday. It also underlined the rise in political risk sweeping Asia, something that investors would be wise to track.

No serious observer expects an exact Asian rerun of the Arab Spring movement that saw uprisings topple leaders in Egypt and Tunisia and threaten regimes in Syria, Libya and Yemen. But then neither do serious people argue that Asia has done enough to enhance its democratic credentials during the past 10 years.

Political Change

Malaysia's protest was the biggest since 2007 -- roughly 20,000 people. It came amid rising calls for political change from Thailand to China. What these nations have in common is that the overhaul in domestic political systems lags behind economic and financial reforms.

Take Thailand, where voters this month ejected the incumbent Democratic Party, which had used soldiers to disperse opposition protests in 2010, leading to more than 90 deaths. The party had promised to attack the corruption and undemocratic ways of the government run by Thaksin Shinawatra that solders ousted in 2006. Last week, fed up voters went full circle, making Thaksin's sister premier.

Officials in China are pulling out all the stops to clamp down on political activists amid the so-called Jasmine Revolution. Nothing unnerves the Communist Party in Beijing more than the specter of social discontent. The winds of change are even sweeping Singapore; its ruling party in May won its narrowest election victory since independence in 1963.

Common Threads

Although the causes of such tension differ from country to country, there are a few common threads. One is the frustration of the have-nots as they watch the haves get richer. Another is rising global commodity prices, which make it harder for many to make ends meet. Finally, political modernization has been slower than critics hoped.

Malaysia's case is especially complicated thanks to the inescapable issue of race. The conventional wisdom is that Saturday's protests will delay Najib's pledge to dismantle a 40- year preferential program that favors the Malay majority. The policy makes it harder for Chinese and Indian Malaysians to find good jobs, and its quotas scare away foreign investors. It holds Malaysia back in an increasingly competitive world.

To me, Najib wasn't moving fast enough before Saturday. Foreign executives considering whether to build a factory in Malaysia want a clear schedule: By Jan. 1, 2012, we will do this, and by Jan. 1, 2013, we will do that. Instead, Najib offered vague intentions without meaningful or specific goals.

Misplaced Priorities

It's no mystery why. All that matters to the United Malays National Political Organisation is clinging to its five-decade hold on power. Such misplaced priorities explain why Malaysia has been slow to streamline the economy and encourage the kind of entrepreneurialism that creates well-paid jobs. It's also why leaders are timid about scrapping productivity-killing policies that only benefit portions of the population.

The question now is which way Najib turns. At this point, he may avoid calling an early election this year -- there's just too much risk for him. Which direction he takes in changing policy is an even bigger unknown. On July 10, the Guardian newspaper carried comments by Najib in which he cautioned protesters not to test his party's will. "We can conquer Kuala Lumpur," he said.

What can we make of a leader who promised reform and moderation and now sounds like a Roman emperor? Can a nation that arrests almost 1,700 people, some just for wearing yellow shirts, still be called a democracy? Najib's response even had Malaysians feeling sorry for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who was injured by flying tear gas canisters.

Events in Kuala Lumpur remind us that geopolitical risks are on the rise in Asia. Yes, growth rates are healthy even as the U.S., Japan and Europe limp along. The establishment of democratic institutions has been far less robust, though, and entrenched leaders may pay a considerable price. Maybe not in the Hosni Mubarak-sense, but the potential for upheaval shouldn't be underestimated. There really is a bull market in the desire for political change.

Investors looking for places to put their money tend to lock themselves in offices combing through statistics, bond spreads, stock valuations and central-bank policies. In Asia's case, more success might be had by looking out the window at the street demonstrations below.

The next course of action

Posted: 12 Jul 2011 11:48 AM PDT

Someone has been injured in a peaceful rally, wounded by officers under your command. Even if he is exaggerating, he is indeed hurt! Instead of voicing concern, you laughed at him, you ridiculed him! That is NOT a character of a leader, what more a Prime Minister?

By ViewAct

After reaching home with a headache, and resting for a day, I questioned myself if I would like to witness the event on 9th July again. My answer is – Yes and No. "Yes" as I feel elated seeing Malaysians from all walks of life, of all races and all religious backgrounds stood together for the same cause. And this is truly the 1Malaysia unity we wish to see. Even though the government created the slogan, they are in every way trying to ensure it doesn't happen. All these can be seen by the replies they gave on the organization of this event, the carrying out of brutality on peaceful marchers, and the comments afterwards, especially when people got hurt, and even died.

My answer of "NO" is for the fact that, I do not wish to see our people suffering from brutal treatment by the very institution that claims to protect us. And the excuse that they give – "shouting during the rally". Countless tear gas canisters were shot, followed with water cannons. The police can claim that it was "just very few shots" while the newspaper contradict their own statement by saying that even police officers suffered the effects of tear gas. Two sets of answers, an obvious lie. Why can't a peaceful procession be left at peace?

Still suffering from the effects of the treatment, I now lie on my bed, with blurry vision, and a trobbing head; yet my conscience is clear, and I decide to slowly pen down this article. For I managed to watch a few video clips and immediately my tears flowed. "I was glad I was there" I said to myself. For I would surely regret if I hadn't.

I watched in horror when our PM made his remarks on DSAI's injury, saying that he is such a good actor for displaying his painful expression for a small injury then followed by a photo of him lying on a hospital bed. I watched in disgust how he made fun of DSAI, with his disgusting facial expression (Do excuse me for this) while elaborating further on his remarks. How can a Prime Minister say such a thing? Someone has been injured in a peaceful rally, wounded by officers under your command. Even if he is exaggerating, he is indeed hurt! Instead of voicing concern, you laughed at him, you ridiculed him! That is NOT a character of a leader, what more a Prime Minister!

And those that cheered when he ridiculed DSAI. Haven't you any conscience? Or you lost them in your bid to shine your boss' shoe?

Not to mention also some ministers who came to the front, claiming that the police had indeed NOT shot (tear gas canisters and water) into the compound of a hospital, and had NOT charged into the said hospital to arrest people. The internet has already shown so much proof and yet, they deny it. This will only convince the rakyat more that the government intends to lie to the rakyat shamelessly. There is no intention to make good what is wrong. And making two wrongs will never make a right, datuk-datuk semua.

Alright, I believe many have made similar remarks on the Bersih rally, during and after; and one more comment doesn't make much difference to the facts already known to all, even though our PM, and the IGP denied it wide-eyed.

What I think is more important now is what is the next course of action that may be taken by the government, after being hit hard on the face? What else can they do to prevent falling further than what is already near the bottom of the gallows?

From the remarks of the police, and our PM, it is very clear that they are trying to minimize the damage done to their reputation, with lies and fairy tales that is too obvious to miss. Just compare the photos available online with their remarks; well, I believe that is worth more than a thousand words, isn't it?

With the poor reputation, the idiotic remarks of a minister towards a foreign reporter, and mistakes over mistakes by our IGP and PM over the issue, they are now desperate in making sure that they would not lose in GE13. I am expecting the following to take place.

1) The election commission CANNOT reform, at least not yet. For they need all the phantom voters, postal voters and whatnot to ensure they don't fail. At the least, not miserably. They are right that the Bersih Rally failed. For no matter what we do, even with the petition sent to the King, they will delay and postpone to reformation of EC. Until when they need it to be reformed – i.e – when they are the opposition.

2) Increase in prices of goods. The government is famous for punishing its rakyat. When they were shamed by their own action, they will blame it on the rakyat and the opposition for revealing their shame. And for revenge, they would make life hard for people, increasing the price of goods, petrol etc. On one hand, they can vent their anger over the shame revealed by the rakyat; on the other hand, they can get more money to help them "finance" vote buying and frog buying during the coming GE. We have seen numerous examples of our government punishing its people, I don't think I need to elaborate further here.

3) Hidden projects shall be awarded. This shall be a desperate attempt to dig as much money for themselves, as well as money for the coming G.E. It appears to be a win win situation for them. If they win in the next GE, they can continue with whatever dirt they have done. If they lose, they already have their money, and PR will be left with an empty safe-box, and lots of bills to pay off. With money channeled out of the country, what fear do they have should anyone really start investigating them? They are already in a place far far away, with all relevant documents destroyed. Just look at what happened to Selangor after the last G.E. How the documents were destroyed, shredded and burnt, and how the ex-MB went missing, only to return as the leader at the state opposition aisle.

4) Returns to the people. For damage control, they would probably come up with a few "goodies" as returns to the people to mend their tarnished image. Those "returns" could be in any form, just to "show" that they "care". They may even reduce prices of goods (just to upset what I've mentioned above) in their attempt to counter all negative remarks made previously. And they would keep the media focused on these instead, and emphasize on the JASA they perform for the people.

5) Delay in G.E 13. With the bad image projected now, calling for an election would be a suicide attempt. Unless damage control is done to a certain extent – i.e more media lies, and state tours to tell fairy tales to people who have no access to the internet.

6) Last resort – ISA. Like how Ops Lalang were deployed, they could make up another trumped up story and start a nationwide crackdown on opposition leaders, while instilling fear in its people should they oppose the government. Bersih 3.0 would be a good excuse for the deployment. So the story they make up now to blame Bersih and opposition leaders would be crucial if they plan for Ops Lalang 2. By the way, a photo surfaced online allegedly posted in Utusan; it is a desperate attempt to find excuses for the brutality displayed by the police.

All in all, the federal government is in a very bad shape now. And our dear TDM's boy is eyeing that seat as he's not made any remarks after the rally; and thus he saved himself from looking silly. Our PM now faces the risk of losing his premiership, not only from the opposition and the rakyat; he is facing threats from within his own party, who are so eager to be on that seat they are willing to do anything to get there. Enemies that fight you openly may be a threat, but a "musuh dibawah selimut" is even more dangerous. You won't know when you will be stabbed from behind.

Najib's 9MP that did not go as planned

Posted: 12 Jul 2011 11:42 AM PDT

By ManaBolehMalaysia on Murder Scam & Thieves

No, 9MP is not the abbreviation for the 9th Malaysia Plan. Najib unveiled his controversial 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) in Parliament on 10 June 2010. 9MP is the secret code name for Najib's murderous plan to kill Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on 9th July 2011, the day of the BERSIH 2.0 Rally in KL.

After the recent failed attempts to finish off Anwar Ibrahim (sex video by the infamous Datuk Trio and Sodomy II accusation by Saiful), PM Najib was desperately in need of a perfect murder plan. Blowing Anwar Ibrahim to pieces using C4 explosives like in the Altantuya-Scorpene Scandal Murder case would confirm Najib's involvement once and for all. No, even though Rosmah was pushing him to do it, it would be suicidal for Najib. There had to be another way, where the PM can clean his hands off. He would gladly kiss the hands of the POPE if only there was a way.

Sodomy II did not hit the top "box-office" with the Malaysian's public as they had expected. So an Altantuya-style murder II could have the same skepticism and backlash as Sarbaini Mohamad's suicide jump from MACC's building on 6th April 2011. Sarbaini was the second victim to have "mysteriously" committed suicide after "interrogation" by MACC (Malaysia's Anti Corruption Agency). Teoh Beng Hock (an opposition DAP member political aide) mysteriously committed suicide earlier by jumping of MACC's building on 16 July 2009.

A third person especially the leader of a united opposition to commit a similar suicide from the MACC's building would be too much for the nation to bear. No one, even the former PM Tun Mahathir who had insisted Anwar's black eye was self-inflicted, would believe it. While the former PM would only be too glad to get rid of his former Deputy (Anwar) and PM Najib at the same time, BN could be at risk of being destroyed totally together with the chance of his son being the future PM. No, that would be throwing the "baby out with the bath water".

Mahathir argued that Anwar's Black Eye was "self inflicted"
Anwar appeared in the court on 29 September 98 with a swollen face and a black eye. While Mahathir has argued that the wounds were "self inflicted", there are reports that Anwar was badly beaten on the first day of custody by the Malaysian Police. If these reports are true, and if it could happen to a Deputy Prime minister one could imagine the fate of other ordinary dissidents in Malaysia.
The dominant United Malays National Organisation met in the first week of October with the avowed purpose of selecting a successor to Anwar Ibrahim. The Party proposes but the chief disposes. Surprising of everyone Mahathir announced that no successor will be nominated until the party elections next year. ( By convention the Deputy President of the Party is selected automatically as the Deputy Prime Minister).

Homicide for Teoh Beng Hock and suicide for MCA? -March 29th, 2011
The top news if not the news of 2009 is the mysterious death of Selangor political aideTeoh Beng Hock, eclipsing that of BN's illegal Perak power grab. On 16th July under mysterious circumstances Teoh's body was found in the premises of Plaza Masalam on the 5th Floor.
In the immediate aftermath, the Coroner's Inquest investigated and returned an Open Verdict of neither suicide nor homicide, on 5th January this year, which created a furore among the public amidst demands for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to be set-up.

The Dummnos at UMNO were in a real fix. How to stop the united opposition, Pakatan, led by Anwar Ibrahim from securing a landslide win in the coming general election?

Their DIRTY CHEATING MACHINERY (DCM, also stands for DEPARTMENT OF CRIME MINISTER) was already working to the hilt in 2008 and yet, they still lost 5 states to a united opposition. With a dirty Crime Minister already suspected of killing Altantuya, Teoh Beng Hock and Sarbaini (directly or indirectly) a dead opposition leader by any means or by even by accident would spell a disastrous election loss for the ruling BN government. The BN's partner-in-crime, Taib's PBB ruling coalition barely scrapped through to hold the state government despite massive election frauds and massive doses of election bribes. Everyone can see that their numbers (and cheating ways of holding on to power) are up.

Then in their darkest hours of desperation, BERSIH 2.0 showed up like a bright spark. What better way to kill Anwar Ibrahim and several other opposition leaders as well with a "chaotic stampede" by their own political supporters?

What a brilliant plan especially if the leaders and supporters of BERSIH 2.0 can be incited to be angry and violent. Many had commented that Najib's evil inner circle of murderers which included his close cousin, the Home Minister (aka the Homicide Minister) were indecisive and panicking at Bersih's demands. They could not be more wrong. They were following precisely Sun Tze's strategy of "borrowing the enemy's sword to kill their own leader".

That was why Najib first offered the stadium as a compromise and later retracted. That was why the Homicide Minister declared Bersih to be illegal and started the clamp down on Bersih days before the 9 July street rally. That was why the Police Chief said Bersih (despite being illegal) can apply for the rally permit in the stadium but intended to reject it at the last minute. That was why Perkasa was encouraged to incite hatred and violence among Bersih's marchers.

There are no coincidences. All had been planned well in advance and their main target (objective) was to kill Anwar Ibrahim and as many opposition leaders as possible on 9th July 2011.

Man or more precisely, EVIL can plan the mass murders on 9th July but only GOD can dispose. That Anwar Ibrahim survived this "perfect murder plan" is a good sign and a very strong evidence that GOD protects the good and exposes the evil. We, Malaysians have been given many messages that Najib's evil BN regime is about to end soon. That Malaysians from all walks of life can stay united and calm despite the provocations is a good sign that we have matured for true democracy to prevail. Do not let a sinking BN ship destroy that harmony.

Altantuya's soul should be able to rest in peace soon and Malaysia can begin the painful process of repairing the broken economy from 30 years of BN's tyrannic rule which started with the evil scheming PM by the name of Mahathir Mohamed.

Malaysian government to remove ‘Bersih’

Posted: 12 Jul 2011 11:38 AM PDT

By AsamLaksa, made-up journalist

13 July 2011, Kuala Lumpur. Today the Home Minister announced that Malaysians have decided on a ruling to ban the usage of the Malay word 'bersih' and remove it from history. The minister adds, "It is now a bad word, something that you should not say in front of your parents. It will not be 'ber...apanama' but 'bers**t'."

'Bersih' meaning 'clean' will be replaced with 'kotor' as soon as the legislation is gazetted. 'Kotor' is currently in use meaning dirty.

"The people in the government will start using 'kotor' today before the whole of Malaysia. So from now on, I say I am sangat kotor, the PM is kotor, (and) the government is kotor. This law will also be retro(spective) and we will work with Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka to change all old Malay books and writings. So past slogans will be Kotor, Cekap, Amanah. Very easy."

As to the reason for this move, the honourable minister said, "We have reason for this."

What about material bearing the word? "We will check all books. We give time for people to hand in books. Customs will seize all foreign books with the word and fine the importer."

What if someone uses 'bersih'? "The law will punish those that use it. We plan maybe RM20,000 fine with 1 year jail."

When pointed out that this would disqualify people from running for parliament the reply was, "That's why we have laws. We must obey the law. We will also ask religious leaders to make religious ruling to make this word haram and a sin. The cabinet suggest that you go to hell for saying this word."

Won't this confuse the public? "I not confused. Are you confused?"

When asked if this applies to East Malaysia the minister replied, "Of course. Then we have no problem like that banner in Kota Kinabalu."

On the fate of the colour yellow: "Yellow colour is not a problem."

Asked about recent arrest related t yellow items, the reply was, "Why you reporters ask about yellow? You got problem with yellow? Don't cari pasal make us look bad. Ban a word is easy, ban colour is crazy. All the arrest because the yellow used connected to bad word and foreign campur tangan."

As to how much this exercise will cost, "Don't worry about cost. We estimate RM150 million and we have appointed local company to do this. A site has already (been) identified for new incinerator."

The minister closed with: "I am kotor. The government is kotor and takes care of all Malaysians."

Born Again Malaysian, Totally Cleansed (BERSIH)!

Posted: 12 Jul 2011 11:21 AM PDT

We can die without a whimper, or we can make our deaths resound through history. Either way, we die, as death is a fact of Life. I have chosen to make my death count, for my country Malaysia. To the Death, lawan tetap lawan, if that is what is needed to reclaim our birthrights!

By Socrates

To put my participation in the BERSIH 2.0 Rally into proper perspective, I need to give you a short synopsis of who I am, and what I used to do for a living.

A full blooded Malaysian, I was born in the 50's in Kuala Lumpur, when life was simple, and as kids, we played amongst ourselves oblivious of whether we were Malay, Chinese, Indian, Eurasian, or others. We were just children and kawan-kawan, and we had a darn good time playing football, badminton, sepak takraw, picture cards, etc. all together then.

Somehow all this changed especially after 1969 May 13. All the bigotry, and prejudice started to set in during Razak's time as PM and it slowly got worse and worse as the ruling elite spotted the opportunity to divide & rule, and make use of all the prejudice and bigotry to set up divide and rule systems that could be exploited to enrich themselves under the guise of "the Malay struggle".

As time wore on, to further entrench themselves in their position of power, built on the insecurities of the masses, and the prejudice and bigotry spawned by their system of "divide & rule", they started to dismantle democracy in Malaysia by making the Executive (Govt) so powerful as to make the Legislature (Parliament), and Judiciary subservient to it, the Executive, thereby making the Prime Minister the de facto dictator of Malaysia.

Not satisfied with this, they dismantled the jury system where we are supposed to be tried by our peers. No longer, now we are tried by judges who are on the government's salary, appointed by the government.

Furthermore, the govt placed their staunch supporters in key positions, whether they were Malay, Chinese or Indian, in the AG's office, Election Commission, MACC, PDRM, and so on to control these institutions so that instead of doing their duty to protect and serve the Rakyat of Malaysia, they are now only to protect and serve the BN govt while paid and funded by the

Naturally, by now, the whole election process in Malaysia has been corrupted and skewed to ensure government rule by the BN, where through gerrymandering, phantom voters, multiple voting, and manipulated postal votes, and the stuffing of ballot boxes, and outright vote buying guaranteed the survival of the BN government to the exclusion of all else, thus thwarting
the Rakyat's Will.

BERSIH 2.0 is the Rakyat's Rally to tell the BN Government that enough is enough and we want clean, free & fair elections to reflect the True Will of the Rakyat, and whoever wins the elections then, so be it.

At my age, and having worked for 3 decades (since 1980's) from a salesman all the way to a CEO of a foreign owned, public listed corporation, coming from a very sedentary lifestyle, the last thing on my mind would be to walk for hours in the afternoon heat, and with the threat of violence hanging over my head like the sword of Damocles, especially so when I suffer from high blood pressure (HBP), a bum left leg, and an overweight 115 kg body.

Having lived through the BN apartheid system (yes, it is no different from South Africa's apartheid system under the whites before the ANC led by Nelson Mandela succeeded in making South Africa a truly democratic nation) for so many years, and having only been overseas for my tertiary degree for 3 - 4 years, and holidays paid for with my hard earned money, I have always worked in Malaysia, paying full Malaysian taxes, and contributing to the EPF, and lived here in KL all my life, I finally had enough when I saw the demonisation of BERSIH 2.0 and the true Patriots of Malaysia (steering committee of BERSIH 2.0 and all the 62 supporting NGOs), by this self-centred, bully of a government.

So I told my wife and my kids that I had to go to this rally on the 9th July in KL and make our voices heard. If I made it back, fine, if I didn't, so be it. My wife wanted to walk with me, but I convinced her not to as our daughter is only 4+, though our sons are big enough, and she needed a parent to look after her. Also, if I didn't make it back, she needed to carry on the fight for the sake of our children, and for the sake of our country, Malaysia.

This would be my first rally although I had attended almost all the PJ vigils to free Raja Petra Kamarudin from ISA and to mansuhkan ISA, along with my wife and family. My daughter was only 1+ yrs old then and she was then dubbed by Haris Ibrahim and Del Capo as the "Angel" Of the PJ vigils. Yes, I exposed my kids to all this because they had to be taught what is right and wrong, and that is the most important thing that I, as a parent, could teach them.

So we checked into Quality Hotel on Jln. Raja Laut as we thought we were going to the palace, then we heard that we were to go to Stadium Merdeka, but it was too late to cancel, so we all showed up at the hotel the afternoon before.

On the morning of the 9th, I painfully hauled my 115 kg carcass up and walked out of the main door of the hotel at 9:55 a.m. with my wife who insisted on walking some way with me. There was a police car parked up at the front entrance, and further along we saw many blue "ants" milling around, maybe about 150 to 200 of them. We were stopped and asked where we were going, to which I replied:"Sogo". So this big burly policeman said:"Oh ... Sogo boleh." as if I needed his permission at all to set my foot in any part of MY country, Malaysia!

We ignored him and went into Sogo for which could have been our last breakfast together. We observed them playing around with the red riot police helmets, batons, and shields while drinking our coffee. Then, at 10:20 am, we left Sogo and walked to the PRT station across the road. There were some policemen in the booking office and some milling around outside, so I looked at the train routes. I knew I should get out at Hang Tuah to be close to the Stadium, but I saw them watching me, so I told the gentleman at the counter, one ticket to Ampang (the last stop) please, and said goodbye to my wife with
my eyes.

You can tell that once the police heard me mention Ampang, they lost interest in me and what I was doing immediately, although I was carrying a bag of water, salt, extra t shirt and face towel! Luckily, we had such simple minded folk in the police force!

I got on the train, but it skipped Hang Tuah station! I swore under my breath! Will it stop at Pudu next, or won't it?? It stopped at Pudu, and I walked out, heading back towards KL. There were no police presence there at all, and while I was walking down Jln. Pudu slowly, the road was eerily quiet, save for some 5 or 6 other people walking like me.

A little nervous, all alone on my way to my 1st rally, and cursing the Najib administration with every painful step of my bum left leg, hauling my 115 kg sweat drenched carcass, I stopped by a 7-11 and bought some sweets. The air cond made me want to just camp there, but the thought of my family floated across my mind, and with renewed vigour (as much as I could muster!) I headed down to where one of my friends said they would be, in McDonald's next to Kota Raya.

But before that, I had to rest my bum leg again and I went into the Swiss Garden Hotel and ordered a milk shake to cool down while I texted like-minded friends to tell them that Jln. Pudu would be an all clear if anyone wanted to join the rally from this direction.

When I reached McD's it was 12 noon and my friends, Lee, Chong and Menon were there laughing at my deplorable physical condition! Soon, we went out to Jln. Sultan and suddenly, everyone started walking out and chanting "Bersih, bersih", "Hidup Bersih", "Hidup Rakyat".

Young, old, strong, weak, infirm, the physically challenged, Muslims, Christians, Confucianists, Taoists, Buddhists, Hindus, Agnostics, Atheists, Malay, Chinese, Indians, Iban, and many more from all walks of life, walking together, shoulder to shoulder, with but a single purpose in mind, to reclaim our birthright to clean, free & fair elections in Malaysia.

With adrenalin pumping, I walked the length of Jln. Sultan, and whenever a group made it to Kota Raya, we would walk all the way down clapping and chanting to welcome them, and then walk up again. We met several of our friends along the way, Rodi, Claire, Farid and his brother, Hawkeye Jack. There were a few Caucasian tourists joining in and cheering us on as well. What a carnival it was until ... without any warning to disperse, the police advanced upon us.

Before long, the tear gas came and the water cannon as well, just outside Menara Maybank and PuduRaya, while I was standing outside Nandos, and we scurried up into PuduRaya to escape from the fumes. The water cannon, however, ran out of water before it could reach us and had us jeering and laughing at the hapless "cannoneers", with tears streaming down our faces due to the tear gas!

People were everywhere helping other people, regardless of race, religion, age, gender, etc., and offering salt, and one guy even got a hose connected to spray the people down, those soaked by the chemical laced water from the cannons, and those who got tear gassed badly.

Nostalgia and euphoria simultaneously swept over me, as this was what it was like before May 13 1969, and after Merdeka, all for one, and one for all! Malaysia had indeed come a long way since then, but here we are again, one people, one identity, One Malaysia! This is what the Najib character had tried to convince Malaysians the government of Malaysia is, but has instead shown how racist, fascist, and prejudiced they really are, administering an apartheid system of governance over the Malaysian people.

God intervened at this point, and the resulting downpour washed away all the chemical laced water, and tear gas, and the police suddenly found themselves powerless to bully the protestors.

On the 9th July 2011, that was One Malaysia in action, and we all headed up Jln. Hang Jebat towards Stadium Merdeka. We stopped outside Stadium Merdeka on its access road and saw barbed wire across the road leading to the Stadium, with the cops behind it.

Some of us shouted:"Kami sokong BERSIH, apa kamu sokong?? Kotor??". Some of them smiled. Some of us sat down and when 4:15 came, we dispersed as we, being men of honour, promised Agong that we would, all of us melting away back to our mundane lives, from whence we came.

There I was, with Lee & Chong, all drenched and soaked through from head to toe sitting outside the YWCA facing the Stadium when a friend of mine showed up, Lian, and her friend. An ice cream vendor came by and we waved him down and had some ice cream. Lee had also kindly shared his stash of biscuits with Chong and I.

We parted company and I found out one of my friends had booked into the Olympic Hotel next to Wisma OCM, I dropped by dripping water as I entered the lobby. Cold, wet through, and still famished from no lunch, and my bum leg sore from so much walking and running, I managed to heave my 115 kg frame into a comfortable chair of the hotel cafe and proceeded to order lunch. My friend, Pat, together with a PAS gentleman, Pak Lokman, had booked several rooms there, and I was generously given a room to shower, clean up, rest & recover.

To cut a long story short, my wife and family came to fetch me from Olympic Hotel, and after one long look at my tired out countenance, my daughter held my arm tightly and kissed me on the cheek welcoming me back. We arrived back to our hotel and my kids offerred to massage and pommel me and said thank you for fighting for them and their future. My wife was relieved beyond words that I made it without being worse for wear. I had left her with all my codes and passwords for everything the night before and I can never forget the look on her face when I did that.

Najib, Hisham, Ibrahim (Ali), Mahathir Mohamad, Muhyidin Yassin, Muhkriz Mahathir, please take heed. We, the Rakyat of Malaysia, will continue to fight for our civil liberties and rights under our Federal Constitution, and for electoral reform to ensure clean, free & fair elections, no matter what you do, or think you can do. With my passing, my wife and children will take up the clarion call to perform their duty as true patriots of Malaysia.

Sure, I am rich enough to emigrate, but I choose not to as Malaysia is my country and my home and nobody, no matter how powerful, how evil, how scheming, will convince or blackball me, or my family and friends, otherwise.

There is an ancient saying that says we can die without a whimper, or we can make our deaths resound through history. Either way, we die, as death is a fact of Life. I have chosen to make my death count, for my country Malaysia. To the Death, lawan tetap lawan, if that is what is needed to reclaim our birthrights!

An Ordinary, Sedentary, Risen through the ranks, Middle Class, Middle Aged, Bespectacled Malaysian with a bum leg, and an overweight 115 kg frame, signing off.

12th July 2011
P.S. What took me so long to write this?? My body and leg still aches, lah ... recovering from it all ....

I declare you a disgrace, Mr. Mawan anak Ikom, to your people and to your race

Posted: 12 Jul 2011 11:19 AM PDT

He indulges in making offerings to the Iban gods (miring) but is also quick to spit on the graves of his very own ancestors.

By Being Vernon

Dear Reader,

Can someone please teach Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai to surf the internet, view Youtube and peruse Facebook and blogs? I was there at Tung Shin. The Minister wasn't. I saw with my own eyes the tear gas canisters flying like pissed-off rockets into the compound of the hospital! Is he telling me I dreamed the whole thing?

The height of arrogance demonstrated by the Minister only reveals his utter contempt for truth and betrays the foundation upon which Barisan Nasional Ministers operate - spin like hell, lie through your teeth and pray to God the public believes you, and if all fails, cheat to win.

As for the hospital's board members who agreed with the Minister, do not be too quick to lick MCA's backside. The hospital's main source of profit is the public, and the public can punish you where it hurts most. You want to side with the Minister or you want to tell the truth?

But my main grouse today is with none other than Mr. William Mawan Ikom (I refuse to acknowledge his Tan Sri-ship), the Minister for Social Development and Urbanisation in Sarawak. Free Malaysia Today, at 'Flag-waving, God-fearing supporters were patriotic citizens', reported:

Meanwhile, in Miri William Mawan Ikom, president of Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), blamed the organisers of Bersih rally for "muddling" the prevailing peace and political stability in the country.

He said those who supported the rally "should be ashamed of themselves".

He added that everyone should be mindful that when exercising their rights, the need to safeguard the existing multi-racial harmony, peace and political stability must be given top consideration.

He said street demonstrations should not be allowed as they indirectly reminded the people to go back to the "headhunting days" where there was no peace.

He added that the government has to defend the rights of the people who demanded to live in peace and harmony.

"Why should we put our people at high risk and let the current strong solidarity be in jeopardy?" he asked.

Humour me for the next several minutes as I go to town and teach this man a quick history lesson. Of course, I will ignore his hollow ramblings on the ideals of multiracial harmony, peace and political stability; inconsequential and insincere rants of a political dinosaur out of touch with reality and the 21st century. Nobody really takes such advice seriously these days, and yet these decrepit geriatrics actually believe people listen to them. But never mind this.

Back to the history lesson.

He said street demonstrations should not be allowed as they indirectly reminded the people to go back to the "headhunting days" where there was no peace.

How ridiculous is that? And from a Dayak Minister, no less!

It was precisely because our forefathers wanted to preserve the peace that they went on head-taking raids, in the absence of the rule of law or any modern system of laws. (Incidentally, 'headhunting' is a misnomer, Mr. Mawan. No intelligent person uses it. If you had bothered to check, the term used by modern anthropologists and all learned people is 'head-taking'.)

Two centuries ago, head-taking was a necessity - it was plainly survival of the fittest, kill or be killed. It was then the cultural rule of law. It is most unfair and completely inappropriate for Mr. Mawan to use modern standards to judge what happened in the past. It was the credo by which our forefathers lived. And died.

Mr. Mawan, by equating head-taking with disturbance of the peace, is evidently saying that our forefathers, his included, were barbaric outlaws bent on creating havoc. It is grossly the wrong criteria for Mr. Mawan to use in the context of his sermon and in the process, Mr. Mawan totally rejects his forefathers' history and instead pours scorn over them by using them as his prime example of lawlessness. How shameful!

To the Iban, Mr. Mawan's rubbishing of head-taking is akin and tantamount to spitting on the graves of his forefathers. He has not only dishonoured his forebears, but more tellingly, he has indubitably disgraced himself.

Read more at:

10 Reasons Why Shopperholics Should Support Bersih

Posted: 12 Jul 2011 11:09 AM PDT

Your children don't have to migrate to Singapore, Australia or America to enjoy a higher standard of living. If things are done right in Malaysia, this can be a far richer and greater country. That, ultimately, is what Bersih is about. 

By Andrew Sia

"Ala, kacau-la this Bersih, the whole KL was jammed and I could not go for the 1Malaysia Mega Sale!" cries out you, the Shopperholic.

And TV and newspapers tell you that Bersih caused billions in economic losses because the Burmese and Nepalese foreign workers downtown could not hang out at the Kota Raya shopping complex.

No, no, I mean, because the police blocked all roads and nobody, especially you, could go out and buy your RM12,000 Gucci handbag ….

But wait a minute. Why are these shops and stalls in downtown KL doing such good business DURING Bersih?

Just look a little deeper beyond the sales promotion and hype of 1Malaysia …. You may actually have 10 good reasons to support Bersih.


1) Your ringgit is worth 2.4 times less than the Singapore dollar. Why?

Here you are, suffering and sweating to fight the crowds at sales, just to get a bigger discount.

But yet, your money is worth 2.4 times less than that bloody little country which has almost ZERO natural resources while we Malaysians have tons of petroleum wealth.

In 1965, one ringgit was equal to one Sing dollar. What the hell has happened since then? Corruption?

Now when Singaporeans come here, they are like birds - we can hear their distinctive chirping: "cheap, cheap, cheap…".

Bargher, by right, we should be the ones walking in Megamall like that, where everyday is like sales day!

Now that the leaders have seen how big the Bersih crowd was, maybe they will be a bit more scared of the people's demands? A bit less corrupt? Maybe in ten years time, we will see RM1.50 = S$1 ??? Then we can really shop like mad, right?


2) Bersih didn't close MidValley Megamall, the police did.

For certain politicians, Bersih was like Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactor. The radiation of having an intelligent debate about the nation's future would cause brain cancer ....

That's why, even though Bersih was being held in downtown KL on Saturday, they decided to blockade Megamall, which was far away.

In fact, days before Bersih, they even blocked roads on the other side of the world at Subang Jaya and elsewhere.

Why? Just so that you shopperholics can scold Bersih for trying to save you from overspending on shopping for one day.

The police also wanted you to blame Bersih for making you discover how you can have a great time at home (maybe by taking a walk in the park, watching a DVD or, God forbid, helping mom cook dinner) without having to spend much money at all.


3) But you were smarter, you shopped at Sunway Pyramid, the Curve and Jusco Wangsa Maju.

But of course, you were smarter than that. You had already anticipated the blocked roads. You hate staying at home to spend quality family time. Oh I'm sorry, quality family time can only be done at the shopping mall.

OK, so you decided to do your shopping at other places like Sunway Pyramid, the Curve, Jusco Balakong, Jusco Kepong or Jusco wherever …. The police could order Sogo and Pertama Complex in downtown KL to shut down but who the hell goes to such places anyway?


4) Actualleee … no need to close roads and shopping centres right?

Exactly. Why on earth DID the police order the shops in KL Sentral to close down?

Because Anwar Ibrahim and Ambiga were walking there? Maybe the police were scared that they would commit khalwat, so they decided to shoot them several times with tear gas so that they would cry out in pain, rather than cry out in illicit pleasure ….

The Bersih folks downtown were peaceful, disciplined and friendly. They sang Negaraku. Complete strangers of all races spoke with and helped each other. Some even brought their children - they came for a non-violent protest.

People just wanted to gather in Stadium Merdeka, wear their yellow T-shirts, sing some songs and shout their slogans. They asked for just two hours, from 2pm to 4pm. 

Itu saja.They are just silly idealists who don't know how fair our elections are.

So why did the police order the shopping malls to close down? Because they found somebody throwing a bag filled with parangs at Pertama Complex FOUR days before? And inside the bag, there were a few yellow Bersih T-shirts!

Wow, how stupid they are. Maybe there was even a note saying: "Anwar wuz here"....


5) Bersih should have been a Mega Sales Carnival

The Lai Foong coffeeshop downtown remained open even as remnants of tear gas hung in the air inside, stinging my eyes. Yet people like me still went there to eat the famous beef noodles. Business was roaring!

In fact, if the government was smart, they could have made Bersih part of the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival!

Think about it. 50,000 people came despite the blocked roads, the threats by the police etc etc. If they had allowed it to go on peacefully, 100,000 or maybe 150,000 people would have come.

And after singing and shouting, they also need to makan and minum right? Rows of stalls could have been set up at Stadium Merdeka, just like at Batu Caves during Thaipusam. What a huge economic boost!


6) Bersih should have been a Visit Malaysia Year event

Bersih's call for fair and clean elections "tarnished" the nation's image, claim certain politicians.

But the same politicians were warning that silat fellas were coming to reconquer Malacca from the Portuguese while Perkasa has been whacking foreigners (all those who arrived in Malaysia after 1511 that is). All these threats of violence from silat and Perkasa have made Malaysia's name more "fragrant" worldwide, I am sure.

But you know what was funny? The real foreigners came and joined Bersih! As you know, downtown KL has lots of Mat Salleh backpackers staying there, and many came out to see the REAL Malaysia in action. It's just like how Ian Wright does not like to go to the over priced tourist traps, he wants to see the action on da streets man!


7) Downtown KL is a foreigners city on weekends.

That's right. Certain leaders have been blaring non-stop about how Bersih jeopardised sales for the Indian kaki lima news vendors in downtown KL.

But I wonder when was the last time a Minister went to Petaling Street to buy a newspaper, or a fake Rolex? As for ordinary Malaysians, we go to the pasar malams nearer our homes.

KL's Old Town ain't what it used to be because Malaysians now live in the suburbs. The UDA Ocean shopping centre downtown had to close down and places like The Curve and Sunway Pyramid are where the real sales action is happening.

The main people in downtown KL on a weekend (when the offices are closed) are our dear foreign workers. I have tried the Burmese and Nepalese restaurants there – they are delicious.

I'm surprised that our leaders have suddenly become very concerned about what foreign workers eat and buy.


8) Bersih - an economic stimulus program?

The way TV has been going on and on, you would think that Bersih has caused the economic collapse of Malaysia.

But think about this: 100,000 yellow T-shirts at RM20 each, wow, that works out to RM2 million in turnover, not bad for a day's sales event yeah? Too bad some Minister declared the T-shirts illegal.

And because of all the threats from the government to turn Beijing, I mean KL, into The Forbidden City, thousands of people came into town one night earlier. Hey, that's a lot of money being spent on hotel rooms.

What about all the money spent by outstation people who purposely came to KL for this historic event? And all the newspaper sales generated by the excitement of the news? And the free publicity for Malaysia in worldwide media?

If only the government had allowed it to be a peaceful event, the economic activity generated by 100,000 or more people coming to KL would have been much greater.


9) At least they won't raise the price of petrol now.

As a shopperholic, you know that once they raise the price of petrol, the prices of everything else will shoot up.

When former PM Badawi raised it to RM2.70, the price of Milo Ais at the mamak shop went up to RM1.80. Now that petrol is at RM1.90, do you see the price coming back down? Not a fat chance!

Thanks to the 50,000 brave people who risked arrest and tear gas at Bersih, do you think the government will dare raise the price of petrol any more?

No, they will cancel building some palace project some where and use the money to continue subsidising petrol – well, at least till the next elections.


10) One Saturday's shopping in exchange for a better future?

Even if you don't agree with the nine reasons above, here's the final question:

Can you, dear shopperholic, not sacrifice two or three hours of shopping out of 365 x 24 hours for Malaysia's long term future? During sales, you spend one hour circling MidValley Megamall to find parking anyway.

The main threat to our future well-being and prosperity is not some idealistic people in yellow T-shirts calling for fair democracy. The main threat is the billions of ringgit being wasted on submarines that cannot even submerge, stadiums in Terengganu that collapsed (what if it had fallen when the Agong was there?) and … I am sure you can fill in your own list.

The Minister Idris Jala showed lots of statistics, warning that Malaysia would become bankrupt in five years, before he claimed he was "misquoted".

This is YOUR money which you have paid in taxes. It should benefit you, rather than some politician's millionaire cronies.

But why should they care about you, if they are "voted" into power by 30 "supernatural" voters "living" in a house, while everyone in this world can see there is only one old grandmother living there?

Do you think the people who went for Bersih like being tear gassed, arrested and man-handled by the police? No. They went to demand that the voices and votes of ordinary people will count.

Even if you can afford to splash RM12,000 for a Gucci bag, and all this doesn't matter to you, please think about your children's (and other people's children's) futures. And the future of our nation.

Your children don't have to migrate to Singapore, Australia or America to enjoy a higher standard of living. If things are done right in Malaysia, this can be a far richer and greater country. That, ultimately, is what Bersih is about.

Alliance of mosquito parties with big brother cause of disunity – Jeffrey

Posted: 12 Jul 2011 11:02 AM PDT

(The Borneo Post) - TELUPID: Malaysia's political mess is due to diverging views of "mosquito" parties within the two alliances, according to Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.

In his response to a supporter's question on why the Sabah State Government has failed to capitalise on their "fixed deposit" position of strength, the Borneo Heritage Foundation's United Borneo Front (UBF) committee chairman replied that the federal powers, whether it be under Umno or PKR/PR, will always be more powerful because "they have successfully put into practice the divide and rule concept in Sabah.

"For as long as Umno holds the fort in Sabah, our leaders will sing the same tune even if some do not agree with the way things are run in this country. It will be no different with PKR/PR,"  he told a crowd of over 500 people at a Borneo Tea Party in Kampung Liningkung here on Sunday.

Jeffrey added, "If our Sabah leaders could rise above party politics and rally together towards the common agenda of speaking and acting in one voice for the greater welfare of the state they represent, we could actually resolve our problems. The leaders of every political party in Sabah have had their time and we've seen the same faces for decades. They have been silenced by their big brother in the alliance and for fear of being kicked out of an alliance they are willing to sing the chorus of the Federal powers even if the song is in conflict with our battle cry in Sabah.

"Where are all the political leaders of Sabah, who should by now come out in full force to support Tan Sri Bernard Dompok in his call for the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the illegal immigrant issue? They should stand up and be counted. As an NGO, the UBF supports his call and stands with him and UPKO on this issue."

Jeffrey also suggested that politics can only be healthy in this country if parties stood on their own without alliances so that people can identify with issues through manifestoes instead of uniting through the polarisation of race and religious based politics.

"Our country needs to be politically mature and adopt the same concept as the US, Australia and UK. The mosquito parties of Sabah and Sarawak should unite as one party and democratically elect one common leader to stand as equals against the big brother in the ruling government and the opposition.

"The alliances have done nothing but weaken our state leaders and silenced them into submission. In this current political climate, this is no longer acceptable. This is why at the beginning of our struggle, the UBF had made a call for the unity of all Sabah and Sarawak political parties to form a third force. If an alliance doesn't work, then we should all converge and form the third giant political party in this country," he said.

Jeffrey, meanwhile, called to allow natives to be given the power and democratic rights as a community to decide how to develop native customary rights (NCR) lands.

"These lands should not be given to companies or government agencies for joint venture developments nor should the idea of fast tracking development on NCR lands be imposed on natives.

"The government could take on an advisory role and encourage the community to understand the terms of fast tracking but it should not be imposed against their will. I have received complaints that the decision rests with the director of Land and Survey. This needs to be clarified as the director should not be empowered to act arbitrarily when it should rightfully be a community's decision," he said.

Jeffrey added that the government must set clear guidelines and develop an effective mechanism to manage and decide on native entitlements and inheritances based on NCR and custom.

"There have been complaints that civil servants are exempt from NCR and this is something which must be clarified by the government as it makes no sense to exclude their descendants' rights to inheritance.

"Every member of the community should be entitled to their own communal lands provided they are natives. This is a very serious and important issue for natives and one that should not be dismissed by any political leader in Sabah. We must resolve this issue with haste."

Opposition threatened legal action against the New Straits Times Press group

Posted: 12 Jul 2011 10:41 AM PDT

By Mazlinda Mahmood, NST

KUALA LUMPUR: The Opposition has threatened to initiate legal action against the New Straits Times Press group for allegedly printing a digitally altered picture of a Bersih 2.0 protestor on the frontpages of the New Straits Times and Berita Harian on July 10, a day after the rally.

Opposition Senator Saiful Izham Ramli said the picture gave a false image of Bersih 2.0 protestors as it was allegedly altered to show a protestor carrying a weapon to the rally instead of the Jalur Gemilang flag.

He claimed the published photo gave a negative impression and demanded the group to publish an apology on its frontpages.

Saiful Izham, who is a lawyer, gave NSTP group seven days to publish an apology before initiating a legal suit, adding that he has an original, undoctored copy of the picture which was given to him by one of the photographers covering the rally.

You asked for it, Ambiga tells Putrajaya

Posted: 12 Jul 2011 10:26 AM PDT

By Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said the Najib administration has only itself to blame for the overwhelming public response to Saturday's Bersih rally.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on its website yesterday, the chairman of the electoral reforms group also played down similarities to popular revolts in the Middle East, stating that there was never any intention to topple the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

"A government that comes across as such a great bully repulsed a lot of people. And I think that is why we had the numbers and the momentum that we did.

"Honestly, if they had allowed us to proceed and played it down, we would not have gotten those numbers," the former Bar Council president said, admitting that she at first doubted that the movement would gain such support.

Along with leading regional dailies such as the Jakarta Post and Singapore Straits Times, the WSJ has been critical of the government's handling of Bersih, which saw over a hundred arrests in a police dragnet that began over a week before the July 9 march.

The influential international business newspaper said that Datuk Seri Najib Razak's administration was creating an atmosphere of "fear and repression" which may result in the so far "silent majority" eventually voicing out against the prime minister.

Local politicians, including a deputy minister, have acknowledged the damage to Malaysia's international standing but Umno-controlled media such as Utusan Malaysia and some BN leaders continue to blame the opposition and biased news reports, especially from the foreign media for painting the government in a bad light.

Ambiga also said that Bersih was asking for electoral reforms, not a change of government unlike the uprisings in the Middle East known as the Arab Spring which has brought down governments in Egypt and Tunisia and plunged Libya into civil war.

"All we are doing is asking for a free and fair election. It is the government's disproportionate response that created a momentum. But we are still a peace-loving nation. We still want the government to be fair.

"To me it was never our intention and it is still not our intention to bring down this government. We want to work with this government, to improve our electoral system," she told the WSJ.



PM Najib's tyranny draws focus on bribes, murder

Posted: 12 Jul 2011 03:23 AM PDT

By Jarius Bondoc, The Philippine Star

Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make . . . Mad it was for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to prime the police into thinking days prior that last Saturday's opposition protest in Kuala Lumpur was illegal, and that seized firebomb stashes would have been used. Madder still, for him to have the 20,000 marchers tear-gassed and 1,667 arrested.

The rally was to call for electoral reforms, a domestic issue that attracted only the Malaysian press. But when riot squads aimed teargas canisters at opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's head, actually hitting his aide's eye, and causing the fatal heart attack of one demonstrator, the event drew world attention. Now international groups are denouncing the mayhem as proof of Najib's disregard for human rights. Worse, there's sudden global interest in an imminent subpoena of Najib to a Paris trial on kickbacks in purchasing three French submarines in 2002, and the consequent murder of a Mongolian socialite in 2006.

Malaysia's parliament will have no choice but to take up the brutal dispersal. Najib's home minister's claim has been debunked that police performed their duties "with bravery, fairness and integrity." Narratives jibe that marchers were on their way to a downtown stadium from different parts of the capital when confronted with teargas and chemical-laced water cannons. Even if the storm does not affect next year's setting of national polls, the fallout predictably will hurt Najib.

Najib allegedly has concocted sexcapades to bring down arch foe Anwar. Not only has the scheme backfired, Najib is now himself under fire for immorality. Trial is to begin of French arms giant DCN-Armaris for bribery in the 2002 submarine sale to Malaysia through then-defense minister Najib. Commissions supposedly came in three tranches: first euro 30 million upon contract signing, then euro 114 million subcontracted to an unknown firm owned by Najib's security adviser Razak Baginda, and last euro 2.5 million. From reports, Najib, Baginda, and their purported shared Mongolian girlfriend Altantuya Sharibu motored around France after sealing the deal. Najib and now London-based Baginda will be summoned to Paris as soon as a judge is assigned to the case this month or next.

The bribery worsened into kidnapping-murder when Altantuya raucously tried to collect her euro 350,000-share from Baginda in 2006. Najib's jealous wife Rosmah forbade the men from paying her a single cent, provoking Altantuya to picket their manor. Two Najib bodyguards abducted the pregnant Altantuya, shot her dead in the woods, and burned the corpse with military explosives. Party mates nevertheless made Najib prime minister in 2009. The bodyguards confessed and were convicted last year; Baginda was acquitted. Prosecutors, defense lawyers, and the judge were forbidden from mentioning the sleazy submarine deal during the trial. Still, Najib got an international black eye.

France has no power to compel the attendance of Najib or Baginda. But it can demand the truth from DCN-Armaris. The Malaysia Chronicle recently quoted Kuala Lumpur politicians as saying that if Najib snubs the trial he would in effect tell the world that he's guilty as charged.

And the world will be watching, now that Najib has turned the spotlight on himself with last weekend's tyrannical squashing of dissent.



Posted: 12 Jul 2011 01:00 AM PDT

Raja Petra, not known for his subtlety, responded immediately to the UMNO Information Chief with a flaming article entitled, "See you in hell Muhammad son of Muhammad," which also recalled prior corruption charges against his detractor and highlighted Raja Petra's family ties to royalty. On July 25, police called in Raja Petra for 8 hours of questioning before releasing him. Raja Petra claimed that UMNO's police report and his questioning was part of "an agenda to clamp down on blogs before the coming general election in a move to black out news."


Raja Petra Kamarudin







E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/30/2017





Classified By: Classified By: Political Section Chief Mark D. Clark for reasons 1.4 (b and d).


1.  (C) Bloggers fear the recent police actions against two prominent online political commentators, Nathaniel Tan and Raja Petra Kamarudin, presage a Government of Malaysia (GOM) crackdown on the freedoms of speech and the press in cyberspace.  GOM leaders and officials from the dominant United Malays National Organization (UMNO) justified the moves as necessary to check irresponsible bloggers who incite racial and religious hatred. 

The GOM has announced its readiness to use the Internal Security Act, the Sedition Act, and Section 121b of the Penal Code against bloggers, and there is some discussion of introducing new legislation to plug legal loopholes.  Prominent political leaders including the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are warning bloggers and cyber-activists they are not immune from the law, and will face prosecution for transgressions such as insulting Islam and the King, and inciting the population through "lies" on websites. 

Opposition leaders and human rights NGOs are condemning the police actions and public threats, stating these are politically motivated and meant to instill "a news blackout" and squelch dissent prior to the anticipated general elections.  The Internet is Malaysia's last bastion of press freedom and the arena for incessant rumor-mongering among the country's elites. 

Opposition parties and government critics rely heavily on the Internet because the GOM controls access to traditional media outlets to favor UMNO and the ruling National Front (Barisan Nasional, BN).  The GOM clearly has fired a warning shot into cyberspace in an effort to rein in outspoken critics.  End Summary.

First salvo fired against cyber-activists

2.  (SBU) The GOM fired its opening salvo on Internet bloggers on July 13 when it arrested Nathaniel Tan, a People's Justice Party (PKR) webmaster and blogger, after corruption allegations against Deputy Internal Security Minister Johari Baharom were posted by a third party on Tan's website (reftel).  When police detained Tan, they reportedly denied him access to his lawyer, the chance to inform his family of his arrest, and concealed his whereabouts while processing his arrest. 

P. Uthayakumar, a coordinator for the NGO Police Watch, spotted Mr. Tan when police took him before a magistrate and notified Mr. Tan's lawyer of his whereabouts.  Tan, released on bail after four days, was held for suspicion of "wrongful communication of an official secret."  While police reportedly questioned Tan regarding information on the Johari corruption story, Tan's lawyer, R. Sivarasa, stated, "I want to go on record (to say) this detention is politically motivated."

3.  (U) Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader and member of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), condemned the "secretive circumstances in the first seven hours of Tan's arrest".  He also called it "a scandal which speaks of a police which has yet to fully accept that the first principle of policing in a democratic system must be policing for the people and not policing to serve the government leaders of the day." 

Former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, the human rights NGO Suaram, the Malaysian Bar Council, the Center for Independent Journalism, and the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) all condemned Mr. Tan's arrest while The Sun newspaper described his arrest as "politically motivated."

UMNO Takes On Cyber Gadfly

4.  (U) UMNO Information Chief Muhammad Muhammad Taib filed a police report on July 23 (11 days after Mr. Tan's arrest) against the political website Malaysia Today and its outspoken webmaster Raja Petra.  A cousin to the current Sultan of Selangor, Raja Petra set up his website in 2004 and it is now one of the most popular news websites in the country.  About 30 UMNO leaders accompanied the Information Chief when he filed the police report.  He claimed the postings and articles were disrespectful to the King and Islam, and had the potential to "create unrest in the country and strike fear in the people."  The UMNO Information Chief urged the police to take swift action, and stated the portal's contents could undermine unity and corrupt young minds "to think that there are no rules and sensitivities governing articles and that anyone can write on any matter in the name of individual freedom."

5.  (U) Several senators and defacto Law Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz joined the chorus in the subsequent days.  Nazri stated the government would take legal action against bloggers who flagrantly belittle Islam or the King using three laws:  the Internal Security Act (ISA), the Sedition Act, and Section 121b of the Penal Code (which relates to offenses against the King, Sultans, or Governors that entails life imprisonment if convicted). 

He cited as an example a blog entry belittling Islam in which the writer described the religion as, "a big lie fabricated by Arabs who had put a huge rock (the Kaabah) in the middle of the desert."  The Minister claimed the comment was not only ill mannered but could provoke anger among Muslims. 

Nazri also stated the government was considering formulating new laws allowing it to monitor and act against offending bloggers, and closing  any legal loopholes.  He stressed that the proposed legislation's intent is not to strangle the freedom of the Internet but to put a stop to the "freedom to lie in the blogosphere."  The Minister explained, "We want blogs to be clean, a place to obtain accurate information, a reference point for honest opinion, not a platform to abuse and slander people."

6.  (SBU) Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has been savaged in Malaysia's blogs for corruption and alleged tie-ins to the Altantuya murder scandal, explained to the public June 23 that UMNO Information Chief's filing of the police report against Raja Petra did not signal the GOM made a "special decision" to clamp down on bloggers. 

He added, "everyone must be aware that there are laws in this country." However, the DPM's comments regarding bloggers were harsher later that night while speaking at the Malaysian Press Institute Press Awards.  There, he noted the government was deeply troubled by the growth of "irresponsible" alternative media.  He explained, "In the name of freedom, these websites allow the broadcast of slander, lies, and swearing, the use of harsh, degrading language and racial slurs without regard for the reader or those concerned." 

He stressed the government's tolerance of antigovernment positions and criticisms on the Internet, but "we are very concerned about statements that insult religion and reek of racism."  He warned that webmasters and web journalists are not exempt from laws and the GOM "will not permit any party to disturb the nation's harmony and cause unease among the community."

Police Summon Raja Petra

7.  (U) Raja Petra, not known for his subtlety, responded immediately to the UMNO Information Chief with a flaming article entitled, "See you in hell Muhammad son of Muhammad," which also recalled prior corruption charges against his detractor and highlighted Raja Petra's family ties to royalty.  On July 25, police called in Raja Petra for 8 hours of questioning before releasing him.  Raja Petra claimed that UMNO's police report and his questioning was part of "an agenda to clamp down on blogs before the coming general election in a move to black out news."

8.  (U) Many of the same opposition politicians and activists who rallied behind Nathanial Tan raised further alarm over Raja Petra's predicament.  Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang stated the police report against Raja Petra was an attempt to clampdown on "criticism, dissent, and expose (sic) of abuses of power and corrupt practices in the run-up to the coming general election."  He added that the government should not use criminal laws "to arrest, intimidate, and silence any one." 

Understandably, the blogging community immediately came out in support of Raja Petra.  They claim the police report against Malaysia Today and Nathaniel Tan's earlier arrest represent a GOM attempt to intimidate other bloggers and clampdown on "press freedom in cyberspace."

Dr. Toh Kim Win, a Penang Gerakan state cabinet minister, was the only prominent government leader to voice support for the blogging community.  He said UMNO's police report (against Raja Petra) represents a "growing trend towards stifling dissent in our country."  He added, "These trends, if not stopped, will further erode the democratic space, which is already limited, in our country."  He urged the government to promote not only economic development, but also human rights.  With no apparent sense of irony, former Prime Minister Mahathir, himself once a champion of muzzling the press, described the government's attempt to clampdown on bloggers as an exercise in futility, one that wouldn't stop information flowing over the Internet.

PM Weighs In, Finds Himself Subject of Police Complaint

9.  (SBU) Upon returning from his honeymoon travel, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi weighed in, warning on July 29 that Malaysia's laws would not spare those who spread "lies" on the Internet.  Abdullah added bloggers and Internet posters "do not have the freedom to do whatever they like."

Responding to Raja Petra's claim police cannot charge him under Malaysian law because his site is registered overseas, the Prime Minister said, "It is not for them (bloggers) to claim that they are immune from the law simply because their websites are hosted overseas where they have the right to say anything."

10. (U) In an ironic tit-for-tat act, opposition DAP member Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew filed a police report regarding a "seditious posting" on the Prime Minister's official website, originally posted on November 14, 2005.  The posting conveyed anti-Chinese sentiments.  Raja Petra reported the filing on his website, adding he expected the police to respond to the filing and question the Prime Minister within two days, as they had done with him.  The postings were removed on July 30 after they were made public and a police report filed.

11.  (SBU) Until recently, the GOM generally has refrained from actively policing political content the Internet, in part out of a pledge made to foster development of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) and the Internet market in Malaysia.  Beginning in 2004, the GOM began making statements on the need to introduce "cyber laws to control the Internet," but it made little use of the regulatory authority over on-line speech vested in the Communications and Multimedia Commission. 

In December 2006, Kong Cho Ha, Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, stated Malaysia may introduce tough Internet laws to control bloggers and prevent them from spreading "disharmony, chaos, seditious material and lies" on their websites.  Early in

2007, some senior Embassy contacts alluded to internal GOM discussions on ways to rein in Internet news reporting and bloggers in particular.  In January 2007, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi said although government policy is not to censor the Internet, "bloggers are bound by laws on defamation, sedition, and other limits of speech." 

The Prime Minister's comment referred to the defamation lawsuit filed by the News Straits Times (NST), an English language newspaper owned by UMNO, against Jeff Ooi and Ahirudin Atan (aka Rocky), another prominent blogger, for their blogs and their readers' comments regarding the newspaper's editors' roles in misrepresenting facts, publishing a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad, and alleged plagiarism by its journalists.  Given UMNO's control over the NST, the paper's lawsuit is seen by many as the GOM's first move against cyber-activists and bloggers.


12.  (C) With the mainstream media -- television, print and radio -- largely under the thumb of UMNO and the ruling National Front, and a number of important national topics ruled out of bounds, including most recently the "Islamic state" controversy, the Internet is the remaining bastion for wide ranging criticism of the government and discussion of otherwise taboo political subjects. 

The Internet is also the focus of incessant rumor-mongering among the country's elites, honed to a fine art by the likes of Raja Petra who kept the milling turning, often without any solid information to back up his sensational reports. 

Opposition figures, largely unable to access the mainstream press, rely heavily on the Internet to reach Malaysia's computer-savvy upper class, while realizing that this information does not readily penetrate down to the grassroots.  The Internet has helped government critics fan corruption stories, aided Mahathir in his ill-fated challenge against PM Abdullah last year, and kept alive allegations of DPM Najib's links to the Altantuya murder case.

13.  (C) The GOM clearly has fired a warning shot into cyberspace in an effort to rein in outspoken critics ahead of the impending elections; government pressure on the blogging community through complaints and police actions seems very much tied to the preparation of the election ground. 

Senior government officials and UMNO leaders have made clear that the sniping from cyberspace rankles deeply, and UMNO has a strong interest in weakening the opposition's electronic platform at this particular time.  Even if this does not evolve into a real crackdown, the government warnings and criminal investigations of Tan and Raja Petra could send a chill through Malaysia's boisterous Internet community that will temper some voices.  We doubt, however, that others will allow themselves to be silenced and the GOM, like other governments, will find the Internet difficult to constrain.

The Embassy supports freedom of speech on the Internet through active and carefully calibrated public affairs programming, including through expert U.S. speakers and support to seminars, and we seek to engage government and opinion leaders behind the scenes to preserve Internet space for the broad range of Malaysian viewpoints.



Mat Zain wants Altantuya accused retried

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 10:05 PM PDT

(The Malaysian Inisder) - Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim urged today Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to step in and relook the Attorney-General's (A-G) prosecution of two policemen now on death row for the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.

The retired cop accused the A-G of mishandling the case, which reflects a miscarriage of justice as the motive for murder was never found.

The former head of the KL Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has repeatedly accused A-G Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail of having deceived the federal government and former prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in several high-profile cases ranging from the infamous 'black eye" incident involving Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to most recently, the trial of Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik in the multi-billion ringgit Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project.

In an open letter today, Mat Zain suggested that Abdul Gani's handling of the prosecution in the Altantuya murder case had blocked the court from giving a fair trial to the two men accused of murdering the former mistress of PM Najib's once close friend, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda.

"The possibility exists that there was miscarriage of justice, whether deliberate or otherwise, that caused the court to sentence to death Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar [Umar]," Mat Zain said in the letter to the PM; a copy was also sent to the media.

The ex-cop drew parallels between the Altantuya murder case and that of former beauty queen Jean Perera Sinappa who was also discovered murdered in April 1979 near the Subang airport.

Mat Zain recounted that in the 32 year-old case, Sinappa's brother-in-law, Kartigesu, who was accused of her murder and sentenced to death was later freed after the Court of Appeal found that one of the witnesses, Jayatilake, had lied in his testimony.

In comparison, Abdul Gani had "buried" possibly crucial evidence in the Altantuya trial, namely private investigator P. Balasubramian's two contradictory statutory declarations (SD), that could help both Azilah and Sirul Azhar.

"I conclude that Gani Patail's action to bury the testimony in Balasubramaniam's two SDs made on 3 and 4 July 2008, from being presented for tghe judge's consideration in the then-ongoing Altantuya murder trial had denied the two accused, C/Insp.Azilah dan Koporal Sirul, justice," Mat Zain said.

He stressed that the A-G has the discretion to begin, manage or end a criminal proceeding, under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution.

"But the A-G does not have the right or power to abuse his authority or perform a criminal act such as creating false testimony, cheat, hide or bury testimony from being presented for the judge's consideration and other criminal acts," the retired cop said.

"If he does any of these, he too is bound by the laws under the Criminal Procedure Code, same as everyone else," he added, and reminded the PM of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's message to the public on July 3 that "no one [is] above the law".


Q&A: Malaysia’s Ambiga Sreenevasan

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 09:38 PM PDT

The question now is whether Malaysia's opposition groups can capitalize on the momentum from Saturday's rally and force further changes in one of Southeast Asia's linchpin economies– or if voters will continue to stick with Mr. Najib and the ruling coalition that has dominated Malaysia since it gained independence from Britain several decades ago.

By Celine Fernandez, The Wall Street Journal 

An estimated 20,000 protesters gathered in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday to call for reforms to Malaysia's electoral system. The surprisingly large turnout—and the government's tough response, with water cannons and tear gas—appears to have galvanized the country's opposition, which until recently had struggled to gain traction against a government led by Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The protesters believe Malaysia's government must reform to reduce electoral fraud and create a level playing field for all parties, including the opposition. Government officials say rally organizers were trying to embarrass the government, garner sympathy for opposition politicians and threaten social order.

The question now is whether Malaysia's opposition groups can capitalize on the momentum from Saturday's rally and force further changes in one of Southeast Asia's linchpin economies– or if voters will continue to stick with Mr. Najib and the ruling coalition that has dominated Malaysia since it gained independence from Britain several decades ago.

The Wall Street Journal's Celine Fernandez recently spoke with Ambiga Sreenevasan, chairwoman of Bersih 2.0 (or the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections), a coalition of activists that organized Saturday's rally. A former president of the Malaysian Bar Council, she was the first Malaysian to receive the U.S. Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award for championing human rights, the status of women and religious tolerance in Malaysia.

Here are some edited excerpts from the interview:

Q: Your organization has built up some momentum with Saturday's rally. What is the next move for Bersih?

A: Our agenda for electoral reform still stands firm, but we have two priority items which we think should be resolved. The first, of course, is that we express terrible regret at the death of Baharuddin Ahmad (a man who died of a heart attack during the rally), and we are very concerned at the manner in which it occurred. One of our top priority items is to refer the issue of the excessive use of the police force upon the rally to Suhakam (the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia). And we are asking them for a full investigation.

(Editor's note: Malaysian authorities have said they believe the man's death was from natural causes and not related to the rally. They have also defended the police's use of tear gas and water cannons, saying they were provoked into action and had to act to protect public order, and relied on minimal force to disperse crowds).

The second priority item for us is the release of those held under the Emergency Ordinance (including a number of activists arrested in connection with the rally). We are very, very, very concerned about the reports we are getting, about the manner in which they have been treated. We call for their unconditional release.

We are pushing for the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry consisting of experts acceptable to the people to look into comprehensive electoral reform before the 13th General Elections (Malaysia's next elections, which must be called by spring 2013), and we reiterate our call for this to the government.

Q: Will you hold more rallies?

A: I do not see it happening in the near future.

Q: What are the most important reforms needed in Malaysia, and why? Is it just about electoral reforms, or are other changes needed?

A: Immediately, we want a more level playing field for the 13th General Elections. But apart from that, in the last six weeks, I think Bersih has become more than just a movement for electoral reform. I think that there is a real yearning for a higher standard of democratic values. People are utterly, utterly shocked by the abuse of power displayed by the government. So it has also become about the integrity of our institutions and the manner of governance and the abuse of power. I think people were very moved by that, and that is why we got the numbers that we did.

Q: What benefits would come from those reforms, and why are they needed in Malaysia?

A: The benefits would be providing a more level playing field and we think it brings legitimacy to the government who wins. If you come in because of free and fair elections, it would be something that would be more acceptable to the people.

Q: If Malaysia had truly free and fair elections, what do you think would happen?

A: I really can't predict. I wouldn't want to even begin to predict, actually. All I can tell you is that we will get a government who truly reflects the will of the people. And that's all we want.

Q: Why do you think the government cracked down so hard on Saturday?

A:  Really, I fail to completely understand that. But I think they acted because they have taken a position and they were not prepared to move from that position. And they wanted to teach us a lesson, not by reason, but by force. I had made this statement earlier: They thought might could win over right, but I am afraid might can never win over right. Right always ultimately wins.

Q: The government says Bersih is really just a front for opposition parties and is trying to promote their interests ahead of any national election. They note that Anwar Ibrahim (Malaysia's most prominent opposition leader) played a conspicuous role at Saturday's rally. Is the government's criticism fair?

A: Not at all fair, because we invited all political parties including Barisan Nasional (Malaysia's ruling coalition) to support us. How can you say the cause for free and fair elections is only for the opposition? It is for everybody. Pakatan Rakyat (Malaysia's main coalition of opposition parties) did support Bersih. What's wrong with that? Pakatan Rakyat members are also citizens of this country. Are they not entitled to support a movement for free and fair elections?

Q: The government also says you're also trying to destabilize the country and undermine public order. Is that fair?

A: Totally unfair. So far, I have refused to respond to personal allegations. My issue is please judge me by my conduct and the government by their conduct. And let the public draw their own conclusions.

Q: Many people have said it took a lot of courage to organize Saturday's rally. Why are you doing this? What drove you to get involved and take such a leadership role in Bersih? Do you feel like you are putting yourself at any risk?

A: A few NGOs approached me and asked me to lead a civil society movement for free and fair elections, which I was very willing to do because it was for a good cause. And I did not for one minute think there was anything controversial about this topic. We thought we won't even get the numbers – we were worried about how to publicize the event. We never expected the government to react the way it did. I certainly did not want any of this attention that I am getting. I don't know why the focus was on me. We have 14 steering committee members. I was not making decisions on my own. We had nongovernmental organization members who had their views as well.

A government that comes across as such a great bully repulsed a lot of people. And I think that is why we had the numbers and the momentum that we did. Honestly, if they had allowed us to proceed and played it down, we would not have gotten those numbers. That's why you saw on that day, ordinary citizens, and these are not even members of political parties, from all walks of life, old, young, all races, all religions. Where have you ever seen that?  And how does the government read it? They come back on Monday and attack Bersih again. Those are the people you are attacking. Those are the voters you are attacking. They are not reading the situation properly at all. But I still say there is time to salvage, to reconcile, and I hope the government will seek to do that.

Q: Although there are obviously major differences between Malaysia and countries such as Egypt, Tunisia or Syria, any demonstration these days inevitably invite comparisons to the Arab Spring protests. Are there are any similarities here?

A: No similarities, in my view. They were in a completely different situation. Here, all we are doing is asking for a free and fair election. It is the government's disproportionate response that created a momentum. But we are still a peace-loving nation. We still want the government to be fair. To me it was never our intention and it is still not our intention to bring down this government. We want to work with this government, to improve our electoral system.

Q: How deep is the support for Bersih?

A: When you look online, you will find it growing exponentially. I am amazed at how it has taken off. Bersih is not a word any more. It is an idea. It is a feeling. It is a passion, which is why you can never kill it.

Q: There is a Facebook page with 100,000 people requesting Najib Razak's resignation. What do you think about that?

A: We have nothing to do with that. It is never and has never been Bersih's intention for the prime minister to step down.  As I said, we want to work with the prime minister and his government to have a better electoral system.


A Most Disconcerting Scenario

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 09:28 PM PDT


By Masterwordsmith

Life is very complicated without politicians giving conflicting views of the same topic at different times. With such developments, it is easy for people to feel even more anger and frustration instead of patience with those elected to office.

According to this report HERE, : MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek came out in defence of the police firing tear gas into the compound of Tung Shin Hospital by saying pictures can be deceiving and it is difficult to determine what exactly transpired at the hospital on Saturday. 

"A picture may not convey the total story, depending on the angle the picture is shot," he said.

In Malaysiakini, he said, "If they want to make you look bad, they can," said the party chief.

How ironical! He should know because he lost his position as Minister of Health and MCA VP 3.5 years ago because of a video scandal.

According to Wikipedia HERE:

On January 1, 2008, Chua admitted that he was the person featured in a sensational sex DVD that was widely being circulated in Johor. The two DVDs were distributed anonymously in Muar and other towns in Johor show Dr Chua having sex with a young woman, described by him as a "personal friend." The DVDs are believed to be wireless hidden camera recordings in a hotel suite. 
He claimed no involvement in the filming or production of the DVD in question.[4] On January 2, 2008, he formally announced his resignation from all posts including Member of Parliament for Labis, vice presidency of MCA, and Minister of Health at a press conference.


Yet, when the sex videos surfaced, a certain MP was accused of being the man in the video recording. Looks like some people will accept or reject the authenticity of a video recording based on their personal slants in the issue.

What is MORE disconcerting would be CONTRASTING reports on same issue by the same MSM.

According to THIS REPORT Hospital staff witnessed teargas attack, despite police denials (last updated on 11 July 2011 - 12:36pm):



Why don’t the politicians shut the fuck up?

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 09:12 PM PDT

Ambiga has to put her foot down and tell the politicians to go take a hike. She has to show the politicians who the boss is. She must not be afraid to reveal the truth. I do not want her to resign. And if she has to tell the politicians to shut the fuck up then so be it. I will stand by her and support her if she needs to kick out the politicians and keep BERSIH free from political interference.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Demo not organised by political parties: Hadi Awang

(Bernama) - PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had on Monday, July 11 denied that the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections' (Bersih) illegal rally in the federal capital was organised by political parties.

He said the illegal rally, which he also participated in, was joined by Malaysians of all walks of life.

He said this when speaking to his supporters who had gathered at the Sultan Mahmud Airport here to welcome him on his return to Terengganu. Hadi also said that he was treated well by the police while being detained for participating in the illegal rally on Saturday. 


Bersih 3.0 if no electoral reforms before GE, says PAS

PAS has called on the Najib administration to bow to Bersih's eight-point reforms to the electoral system or face a repeat of the rally that plunged the capital into chaos on Saturday.

Party deputy president Mohamad Sabu said today it would hold another rally before the next general election if the Election Commission (EC) failed to implement the reforms demanded by the coalition of 62 NGOs.

"The EC should act. If there is no action by the next election, we will suggest that Bersih holds another demonstration," he said at a press conference.

Despite Bersih claiming that 50,000 had poured into the city last weekend, Mohamad threatened a larger rally, stating that "PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang has already said this is only the beginning."

He also said the Islamist party would ask Bersih to declare Saturdays "Bersih Day" where members of the public should wear yellow to show their support for free and fair elections.

Asked if he was calling for the public to disobey the law, Mohamad said "the yellow shirts are only illegal to Umno but no court has declared them unlawful."



We appear to be getting mixed signals from BERSIH and the political parties. On the one hand we are told that BERSIH is a non-political party, rakyat's initiative. On the other hand the politicians are making all sorts of statements regarding BERSIH. I just pity Ambiga who must be having sleepless nights trying to do damage control on the statements the politicians are making.

Can the politicians just please shut the fuck up and leave BERSIH alone?

Okay, some politicians or political leaders may be in BERSIH, even in the committee proper. But they should be in BERSIH in their individual capacities and not as their party representatives.

The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) President, Haris Ibrahim, is also in the committee. But he is there in his personal capacity as Haris Ibrahim and not as the President of MCLM. So whatever statements he makes is a statement from Haris Ibrahim and not a statement from MCLM.

Sure, Mat Sabu can make statements regarding BERSIH if he so wishes. Whether these statements are made with the approval or request of the BERSIH committee or on his own initiative I do not know. But whatever it may be he should speak as a BERSIH committee member and not as a PAS leader.

I have noticed that others such as Anwar Ibrahim and the PAS president are also making statements. Anwar even said he is prepared to call off the 9th July 2001 BERSIH rally if the government can commit itself to electoral reforms.

Are Anwar Ibrahim, the PAS president, etc., in the BERSIH committee? If not then why are they making statements on behalf of BERSIH? If they are in the committee then did BERSIH request them to make these statements on behalf of BERSIH? If BERSIH did request them to make these statements should they not be making the statements in the name of BERSIH instead of in the name of their political parties? 

When I write articles such as these in Malaysia Today they ignore what I say. When anyone asks them about what I write they just brush it off and say that I am out of touch and no longer know what is happening on the ground and that I should just be ignored. Some even say that I am being paid by Najib Tun Razak to whack the opposition so no need to take heed with what I say. Then when I appear on TV3 and repeat all that I have said they get angry.

But do they give me any choice? We try to talk to them 'behind closed doors' but get nowhere. I write article after article and they just brush them off as laments from someone out of touch with the ground. How else do we get their attention? Maybe it is time I did a second interview with TV3 to say what I want to say on national television.

BERSIH is a good thing. Even some people in Barisan Nasional think so. But once the politicians hijack BERSIH and give the impression that the political parties are the hidden hands behind BERSIH that screws things up big time.

I really won't be surprised if Ambiga throws in the towel and gives up. And that would be a crying shame. Then who takes over BERSIH? Anwar Ibrahim? Abdullah Ahmad Badawi? Khairy Jamaluddin, maybe?

We need Ambiga to stay on and to continue to head BERSIH. But it is becoming harder and harder for her to do that if BERSIH is going to be seen as a tool of the politicians or a vehicle for Anwar Ibrahim. That is the bottom line. The politicians are slaying the goose that lays the golden egg. BERSIH is all we have to achieve electoral reforms. Even then we are not sure if we can see electoral reforms.

There are some events that happened on 9th July 2011 that have raised quite a lot of concern. I do not want to talk about them yet but will if it becomes necessary. Luckily some people in BERSIH smelled trouble and quickly took decisions to save the day. If not we may have seen disaster on that day.

I am concerned that the effort by the politicians to hijack BERSIH may only be part of the issue. My bigger concern is that there may be a hidden agenda or udang sebalik batu. But then, as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad always says: I have a suspicious mind. And I am a strong believer in conspiracy theories.

Ambiga has to put her foot down and tell the politicians to go take a hike. She has to show the politicians who the boss is. She must not be afraid to reveal the truth. I do not want her to resign. And if she has to tell the politicians to shut the fuck up then so be it. I will stand by her and support her if she needs to kick out the politicians and keep BERSIH free from political interference.

BERSIH's future depends on how she exerts her authority and not allow herself to be usurped by politicians who have their own hidden agenda and are trying to use BERSIH in achieving this. If not then BERSIH 2.0 will be the last we see of the effort to see electoral reforms in Malaysia. And if we do not see electoral reforms then Barisan Nasional is going to be in power till the end of time.

That is the crux to the whole matter.


Malaysian government runs scared

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 07:30 PM PDT

By Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver Sun

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak and his National Front government that has ruled the country for 54 years are exhibiting acute anxiety as new elections approach.

A demonstration on Saturday in Kuala Lumpur by a coalition of opposition and civil society groups demanding electoral reform was dealt with by the authorities far more harshly than the situation appears to have warranted.

The authorities' swift recourse to riot squads, volleys of tear gas, water cannon and the arrest of 1,600 people, is being widely seen as evidence of the National Front's fear it may be defeated in elections that must be held by 2013.

At the same time, reports from Paris say French prosecutors are near the end of their investigation of allegedly corrupt payments of $200 million involved in the $2-billion sale to Malaysia of Scorpene submarines by French arms manufacturer DCNS in 2002.

Najib was defence minister at the time and the $200 million was paid to a company controlled by some of his closest associates and advisers.

There is also the question of whether the murder of Mongolian model and translator, Altantuya Sharriibuu, the mistress of Najib's chief negotiator on the submarine deal, is linked to the scandal.

Two of Najib's bodyguards have been convicted of murdering Altantuya. Their appeal against their conviction and sentence that they be hanged is due to be heard shortly after a twoyear delay.

With these storm clouds gathering it is understandable that Najib may be fretful as he contemplates his first election since taking over as prime minister in April 2009 and assuming the leadership of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the dominant party in the National Front governing coalition.

Najib took over from Abdullah Badawi, who oversaw the ruling coalition, when in the 2008 elections it lost for the first time its two-thirds majority in parliament.

Provincial elections also saw parties of the opposition People's Alliance win control of five of Malaysia's 13 states.

Abdullah's lacklustre performance and departure followed a massive opposition rally in 2007 by a group called Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, which also organized Saturday's march in Kuala Lumpur.

The group contends Malaysia's elections are far from free and fair because of inadequate voter registration lists, widespread fraud and gerrymandering of constituencies.

It wants wholesale reform of the process, including guaranteed access to government-linked media for opposition parties.

The Najib government's anxiety about this demonstration has been evident for several weeks. The human rights organization Amnesty International has described the response to the protest and the events leading up to it as "the worst campaign of repression we've seen in decades."

Over the last two weeks police have detained more than 200 people nationwide for trying to promote the rally, which was banned by the authorities.

Early last week, there was an unusual intervention by Malaysia's king, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, who got demonstration leaders to agree to hold their rally in Kuala Lumpur's Merdeka Stadium.

The Najib government at first agreed to this compromise, but then changed its mind and reinforced the ban. Merdeka Stadium management said the facility was not available because it is still being renovated after a Justin Bieber concert in April.

To reinforce the ban, police cordoned off the centre of Kuala Lumpur on Friday evening, sealed off roads, closed railways stations and deployed water cannon trucks in readiness.

However, somehow thousands of people evaded these attempts to thwart them.

Exactly how many people took part is unclear. The authorities say it was only 6,000 or so. The organizers say it was 50,000. Independent observers put the number at from 10,000 to 20,000.

What is not in dispute is that they were given no leeway and were met with volleys of tear gas and chemicallaced water from the start.

Among those injured was Anwar Ibrahim, leader of the opposition People's Alliance, who warned the Najib government will face an "hibiscus revolution" -the hibiscus is Malaysia's national flower -unless there is reform.

Najib's state of mind is evident in his response.

"Don't doubt our strength," he said. "If we want to create chaos, we can. UMNO [his party] has three million members. If we gather one million members, it is more than enough. We can conquer Kuala Lumpur."


Does Malaysia’s ruling party under under Prime Minister Najib Razak have a death wish?

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 07:23 PM PDT

By Dr. Bibhu Prasad Routray, Al Arabiya News

What amazes analysts of Malaysian politics is the sheer detestation the government demonstrates towards the opposition. In this politically polarized island nation of 28 million people, Prime Minister Najib Razak has made no attempt whatsoever to reach out to the opposition to evolve a consensus politics and erect an electoral system that provides fair ground for competition to both the ruling party and the opposition.

Presiding over the longest continuing ruling party of the world, it is natural for Prime Minister Najib Razak to develop some false sense of invincibility and resultant arrogance. However, political events since 2008 have demonstrated that the grip of United Malays National Organization (UMNO) on the country's politics might be waning.

The 9 July rally by Bersih, a conglomeration of about 63 political parties and NGOs, was indeed significant for several reasons. Centered on the issue of corruption free politics and a range of measures to ensure free and fair elections, it was Bersih's second rally since 2008.

The rally made a lot people exposed to the genuine electoral reform demands of the opposition and evoked passions of direct participants as well as non-participants to be a part of the vision the opposition has for the country. It also left a lot many people unhappy with the way the government imposed confrontational shutdown measures to ensure that the rally was not a success.

Observers of Malaysian politics indicate that electoral reform as per Bersih's demands will invariably lead to the ruling party's defeat. This provides ample reason to UMNO to be skeptical of Bersih. In the last election in 2008, UMNO received only one-third of the country's votes. It, however, managed to bring together other political parties under a coalition that claimed power. This is becoming increasingly clear to many of the country's voters, who are now aided by the social media as well as foreign media channels.

This is precisely why the government wants to control the functioning of the foreign media in the country. Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on 11 July threatened to take legal action against "irresponsible foreign media," which he says sensationalized the coverage of the 9 July Bersih rally. Unlike the largely state controlled media in the country, footages provided by the foreign media showed the police beating rally participants, firing tear gas canisters and even directing water canons on a retreating crowd. It made quite clear to the people that the government was afraid of the opposition's demands and wanted to sabotage it at any cost.

The reaction of the government to the 9 July rally is indeed indicative of its threatened mindset. Prime Minister Najib Razak referred to a "lust to become prime minister" in opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, forgetting that aspiration to become prime minister by an opposition leader is not such a horrifying thing.

Prime Minister Razak's popularity increased to 72 per cent according to an independent survey, results of which were published in June 2010. Notwithstanding the results of this one-year-old survey, experts indicate that racial politics has since undermined UMNO's acceptability among the country's voters.

The opposition parties have been buoyed by the results of the 9 July rally and now want to continue with similar program in the provinces.

Malaysia's Economic Transformation Program (ETP), an ambitious project to convert the country into a fully developed nation by 2020 remains critically linked to foreign investment. The ETP requires annual foreign investment in the range of $11 billion to fund a quarter of the proposed projects. However, average annual investment since 1997 has only been $3.1 billion.

A March 2011 report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch ranked Malaysia the second least popular market after Colombia among global emerging market fund managers. Malaysia, thus, is in no position to project a picture of chaos and disruption to the investors from outside.

But UMNO under Najib Razak appears to have a death wish. It appears to have no hesitation to sacrifice its own goal of bringing economic development for the sake of staying on in power. For how long it manages to do so, is a mere question of time.

(Dr. Bibhu Prasad Routray is an independent analyst based in Singapore and has previously been Deputy Director, India's National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).


Isu saham: Anak saudara Sultan Selangor mohon bonda dipenjara

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 07:22 PM PDT

(The Malaysian Insider) - Mahkamah Tinggi di sini memberi kebenaran kepada Putera Azamuddin Shah Abdul Shah, anak saudara Sultan Selangor, memfailkan permohonan komital untuk memenjarakan bondanya sendiri kerana didakwa mengingkari perintah mahkamah.

Kebenaran itu diberikan pada 23 Jun lepas dan permohonan itu sepatutnya didengar pada Selasa di hadapan Hakim Amelia Tee Hong Geok Abdullah.

Dipetik Bernama Online, peguam Datuk Rajan Navaratnam yang mewakili Putera Azamuddin Shah memberitahu pemberita bahawa hakim menetapkan 26 Julai ini untuk perbicaraan kes itu disebabkan peguam yang mewakili, Tengku Putri Arafiah ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz (gambar) yang merupakan adinda Sultan Selangor, tidak hadir ke mahkamah.

Pada 8 Jun lepas, Putera Azamuddin Shah memohon perintah komital itu kerana bondanya itu gagal menandatangani dan mematuhi perjanjian jual beli saham syarikat Sunshine Fleet Sdn Bhd berjumlah RM2 juta.

Mengikut notis usul, Putera Azamuddin Shah berkata mahkamah telah membenarkan permohonannya untuk perintah pelaksanaan spesifik pada 19 April lalu dan bondanya dikehendaki menandatangani dan mematuhi perjanjian jual beli saham itu dalam tempoh lima hari selepas itu.

Bagaimanapun, beliau mendakwa bondanya sehingga kini dengan sengaja tidak berbuat demikian dan ia jelas mengingkari perintah mahkamah.

Afidavit sokongan Putera Azamuddin Shah menyatakan bahawa bondanya telah bersetuju untuk membeli kesemua 100,000 unit saham miliknya dalam syarikat Sunshine Fleet Sdn Bhd.


Ambiga clarifies meeting with Pak Lah

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 06:34 PM PDT

(The Malaysian Insider) - Bersih 2.0 chief Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan clarified today she was advised to act according to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's wishes over last Saturday's rally and declined to comment further on the private conversation she had with former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Ambiga also told a news conference today that the ex-PM had only urged her to heed the King's unprecedented advice when she and Abdullah met last week prior to the Bersih 2.0 rally.

"Yes, [Abdullah] Badawi did ask us to abide by the 'titah' of the King. That's all, I don't want to breach the confidentiality," she said, and declined to speak further on the subject.

Earlier today, Abdullah told reporters he had arranged a meeting with Ambiga (picture) to "remind" her to abide by the King's advice to find alternatives instead of having the rally on the streets of the city.

"I told her that she should abide by what was impressed upon (by the King), that we should not have the rally," said the nation's prime minister from October 2003 to March 2009.

In an unprecedented move a week before last Saturday's rally, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin stepped in to defuse tension by advising the Najib administration and Bersih 2.0 to hold consultations over the issue of free and fair elections.

In the statement issued by Istana Negara on July 3, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin said he was following closely the developments of the proposed assemblies by Bersih 2.0 and how the federal government and its agencies were handling the matter.

"The fact is, street demonstrations bring more bad than good although the original intention is good. Instead, we should focus on our main objective to develop this country, and not create problems that will cause the country to lag behind," the King said.

"I also urge the government to carry out everything that is entrusted to it by the people in a just and wise manner, and it is important that I as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong do not want to see this country with a plural society in a situation where there is animosity among them or a section of the people being enemies with the government, on whatever grounds," he added.

Tuanku Mizan also reminded the public, in his open statement, that moderation and compromise remain an important practice in the nation's administration.

After meeting with the King, Bersih 2.0 pledged to cancel the rally and have the event in a stadium, as previously suggested by Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The prime minister, however, reneged on his offer, resulting in tens of thousands of Bersih supporters thronging the city capital last Saturday for a street demonstration which went ahead without police permission, resulting in nearly 1,700 arrests, scores injured and the death of a PKR leader's husband.


WikiLeaks’ Assange in court extradition appeal

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 06:13 PM PDT

(Reuters) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will begin his appeal on Tuesday against his extradition from Britain to Sweden for questioning over allegations of sexual misconduct.

The 40-year-old Australian computer expert will take his legal battle to the High Court in London for a two-day hearing after losing an initial challenge to the extradition order in February.

Swedish prosecutors want to question Assange about allegations of sexual assault made by two women, both WikiLeaks volunteers, in Sweden last August. He denies the allegations.

He was arrested in December around the same time as his whistle-blowing website began publishing a cache of more than 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables which hurt the U.S. government and caused a media sensation.

A judge originally dismissed arguments by Assange's defense team that he would not get a fair trial in Sweden and that it would ultimately violate his human rights.

Assange has said he believes the Swedish case is politically motivated.

The U.S. government is examining whether criminal charges can be brought against Assange over the leaks. Assange fears extradition to Sweden could be a stepping-stone to him being taken to the United States.

His lawyers have in the past argued he could be sent to the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba or even face the death penalty.

Even if the High Court upholds the extradition request, Assange could take his battle to Britain's Supreme Court, the country's highest, though this can only be done on a point of law considered to be of general public interest.

The Supreme Court ruling marks the end of the process. Assange has hired a new legal team to represent him after his previous team, which included prominent British attorney Mark Stephens, was seen as too confrontational.

Replacing Stephens is prominent human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce.

She has represented accused militants in high-profile cases, including former prisoners held by the United States at Guantanamo, and the "Guildford Four," a group of Irish citizens whose conviction in an alleged IRA bomb plot was overturned after they spent years in prison.

An assistant for Peirce at her office Birnberg Peirce and Partners told Reuters the firm would not be making any comment prior to the appeal.

However, in an emailed statement the firm said "it would be highly unusual" for the High Court to pronounce a decision over the appeal on the same day. "It is normal for a written judgment to be given," it said.

After a brief spell in prison following his arrest by British authorities at Sweden's request, Assange was released on bail and has been living under strict court-imposed restrictions at a country mansion in eastern England.

Despite the bail conditions, which include wearing an electronic ankle tag, reporting to police daily and respecting a curfew, Assange celebrated his 40th birthday on Sunday.

British media reported that he threw a party at the estate and more than 100 guests, including celebrities and high-profile supporters, were invited.


Don’t roll out red carpet for Najib, Britain urged

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 06:03 PM PDT

Police action against citizens during Saturday's rally has jeopardized the country's reputation as a moderate democratic state, says international human rights community.

(Free Malaysia Today) - The consensus from international organisations is that the red carpet should not be rolled out for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak when he begins his official visit to Britain today.

Najib begins his four-day official visit to the UK today, after which he is expected to be in Rome to meet with Pope Benedict XVI.

Najib has said that street protests are not the Malaysian way but the International Human Rights community are angry with him and the police force for denying Malaysians their basic rights during Saturday's Bersih rally.

Amnesty International (AI) had even gone a step further and called for heads of states to censor Najib .

"Prime Minister Najib's government rode roughshod over thousands of Malaysians exercising their right to peaceful protest," said Donna Guest, deputy Asia-Pacific director at Amnesty International in a statement.

"This violent repression by the Malaysian police flies in the face of international human rights standards and cannot be allowed to continue," she  added.

"The British government shouldn't reward this brutality by rolling out a red carpet for Malaysia's prime minister… (British Prime Minister) David Cameron should tell prime minister Najib that these human rights violations against peaceful reform protests are unacceptable," she said.

Amenesty International also called on the Vatican to press Najib to respect human rights when he visits the pope later this week.

AI also highlighted the many complaints of police hard-handedness during the rally. It said that the use of force by the police was "excessive, unnecessary and designed to instill fear".

The Malaysian government however has denied this and said that it has video footages of its own to show otherwise.

The international human right watchdog also asked the Malaysian authorities to investigate claims that police failed to provide immediate assistance to Baharuddin Ahmad, the husband of PKR Setia Wangsa chief, who passed away in the vicinity of KLCC due to heart complications during the rally.

Undermining progress

The United Nations (UN) had also took Najib and the police to task for the handling of Saturday's rally and events leading up to it.

Frank La Rue, UN special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, said that the Malaysian government "risks undermining democratic progress to the country" with the pre-emptive measures taken to derail the rally.

"Declaring Bersih illegal based on claims that it is trying to topple the government or it is a risk to national security and public order – in the absence of any credible evidence to substantiate such claims – is also an unnecessary restriction of civil and political rights," La Rue added.



RM73 mil diamond ring for Rosmah?

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 05:35 PM PDT

A blog claims that the self-styled First Lady received a 'Natural Fancy Blue Gray Cushion Cut Diamond Ring' in April.

(Free Malaysia Today) - As Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak still reels from the Bersih 2.0 rally's political aftershocks, a glittering new allegation has surfaced about his wife, Rosmah Mansor.

The self-styled First Lady had allegedly come into possession of a diamond ring, worth a whopping US$24 million (RM73.48 million) sometime in April this year.

A pro-Pakatan Rakyat blog called "Milo Suam" claimed that the ring was sent to Rosmah by the New York-based fine jewellers, Jacob & Co.

The blog claimed that the ring, identified as a "Natural Fancy Blue Gray Cushion Cut Diamond Ring" passed through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport customs and was cleared by a customs operations manager known as A Krishnan.

Screenshots of the alleged customs computer displays also revealed that the ring did not have import duties imposed on it.

The same display also indicated the value of the ring to be US$24.4 million.

The story of the ring had also spread to many other pro-Pakatan blogs.

According to a Forbes website, the ring is a "VVS2 clarity diamond mounted on a platinum ring surrounded by 414 diamonds in a micro-pave setting (3.48 cts.)."

Meanwhile, "Milo Suam" questioned Najib's rationale in allegedly purchasing such an expensive item for his wife.



"Malaysia Has Too Many Phobias"

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 05:33 PM PDT

By Denny Armandhanu, Vivanews

It is the people that are mostly concerned with the elections. So, why is he standing in their way? If he wants to get me off the game, why should he deceive the people?

A clash broke between the police and protesters on Saturday, July 9, in Malaysia following mass street protest demanding electoral changes. The Bersih 2.0 rally went uncontrolled after riot police fired tear gas and water cannon and arrested more than 1,600 people to end the protest. 

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim told VIVAnews on Monday, July 10, has accused the Election Commission (EC) of electoral malpractices in conducting the recently concluded state election in Sarawak. 

It is not possible to file reports on the fraudulent practices to the special 
court for elections. The opposition party has instead spent more money for paying fines for making lawsuits. 

The government controls the media. However, Anwar believes that people will always manage to gain information from alternative media and sources. 

VIVAnews interviewed Anwar Ibrahim to get a wider picture of what is really going on in Malaysia. Here are the excerpts:

What did the Saturday mass protest actually want from the government?

We are demanding that malpractices will no longer be committed in the future. In fact, the previous elections had provided no access to the media. We has conveyed the issue for years. The UMNO has always been benefited by the elections.

In what ways were the malpractices done?

They were various ways. For example, there is a house of four people. However,  it was found out that the house held 82 voters. They voted for UMNO. Moreover, the opposition was during the campaigning period subject to massive criticisms. 

Yet, the opposition was not even given one minute to answer to the discontents on TV.

It is also clear that we the opposition cannot monitor hundreds of the available ballot boxes. The Election Commission also banned local and international electoral monitoring agencies from doing their job. We have also brought the malpractice cases to to the special court. But the court sides with UMNO, resulting in unfair decisions.  

Should we file more reports to the court, we won't win the cases and we will get huge fines. 

Is is true that thousands of multiracial people joined the mass protest?

Yes, it was. And I think it's good for us. The situation will not allow the
government to come up with racial issues. We have many interests involving the Christians, the Hindus, and Moslems, and Malay politicians. But I believe that the Malay ones are still on the top. 

Nonetheless, how can the Moslems and Malays be proud of themselves if there are still fraud and corruption? The idea has been a slogan indeed.

Given the protesters of multiple backgrounds, does this affirm that most people  are not satisfied with the electoral results?

They may control the media, they may curb the opposition and wipe out the Bersih  movement, and they may produce terrible images of me. But, the people can still think positive. They are looking at alternative media. That makes us proud. 

Imagine, 50 thousand people are blocked by the police. All entrance roads to Kuala Lumpur are closed. I myself can afford to get out of venue. We were faced by shielded police officers at the Hilton Hotel's frontyard. Out of a sudden, gunfires broke, aiming at the protesters and, especially, me.

I was their target. My bodyguard had his face torn off.

I was walking ahead together with party leaders as well as Bersih 2.0 
coordinator. [The police] targeted me and the leaders although we're not the bad  guys. We're marching with the protesters and were shot without firm reasons. It's obvious that no leaders were permitted to gather with protesters. They did not want peace protest. 

Police chief claimed no victims were down during the mass protest. The media reported that only 6,000 protesters were on the streets. The fact is that 50 thousand people joined the rally. The people, who also gained information from alternative media, laughed at the news. The Malaysian government is in denial inasmuch as Egypt was during the Hosni Mubarak administration.  

Prime Minister Najib Razak said the protest was illegal. How did you see it?

How come it was illegal? They said so because we're against UMNO. They accused us of becoming agents of Christianity. They claimed Bersih 2.0 was powered by foreign parties. How can it be illegal if the Malaysian King himself invited us to have some talks?

The decision to hold protest at the Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) was made after we met the King. His excellency wants us to avoid the streets. The protesters refused to accept the idea. However, since it's his excellency's wish, we must abide by king's advice. Pak Najib nodded to the suggestion earlier. But he in the end was against it. 

He is not into debates. Up until today, Najib is reluctant to meet with either the opposition or Bersih 2.0. How would he be applauded as a prime minister of a democratic country if he refuses to set up meetings with the representatives of both the opposition and Bersih 2.0?

Najib is making public relations campaigns by hiring an Israel- and US-based PR companies, APCO, by paying 70 million ringgit. This is to show the public that he is a moderate official and solid policy maker on the economy. In fact, he has done injustice to the people.

I'm a moslem. But I'm not pleased upon seeing his building images as a moderate moslem. A moderate moslem does no harm to others and does not discriminate against other religious supporters. A moderate moslem avoids corruption.

Prime Minister Najib said you're behind the mass protest. He also believes that you're gaining supports for the next elections.

It is the people that are mostly concerned with the elections. So, why is he standing in their way? If he wants to get me off the game, why should he deceive the people?

The last protest demands for free and clean elections. Anwar, Ahmad, Saleh, whatsoever, may be elected. But it's the people's business. We're not demanding Anwar to become the Prime Minister. It is clean elections that we want the most.

The Malaysian government has too many phobias. Whatever problems they deal with, they will blame me. Name everything you have in mind: may it be economic, oil price rise, everything.

They would blame me if tourism is stagnant. They would blame me if Malaysia is in dispute with Indonesia.

They would say that I'm a Jew, that I'm a Christian, that I'm an Al-Qaeda, an extremist, even a homosexual.

Will you continue to protest?

We have committed from the start that the rally would end in two and a half hours. We would like to see how the government reacted against it. In fact, the government played it the hard way. We were beaten and shot. The government-controlled media did not mention anything about our demands of having free and clean elections. They instead wrote that we set out the clash.

A protester dies during the rally. Is it confirmed?

It's been verified. I've asked a permission from his doctor to visit his grave for five minutes to show my respect. We met a lawyer and carried out an autopsy. We will bring the case to the court.

I myself am injured in the head and foot from tear gas canisters fired by the police.

I would like to express my gratitude to my Indonesian counterparts for the support and sympathy. Habibie, Gus Solah and the media asked about me. I'm affected by their concerns. Would you please send them my regards? Thank you.

Indonesian NGO: Anti-Bersih acts against Islam

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 05:28 PM PDT

A youth organisation calls on Indonesians to condemn Putrajaya's use of "violent and forceful" means to quell dissent.

(Free Malaysia Today) - An Indonesian youth organisation today added its voice to the international outcry against the repression of last Saturday's Bersih rally.

In a strongly worded statement emailed to news organisations in Malaysia, Generasi Muda Pembangunan Indonesia (GMPI) accused the Najib administration of failing to uphold Islamic values and democratic principles.

It said Putrajaya "should always" distance itself from "authoritarian politics" and the "use of violent and forceful means" to quell dissent.

GMPI also called on all Indonesians to use both organisational and informal channels to condemn the action against Bersih demonstrators.

It said the arrest of activists and the use of chemical sprays and tear gas against demonstrators constituted a "repressive offensive tactic" by a government that felt that its power was "under threat" by citizens trying to express their desire for free and fair elections.



Anwar deserves an Oscar, says Muhyiddin

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 04:20 PM PDT

(NST) - BETONG: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said yesterday that Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should get an Oscar award.

He said the opposition leader had made the injury he received in Saturday's illegal street demonstration worse than it seemed.

He said Anwa r 's injuries could have been self-inflicted to give him an excuse to discredit the government and the police.

"Anwar should be given an Oscar for making what is not true look like the truth. We expected him to twist the facts to suit his goals," Muhyiddin said after attending the national-level Gawai Dayak open house at Rumah Wilson Begat Anak Bakir, in Penom, Ulu Paku, here.

Anwar was said to have suffered a bruise on his head and a cut leg as a result of police firing tear gas at protesters near where he was.

He said the chaos that broke out caused him to fall.

"I saw him on YouTube looking frail in a hospital bed. An hour later, I was told he was up and about, at the home of the protester who had died, paying his last respects and looking fine and healthy." Muhyiddin said he had expected Anwar and the opposition to capitalise on the incident as "this was not the first time (it had happened)".

"There were no extreme police actions in the area, nor was he attacked by the police or targeted by the police." He said police were investigating the circumstances that led to Anwar getting injured.

"Did he fall because of police action? Was it selfinflicted or did he walk into a glass wall?" He said policewould make a statement on Anwar's injury and the death of protester Baharudin Ahmad.

Muhyiddin said Anwar, the opposition and rally organisers Bersih had distorted the facts on what had happened during the rally. "We expected it. We knew from the beginning that it would happen." He praised the police for showing "great restraint" in their handling of the rally.

He said the death of the demonstrator was not because of police brutality, as claimed by the opposition.

He said the opposition distorted the death to gain sympathy by portraying the government and the police as brutal.

Muhyiddin said street demonstrations were not part of Malaysian culture and would never be as the majority of people were against them.

"It is not something we do. So what happened shows that they (the protesters) do not have respect for the law." He accused Bersih of showing disrespect by lying to the king when they had promised that theywould not take to the streets.

Government in “time warp”

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 04:08 PM PDT


By Lim Kit Siang

One explanation for the hamfisted and gross mishandling of the 709 Bersih 2.0 rally for free and fair elections in Merdeka Stadium is that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, DPM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and all the Cabinet Ministers are trapped in a "time warp" causing their total disconnect with ordinary Malaysians and the fact that they are living in 2011 in the era of social media and the Internet.

This is why there is considerable merit in the advice by the University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) social anthropologist Professor Datuk Shamsul Amri Baharuddin that the Najib administration should discard its "Cold War" mindset and to modernize its concepts to address internal security and national issues.

Shamsul reminded the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition that the "enemy" was no longer armed communists battling a jungle war but a civilian movement consisting of politically awakened middle class that is wired to the global community and moved by fully legitimate issues based on the Malaysian Constitution such as free and fair elections; human rights of freedom of assembly and association; integrity, good, clean and incorruptible governance!

If Najib and Hishammuddin had acted on Shamsul's advice, the country would have been spared the farce, idiocy and agony of a "Cold War" response to the Bersih 2.0 call for free and fair elections – with the police and the national security apparatus fully mobilized nationally against the citizenry to fight ghosts and imaginary non-existing enemies of "revived communism", "war against the Agong", "Christian Malaysia", "foreign-power interference" and "another May 13"

It is truly sad and pathetic that despite the gross mishandling of the 709 Bersih 2 rally which has plunged the Najib administration into a new nadir point of public trust and confidence, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet do not seem to be ready at any time to get out of the "time warp" and reconnect with Berseh 1Malaysia generation who came of age last Saturday on July 9 despite massive police threats, mass arrests, tear gas and water cannons, and these negative signs are aplenty.

Former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah today admitted that Najib administration's image could be affected by the Bersih rally, but said he was confident the government would be able to repair it in no time.

Abdullah is no authority on governments regaining lost public confidence and I do not think Najib would be asking for any advice for general election strategy from Abdullah, who slumped from biggest electoral mandate to worst election debacle for the ruling coalition in a matter one term of five years, putting paid to his premiership as well.

If the Najib administration is seeking to come out of the "time warp" to re-connect with the Bersih 1Malaysia generation, it would not have exhibited very advanced stages of denial syndrome after July 9 – with the Home Minister and Inspector-General of Police competing as to who could win the competition to hide their head in the sand!

What is worse, the craziness of the double phobia of xanthophobia (fear of yellow) and Bersih-phobia are still in full swing – with first arrest in Sabah for wearing yellow Bersih T-shirt yesterday.

There is in fact no sign of awareness or remorse whatsoever that the Barisan Nasional had grossly miscalculated and mishandled the 709 Bersih 2.0 rally, creating the worst crisis of confidence for the Najib premiership in 27 months!

How else could one explain the obstinate refusal to admit responsibility for the instances of police excesses, violence and brutality during the Bersih 2.0 rally, as in causing the death of Baharuddin Ahmad, the criminal police landrover ramming of PAS Deputy President Mat Sabu on motor-bike or the wanton and reckless firing of tear gas and water cannons into Tung Shin Hospital and directly at Bersih and Pakatan Rakyat leaders at KL Sentral tunnel?

If the Barisan Nasional Government does not get out of the "time warp" it has locked itself into and reconnect with the new Bersih 1Malaysia generation operating in a vibrant social media, then the days of both the Najib premiership and Barisan Nasional ruling coalition are numbered.

They will be left behind by the Bersih 1Malaysia generation as utterly irrelevant belonging to the outdated "Cold War" past that is not prepared to keep abreast of changing times.


Rakyat, We Salute You!

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 04:04 PM PDT


By Dr Irene Fernandez, Teganita

Tenaganita salutes the rakyat, who despite immense harassment and grave obstacles placed by the police and the Home Ministry, and the irrational lockdown of Kuala Lumpur, still came in tens of thousands to demand for fair, clean and free elections.

With tremendous pride & joy, we congratulate Malaysians for their stand on democracy. Malaysians today have shown that they are no longer afraid to assert their rights.

The people remained focused and they marched peacefully despite the excessive use of tear gas, chemically-laced water, arrests, batons and beatings. With no uncertain terms, Tenaganita strongly condemns these extreme forms of human rights violations and the violence demonstrated by the police against ordinary Malaysians.

The Malaysian government's refusal to acknowledge and take responsibility for police brutality is a clear sign of a failing democracy. It is therefore even more urgent that the eight immediate demands of BERSIH 2.0 are implemented without delay.

We especially condemn the actions of the riot police who fired tear gas into the compounds of Tung Shin Hospital and are appalled by the apparent denial by the Inspector-General of Police that this did not happen. Several Tenaganita staff, including the Executive Director, took shelter with hundreds of other Malaysians in the compound of this Hospital, and witnessed this first-hand as teargas was fired at us. We also watched as riot police personnel and trucks sealed off entrances and exits of the hospital, thereby preventing us from leaving. We are also appalled by the actions of baton-wielding police officers who stormed the grounds of Chinese Maternity Hospital and used excessive force to arrest peaceful demonstrators.

In the face of this ugly abuse of power, Tenaganita extends its heartfelt gratitude to the staff of Tung Shin Hospital and the Chinese Maternity Hospital for their cooperation in allowing the participants of this gathering to seek temporary shelter on their grounds. We appreciate this support shown towards their fellow countrypersons.

We call for the immediate release of the over 1600 Malaysians who were arrested for the 'crime' of asserting their constitutional rights of freedom of speech and freedom to assemble peacefully. Tenaganita has received alarming reports that Malaysians arrested at the rally today have not been given access to counsel at several holding centres. We remind the authorities that the right to counsel is constitutionally guaranteed.

While tens of thousands marched today, we are also painfully aware that our brothers and sisters from Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) remain in detention under Malaysia's draconian laws. We call on all parties to intensify the pressure on the Malaysian government to rectify this grave injustice and to immediately release the PSM 6.

The authorities can fire all the teargas they want and they can throw our bodies behind bars, but although our eyes may temporarily shut to the sting of the gas, and our faces remain hidden behind walls of repression, make no mistake that the eyes and minds of Malaysians are increasingly clear and vigilant in our demands for clean, fair and free elections.


DR IRENE FERNANDEZ is the Executive Director, Tenaganita

A case of two opposing sides

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 03:51 PM PDT


By Karim Raslan, The Star

We've reached a point where it doesn't matter who brings the change – BN or PR, conservative or liberal, socialist or right-wing. Malaysians will get behind whoever is the most sincere in taking us out of this mess.

LAST weekend's thwarted march wasn't an ordinary incident – it reveals two radically different world views.

While the march was nominally non-political, the chasm between the two forces – the Government and the demonstrators – clearly mirrors the increasingly acrimonious split between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

Of course, a deeply divided political terrain is always troubling, however, it is at least proof of a dynamic and thriving public discourse.

Ironically, the opposition, despite being excluded from the mainstream media, is clearly setting the terms of this debate.

It also shows that Malaysia remains a democracy – albeit a flawed one.

Indeed, I'd argue that the intensity of the discourse over the past few weeks highlights quite how much we Malaysians care about the state of our nation.

We can see and feel that the state is becoming more polarised – and in such a situation, we are being forced to choose sides.

Sitting on the fence is no longer a viable option – especially when the fence is been shaken so hard by the two opposing sides. However, there are some positives. Most notably the fact that the divide is not racial despite what some politicians are alleging.

In fact there are Malays, Indians, Chinese, Iban, Kadazan, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Hindu on both sides of the debate. Indeed, the struggle has gone way beyond racial and religious lines.

Instead we are tussling over political philosophies and principles.

While the differences are certainly stark, their mere existence indicates a certain maturing of our political system presenting us with the alluring prospect of a two-party system.

I must stress that the racial diversity on both sides represents a steadying force – anchoring us together as a nation.

And yes, you could say, it underlines the fact that we are debating a truly Malaysian set of issues.

So what are these substantive political differences? Well, for a start, they transcend mere personality.

On one hand, we have a strident Umno-led Government demanding the continuation of the status quo.

In this respect, Umno is very definitely a conservative (small "c") force – defending and promoting the interests of the influence-bearing classes.

It's arguable that Umno's small businessmen/contractors have adopted the mindset and behaviour of the many minor aristocrats and noblemen that once surrounded Malaysia's many istana (or palaces) jockeying for favours and/or contracts.

The current Umno vision is retrogressive – it looks back to the party's heyday under Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

It is not a dynamic, expansive vision – witness the primordial and unavoidable cry for Malay unity interspersed with Malay rights.

As with those enamoured and indeed obsessed by the past there is a paranoia and fear of change. Understandably then, any concession or reform is seen of as an affront to Umno's domination, dignity and integrity.

On the other, you have what is essentially a socialist front in Pakatan Rakyat.

They claim to represent the interest of the rakyat – the ordinary people, taking a moral high-ground on issues such as corruption, mismanagement and civil liberties.

They know the language of the people – focusing on day-to-day issues from rising food prices to the quality of education.

Obviously my formulation ignores the inconsistencies, but there's no denying the socio-economic and "class" basis to this struggle.

At the same time the respective leaders play up these associations because politics – let's face it – is also theatre and understatement doesn't play to the gallery.

Returning to Pakatan, I must point out that the coalition's very new-ness means they are much more flexible, less rigid and accepting.

Indeed, Hadi Awang's courageous stance on Negara Kebajikan is an indication of the extent to which Pakatan is exploring new paradigms.

Of course, PAS carry a certain baggage themselves. For example, will the gentle and considerate PAS of today be replaced by a morally sanctimonious force once in power?

At a time when technology is changing so rapidly, (iPad succeeded by iPad2, just when you've begun to understand it), we've got to accept political systems have to change as well.

But will the face-off between the two opposing forces benefit us – the rakyat?

Well, I for one am confident that there will be change and that we as a nation desperately need that change.

Indeed, we've reached a point where it doesn't actually matter who brings the change – BN or PR, conservative or liberal, socialist or right-wing.

Malaysians will rally behind whoever is the most sincere in taking us out of this mess, just as Ronnie Reagan and later Obama inspired their respective voters.

Ironically, after all this talk of substantive politics we're back where we started with character and personality.

So, we have to batten down, wait, watch and judge because at the end of the day we, the people are sovereign and through the ballot box, we can kick out those who've let us down.

So carry on ladies and gentlemen of the political world, we're watching and evaluating your performance.

Were cops trying to trap Ambiga’s group?

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 03:33 PM PDT

By Zehfry Dahalan, FMT

In at least one of their encounters with Bersih supporters last Saturday, police appeared to have used tear gas to trap and punish instead of to disperse a group of demonstrators.

This happened to be the group led by Bersih leader S Ambiga and opposition leaders Anwar Ibrahim, Abdul Hadi Awang, Tian Chua and Nurul Izzah Anwar.

FMT reporter Zefry Dahalan filed the following first person account.

"I was with some journalists following the group that had Bersih chief Ambiga and the top Pakatan Rakyat leaders in the front line. They marched from KL Hilton into the KL Sentral station and went down the narrow staircase that leads to the tunnel that links with Jalan Tun Sambanthan.

When they had almost reached the end of the tunnel, police from the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) suddenly released tear gas directly into the group. A canister hit Anwar's bodyguard (photo, below), injuring his left cheek.

There was pandemonium. It was at this point that Ambiga, Abdul Hadi and Tian Chua were arrested.

The entire group ran back into the tunnel. And then the FRU fired again. The fumes filled the closed area.

Everyone seemed to be out of breath as they ran, more for air than to escape the FRU. But back at the entry point of the tunnel, a dozen or so policemen were waiting with batons raised.

My vision became blurry, my throat itched and I struggled for breath. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to flash my media card for the benefit of the waiting policemen. They let me go on my way, and I soon regained my strength with fresh air.



Apologise For What You Did

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 03:25 PM PDT

By Tony Pua

Liow Tiong Lai has disgraced his position as the Health Minister and the MCA Deputy President by outraging all right thinking Malaysians for his pathetic and lame defence of the police force. He has denied despite the irrefutable and mounting visual evidence that the police force has shot tear gas and deployed water cannons into the Tung Shin hospital compound during the Bersih gathering last weekend.

Liow has denied outright that the police has fired the tear gas into the compound, claiming that it was shot onto the main road, and blamed the wind for blowing the gas into the hospital compounds. He further argued that the water cannon only 'brushed' the edges of the hospital walls, and wad not shot directly into the compound.

As one seeking refuge in the compound, I can testify with absolute certainty that Liow was lying through his teeth. It is impossible that the police has fired onto the main road as the road was already cleared of protestors by then with everyone forced onto the hospital compounds in both the new and old wings. Pictures have also shown clearly that the water cannons have also been sprayed directly into the hospital and not mere 'brushed' the walls of the compound.

What is worse is Liow's complete refusal to even see the evidence for himself when reporters offered to present them to him. What's more, there are scores of eye-witness testimonies, including those from journalists present who corroborated that both the tear gas and water canons were shot into the Hospital where the Bersih supporters were seeking refuge.

Liow's attempt to blame the supporters for seeking refuge in the hospital is also mischievous because the they were being attacked by the police from both ends of Jalan Pudu, making the hospital compounds the only possible escape from the relentless firing of tear gas and chemical-laced water.

In fact, the visit by DAP leaders to the Hospital the day after was to express our thanks and appreciation to the hospital management for letting the supporters seek refuge, to apologise for the inconvenience caused and to understand if there was any damage caused.

Liow as the Health Minister should have gone to the Hospital to apologise in behalf of he Federal Government for the unwarranted actions by the police force for failing to respect the sanctity of hospitals even in times of unrest.

Instead, he had proceeded to deny and lie about what is the obvious truth in order to defend the police force, demonstrating the recalcitrance of the BN government and a complete lack of respect for the hospitals under his purview and Malaysians at large. His actions proved that MCA is only an apologist for the BN coalition, qnd disgraced himself and his party for not having spoken up for Malaysians.



Bersih clampdown has shamed Malaysia, says PAS

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 03:22 PM PDT


By Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 — PAS lamented the crackdown on Saturday's Bersih rally, saying today that media reports have disgraced Malaysia especially in the eyes of Southeast Asian neighbours.

PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu said the world has seen how the events of Saturday in the federal capital contrasted with how Malaysians were allowed to gather peacefully overseas on the same day "without a single arrest."

"In Southeast Asia, only Malaysia and Myanmar are at this level," he said, referring to the nation that was under military rule for nearly half a century until an election last year, which was widely described as fraudulent," he told a press conference here.

Mohamad, who is popularly known as Mat Sabu, was among the nearly 1,700 arrested in the crackdown. All were later released the same day.

The Jakarta Post and Straits Times, leading English dailies in Indonesia and Singapore respectively, criticised this morning the clampdown on the tens of thousands who poured into the city last weekend, resulting in the massive arrests, scores injured and the death of the husband of a PKR division leader.

The Wall Street Journal also slammed the Najib administration for creating an atmosphere of "fear and repression" and predicted that the "silent majority" would soon speak out against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"The international media understands our demands for clean elections.

Even Singapore was restrictive like Malaysia but they have reformed and now their candidates get media access," Mohamad said, referring to the island republic which saw the ruling People's Action Party slip from 65 to 60 per cent of the popular vote.

Ahead of diplomatic meetings with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Pope Benedict XVI, Najib had taken the unusual step of sending Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor to Jakarta to insist that the Bersih rally was just a ruse by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is popular as a Muslim leader in Indonesia.

Bersih had claimed a turnout of 50,000 for the street demonstration which went ahead without police permission.

The electoral reforms movement decided to take to the streets despite previously accepting Najib's offer to move the street rally to a stadium after the government refused to allow the gathering to take place in Stadium Merdeka.

This came after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong called on the government a week ago to execute its duties fairly and for it to meet Bersih and discuss the issue of free and fair elections.

Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin had intervened after a police dragnet that had seen over 100 arrests, the raiding of the Bersih secretariat and confiscation of Bersih-related materials in the space of a week.



Bersih 3.0 if no electoral reforms before GE, says PAS

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 03:15 PM PDT

By Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 — PAS has called on the Najib administration to bow to Bersih's eight-point reforms to the electoral system or face a repeat of the rally that plunged the capital into chaos on Saturday.

Party deputy president Mohamad Sabu said today it would hold another rally before the next general election if the Election Commission (EC) failed to implement the reforms demanded by the coalition of 62 NGOs.

"The EC should act. If there is no action by the next election, we will suggest that Bersih holds another demonstration," he said at a press conference.

Despite Bersih claiming that 50,000 had poured into the city last weekend, Mohamad (picture) threatened a larger rally, stating that "PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang has already said this is only the beginning."

He also said the Islamist party would ask Bersih to declare Saturdays "Bersih Day" where members of the public should wear yellow to show their support for free and fair elections.

Asked if he was calling for the public to disobey the law, Mohamad said "the yellow shirts are only illegal to Umno but no court has declared them unlawful."

He added that the EC could already implement part of the demands set out by the electoral reform movement such as cleaning up the electoral roll, reforming postal votes, using indelible ink and providing free access to the media for all parties.

Bersih had claimed a turnout of 50,000 for the street demonstration which went ahead without police permission, resulting in nearly 1,700 arrests, leaving dozens injured and the spouse of a PKR leader dead.

The electoral reform movement decided to take to the streets despite previously accepting Najib's offer to move the street rally to a stadium after the government refused to allow the gathering to take place in Stadium Merdeka.

This came after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong called on the government a week ago to execute its duties fairly and for it to meet Bersih and discuss the issue of free and fair elections.



Who is Sovereign? The Rakyat or UMNO?

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 03:09 PM PDT

By batsman 

The nature of power is such that if one has no guts and no balls, then it (power) will not come anywhere near. However even if it comes near to those with guts and balls, it will not stick if there is no reason to. So the rakyat have to have balls and be driven by reason and ideals if they want to be sovereign.

On July 9th 2011, 50,000 or more people showed that they are sovereign. They gave warning to UMNO that its power is slipping away because it no longer has access to reason and decency. Democracy means that power lies with the rakyat and that the rakyat are sovereign, but democracy has to be hard won and hard kept. There is no other way. Democracy is not an automatic right. It is a hard won and hard kept luxury. 

Take the Wikileaks exposure posted in MT (WIKILEAKS: 9th Malaysia Plan), the report in it is denigrating not only of the Malaysian government but also of Malaysians, especially those employed as economists… 

"Non-government economists support these goals publicly but deplore them in private." 

Try and get inside the minds of these people and what do you see? I see self-hating "small people" that the DAP likes to talk about. They have been trained at great expense to be professionals. They have a chance to influence public economic policy, but they are cowed. They dare not be the professionals of integrity and the people of character that they were meant to be. They have betrayed their profession, they have betrayed themselves and they have betrayed God. So it is no accident that although they may still be well paid, they are looked down upon and denigrated in secret reports. 

Quite a few Malaysians are also like these economists. OK, so life is difficult and your livelihood has to be protected. Never mind if UMNO is stealing other people's rights and livelihood, so long as mine is not affected in any way…… BUT even if it is affected somewhat, hopefully it won't be affected in a large way…. BUT even if it is affected in a large way, hopefully me and my family will be safe, never mind if the police are not competent enough to stop burglars and robbers from entering my neighbour's house… so long as the robbers do not enter my house…. BUT even if they enter my house hopefully they will not rape my wife and daughters, but just rape the Indonesian maid……. So it goes on and on. 

People are turned into small minded selfish individuals isolated and isolating themselves in their small little worlds, inflicting loneliness, fear and delusion upon themselves. Such people cannot be sovereign. They have no means to be sovereign. However, UMNO likes such people, so these are the people that UMNO courts as it supporters and voters. UMNO will even offer goodies and extend protection to such people as much as they can. 

In many ways, UMNO treats the country like its personal private family business. As much as possible, business and private lives are kept separate. This is the professional thing to do. Unfortunately as the boss becomes richer and more powerful and has cultivated close contacts with crooked auditors, crooked policemen and crooked judges, there is a great potential for his private life to intrude into his business. This great potential can even turn into a guaranteed real life thing if the boss has a roving eye and lusty disposition, if his needs and desires are greater than what he currently enjoys. Those employees who have no choice but try and keep their jobs whatever the boss does to them or however he uses them will the ones most exploited and/or most hated as well (think MCA, or even certain international models). 

Even then I suppose there will be excuses e.g. "we suffer anyway, whether we are bullied and abused by the boss or if we get the sack (think seedless durians)". Such people do not have the means to be sovereign because in their minds, they hate themselves and see themselves as inferior and indecent. 

At a certain time, decent people will have to stand up for their rights. On 9th July 2001, 50,000 or more people stood up for their democratic rights and counted themselves as sovereign citizens of Malaysia. 

What of the others? Many wanted to attend but  could not make it. Many others still, wanted to attend but could not afford the expense or could not take leave. Many others still, preferred to fight in other ways. Many others still supported and sympathized with the democratic struggle of Bersih 2.0 but were not prepared to go to the extent of attending dangerous rallies. All these are good enough reasons as long as you vote against BN in the coming elections. Make you sympathies and your feelings count. 

If your feelings are strong enough, you might even consider making donations to worthwhile causes as well as to those who have fallen, who are incarcerated or who have been maimed. It is important to have enough funds and enough support. Even General Washington had to beg the US Congress for funds to keep his half-starved men in the field during such a significant world shaking event as the American War of Independence. Not everything is automatic and runs on its own. 

What is not a good enough reason is to think that you are too small to make a difference and that UMNO is all powerful. That way, you make UMNO sovereign and surrender power as well as your democratic rights to liars, cheats and crooks to rule the country. 

Use your votes to create a healthy 2 party political system with adequate checks and balances. Say "NO!" to intimidation, victimization and discrimination. Say "NO!" to government by abuse, dirty tricks and having the right influential contacts. 

But even if you feel you are too small and too weak to be sovereign, or that the rakyat is not perfect and too easily manipulated and influenced by evil people, the last thing is to do is surrender sovereignty to UMNO, the government of the sinful.  At the very least, surrender sovereignty to God, never to UMNO. Make decency and righteousness part and parcel of Malaysian daily life. Say "NO!" to sin, corruption and injustice.


Malaysia: Government risks undermining democratic progress, say UN experts

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 02:03 PM PDT

"Malaysia, as a dynamic, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and pluralistic nation, should remain open to legitimate political discourse on democracy, including the expression of dissent," the experts said. "We urge the Government to allow all individuals to enjoy their human rights, and to address the problem of preventive detention. Likewise, we call upon the Government to ensure that there will not be any punitive measures taken against peaceful demonstrators." 

GENEVA – UN human rights experts* on Monday expressed their dismay at the use of tear gas and water cannons by security authorities against peaceful protestors in Malaysia on Saturday, reportedly leading to injuries and one death, and the arrest of more than 1,600 people at the Bersih 2.0 rally.

"The right to freedom of opinion and expression, including in the form of peaceful protests, is essential for democracy. By declaring the demonstration illegal, sealing off parts of the capital in advance and responding in such a heavy-handed manner against peaceful demonstrators, the Government of Malaysia risks undermining democratic progress in the country," said Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Tens of thousands of people gathered near the Medeka Stadium on Saturday despite the announcement made by the police that no gathering would be permitted that day on the basis of the Malaysia Police Act, which requires organizers of public gatherings of three or more persons to seek permits beforehand.  The protests were called by Bersih, a coalition of more than 60 non-governmental organizations seeking to promote free and fair elections in Malaysia.

"Actions taken by the authorities prior to and during the rally unduly restricted the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association," said La Rue. "Declaring Bersih illegal based on claims that it is trying to topple the Government or is a risk to national security and public order - in the absence of any credible evidence to substantiate such claims – is also an unnecessary restriction of civil and political rights."

According to Malaysian police, all of those arrested on Saturday have been released. But the UN experts noted that six leaders from the Socialist Party of Malaysia reportedly remain in detention. These individuals include Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, Sukumaran Munisamy, Letchumanan Aseer Patham, Choo Chon Kai, Sarasvathy Muthu, and Satat Babu Raman.  

"We remain deeply concerned about the detention of six individuals since 25 June under the Emergency Ordinance, which allows for detention without trial for up to 60 days," said El Hadji Malick Sow, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention also reiterated its recommendation, made to the Government of Malaysia following a visit to the country in June 2010, to repeal the Emergency Ordinance and other preventive laws, on the grounds that they significantly hinder fundamental human rights, such as the right to fair trial.**

The independent experts reminded the Government of Malaysia of its obligation to fully respect the rights to peaceful assembly, association, and expression, as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also recalled that as a member of the Human Rights Council, Malaysia has pledged to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.

"Malaysia, as a dynamic, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and pluralistic nation, should remain open to legitimate political discourse on democracy, including the expression of dissent," the experts said. "We urge the Government to allow all individuals to enjoy their human rights, and to address the problem of preventive detention. Likewise, we call upon the Government to ensure that there will not be any punitive measures taken against peaceful demonstrators."

* Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Mr. Frank La Rue; and Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Mr. El Hadji Malick Sow.

Press Statement on the Aftermath of Bersih 2.0

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 02:00 PM PDT

By Baru Bian, N70 Ba' Kelalan

On July 9th, many Sarawakians travelled to Kuala Lumpur to be part of the BERSIH 2.0 rally which called for sweeping electoral reforms. The objective was clear. Many of the people who participated were flag waving, God-fearing, patriotic citizens who wanted nothing more than a peaceful expression of their frustration of the status quo.

I was personally present at the rally and I was glad to be part of the rakyat's voice. The rally was peaceful and our security men and marshals were splendid in crowd control. Despite being shot at with water cannons and tear gas canisters, the rakyat remained non-violent. I am proud that I had a taste of tear gas myself.

It was amazing to see that various races, age groups, and religious backgrounds were well represented at the rally. Sarawakians were also well represented. Everyone I spoke to said they had come for one main reason – to show solidarity and unity as the rakyat for free and fair elections. It was even more amazing to see the rakyat helping one another after the water cannons and tear gas attacks.

Unfortunate for some, they were arrested by the police for simply being there. Included were Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA) members Matek Anak Gram, Niloh Anak Ason, Willie Kajan and Malaysian Election Observers network (MEO –NET) member Doris Lawai.

In Sarawak, Krian assemblyman Ali Biju, native customary rights lawyer Paul Raja and and  Iban land activist Kelvin Kilo were among those detained, alongside 15 others on the same day.

PKR Sarawak strongly condemns these arrests and the arrest of many of our fellow Malaysians in West Malaysia which were arbitrarily executed, unconstitutional and a gross contradiction of the universal right by every human being to the freedom of expression.

PKR Sarawak recognises that the rakyat is no more afraid to stand up for their rights, even in Sarawak, and we honour these brave men and women who took risks to have their voices heard.

PKR Sarawak will continue to champion the rights of all Sarawakians, and will not let the sacrifices demonstrated on 9th July by these brave men and women go to naught and be in vain.


Malaysia’s civil servants demoralized

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 01:57 PM PDT

They are tired of the warnings and threats. They are exhausted from the feeling that they are being monitored. And they certainly detest the reality that if they go against the marching orders of their menteri, they will suffer consequences.

By J. D. Lovrenciear

The Prime Minister of Malaysia is either completely ignorant or he is being grossly misinformed by his lieutenants. Worse, he still thinks he can have things his way all the way. What he needs to admit is that civil servants are largely disillusioned by the misdeeds of the government they report to, with the turn of events leading to and resulting from the Bersih 2.0.

From security guard to Pengarah, the millions of employees on the government's payroll are disillusioned. They are tired of all the 'perintah' and marching orders telling them what they can and cannot do even when the Constitution says otherwise.

Talk to any civil servant in his or her taman and the response you will get is a head shake of despair, a murmuring of disgust, and a sense of helplessness and in an extreme case even a glance of suspicion fearing you may be an agent informer.

They are tired of the warnings and threats. They are exhausted from the feeling that they are being monitored. And they certainly detest the reality that if they go against the marching orders of their menteri, they will suffer consequences.

And the civil servants know that the price they may have to pay for standing up for their innate conscience of humanity is a cold storage, a far-off transfer, freeze on promotion, nudged into tendering a resignation, etc.

They are tired of having to sacrifice their souls to the devil simply to safeguard their bread and butter needs for self and family. They are growing weary and are silently crying out from deep within their human hearts for a day when they can stand up without fear or favor, like all other citizens, for true democracy.

Even the uniformed men and women in blue keep telling themselves that they will be absolved in having to do what they have been ordered to do because these men and women sincerely do not support the atrocious brutality against their own kind who have only stood against corruption, greed, unjust and oppressive circumstances.

Unfortunately, sadly and foolishly the powers that be continue preaching through their tightly controlled media mouth-pieces their own brand of governance that they believe is a water-tight strategy for keeping them in power.

But the ordinary citizens all know that their civil servant neighbors truly detest the increasing pressure exerted upon them to come here, go there and take part in this and that to showcase a make-believe support for the ruling (misruling) government. Quietly they will whisper "Ikut arahan sahaja".

The civil servants are tired. They are disillusioned. They are just waiting for the weakest link in the system before breaking loose. This is human nature. And civil servants are humans like every one of us.

Surely these civil servants in their private and communal moments of prayer before their Creator are asking for mercy and protection to come speedily to them. They know that the hundreds of thousands of citizens, young and old, braved the oppression to make the nation a better country. For among those Bersih 2.0 soldiers of courage were the civil servants' children, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters and even parents. This, the PM and his entourage is forgetting so easily and conveniently.

Indeed then, Malaysia is about to enter its last stage of labor before a new life is born giving hope for a better, cleaner and greater Malaysia. And all Malaysians and their revered Constitutional Monarch will rejoice as true democracy and a sovereign nationhood is restored.

The day the civil servants say enough is enough and rightfully turn to their revered and promising King, that is the day the nation will leave its last bastion of doom and enter its new beginning for a better tomorrow. It is just waiting to happen, Mr. Prime Minister no matter how much you may twist their arms.


Kota Kinabalu City Hall Blunders Big Time

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 01:52 PM PDT

By Putt for Change
Kota Kinabalu City Hall(DBKK) once again made a mockery of themselves today at 2,30pm, when a battalion of it's Enforcement Personals swamped the premises of PARTI MAJU SABAH (SAPP) Headquarters at Luyang, reasons - it's signage board bearing the wordings, BERSIH, BERANI, BENAR.
Head of the Licensing Unit of DBKK, Sairullizam Bin Sukor, was in his element displaying arrogance, normally displayed by a person with instructions from "Higher Up's".

If the present UMNO/BN Government were "Bersih" in their administration,"Berani" in fighting for the people and "Benar" in their promises and not only during election time,then UMNO/BN should not be fearing those sacred words.
Fear has reaped into the nervous system of UMNO/BN-hence anything with words such as Bersih is now taboo to them.Perhaps DBKK should mirror themselves if they are Bersih at all.In the fiasco that lasted for almost 2 hours,the Fire Department were also called in to assist to demolish the signage board placed on the 2nd floor of the Party's office.Onlookers were seen running,in an apparent move to see if their shop lots were on fire,with the presence of the Fire Engine.In the end it was a hoax,only to know that DBKK had wasted taxpayers money by summoning the Fire Department to assist them in an illegal mission.

DBKK had apparently issued a notice to SAPP at 2.30pm(11th.July.2011),demanding them to remove the signage board with immediate effect(DBKK No/BPL:1100-23/0/1 Kit.30(23) for violating-UUK 3(1) & 13(1)(2)(3) Undang-Undang Kecil (IKLAN) 1983,which was sign by the Director General,Datuk Yeo Boon Hai and copied to the Mayor,Datuk Abidin Madingkir,City Police Chief ACP Sofi and DBKK's Enforcement Director.
Meanwhile SAPP's lawyers had faxed a letter to the Director General of DBKK threatening to take legal action against them if they continue to harass SAPP of their Constitutional rights.The letter also mentioned violation of the principles of natural justice.

Shortly later at about 3.15pm,City Police Chief ACP Mohd Sofi arrived with his personals. SAPP President,Datuk Yong Teck Lee was seen discussing with the Police Chief and Sairullizam Sukor,on the existing laws available and whither DBKK had the legal right to continue their illegal demolition exercise. Where is the natural justice that's found in our Constitution,isn't the law clear enough that we must be given 14 days notice?The City Police Chief who acted more as a mediator,looked rather mind boggled that DBKK was unaware of the existing  laws.Doesn't DBKK have a Legal Department with "Qualified Lawyers",or are they also ignorant of the law themselves?

Kota Kinabalu residents must now take serious view of the incompetency of DBKK,we may have been hoodwinked or perhaps even "conned"by them in the past,because of our ignorance.The Business Community should also now re-examine their payments made for licenses,fees and compounds in the past,and not be intimidated by them again.
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Does it really matter?

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 01:33 PM PDT

How about random strangers holding hands to form human shields to protect the weaker participants? How about people from different colours standing next to one another singing the national anthem? Why must the argument always lead to pinpointing the 'wrongest' of the wrong and not celebrating the 'rightest' of the right?
By J
For someone who voted only once in his lifetime, I am neither an anti-government nor am I a pro-opposition Malaysian citizen. Nevertheless, I do think of myself as someone who is quite critical of the political situation in Malaysia.
The recent Bersih 2.0 rally has no doubt created some awareness amongst the people in Malaysia and those abroad; and at the same time touched the hearts and souls of many. It is heartening to see people of various races, age group and background converge together holding hands and marching down the street with a common aim of wanting to make a change for the better.
Personally speaking, not only did it touch my heart but it also touched my other non-Malaysian friends to see how united we stand as a multi-cultured society.

However, it saddens me that the objectives of the rally were marred by accusations before and after the event. Some were to create political mileage, others to discredit believers. We as the registered voters of the country, who are we to judge and to interpret these accusations and actions? What concerns us most should be towards a better future for us as a nation; not just any one individual. After all, it is the judgement that we are capable of making that prompted concerned parties to execute all kinds of accusations and actions to try to sway our supposedly fragile ideology to parallel theirs'.
How does it matter if the chairperson of the rally movement is not of a certain religion? How does it matter which parties are involved in the movement? How does it matter if it was funded by certain organisations? How does it matter which race will turn up more eventually for the rally? How does it matter the actual count of participants of the rally? How does it matter who actually went for the rally and who were the keyboard warriors? How does it matter who can drum more participants? How does it matter the actual venue of the rally?
What does matter is the objective of the rally: That is to ensure my vote will matter in the next election. And 9th of July has certainly proved that if something DOES matter, we are willing to drop all our differences and come together for the better good. Or at least for those who bother to be bothered by the matter.

Saying this, it is really up to the conscience of those in the media to share what we think matters to the wider population. BUT does it really matter if 5000 or 50000 turned up? Does it matter that certain people were brought away in comfortable 4X4s?
How about random strangers holding hands to form human shields to protect the weaker participants? How about people from different colours standing next to one another singing the national anthem?
Why must the argument always lead to pinpointing the 'wrongest' of the wrong and not celebrating the 'rightest' of the right?
Is our society that deprived of values that we can only make judgement after finding out who is at fault? Do we really have to set up Facebook pages to bring down certain people? Or are we fused this way by the authorities for so long of a time that this is the only way to move forward? What do we gain from doing all this? Does it really matter?

The Difference ( Bersih 1 Vs Bersih 2.0)

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 12:52 PM PDT

He assured me the cops are on our side of the struggle and are stuck between the public and a corrupted goverment.

By vetrivel

I was one of those guys who lost my iphone to the cops for taking extensive photos & video shots. Was it worth it, you may ask? It is worth it if it is for my country and our future.
Oh hell yes! Even now, I am not sulking at losing the phone, but the Moments of History that I captured with fellow Malaysians who posed for me and the awesome video of songs sang by all those people. So here I am venting my frustration in paper instead of photos.

What are the differences between Bersih 1 and Bersih 2.0, someone asked me (which I feel is a lot).

My journey began in KTM which I was worried will not make it to Sentral because I timed it to coincide with the Rally (2pm), instead of arriving early and getting arrested for being a loner in the wrong place. The trains after mine were delayed. So - lucky me. Nobody spoke in the train. It was eerily quiet. Just smiles. Most people were heading for Sogo/Jamek area but my instincts told me to get down in KL Sentral.

Reaching KL Sentral, life seemed normal there except for the Presence of cops everywhere but more outside than inside. I went into McD to sit down and buy time and got news Ambiga, Anwar and many more were in Hilton just beside KL Sentral. It was raining heavily there and within minutes unexpectedly there was a huge booming, cheering and shouting of thousands of people! 

I was shocked at the sizable number of Indians and Chinese. This was not a scene from Bersih 2007. The Chinese were no longer shy of Rallies. Not afraid of Perkasa or Ibrahim frog, in fact most were updated and ready for anything. The Indians were alert on National issues. It was no more only for Hindraf or Indian issues; most who turned up were ready for national service. Ambiga was the new Uthaya. The Malays were the highest in number but it is no more just the PAS Malays who turned up but those from every walk of life. The Mat Sallehs, the Indian tourists, Japanese and Korean people who also walked along.

Many aunties and uncles, professionals, lawyers, kampung folks, even government servants, so many youngsters were there. This was the facebook revolution!

These were the conversations I had with folks who turned up:
"We are here for our Children's Future" - most of them agreed on this point.
"if Ambiga is a lady and she could do this - what's wrong with me, a MAN?" - Malay uncle.
"I have done worse things, I would go to jail for Ambiga!" - Indian guy who looked like a bouncer.
"Are you one of them (cops)?" - youngster.
"If this was their brother or sister, would the police hurt us?" - Indian aunty.
"BN has to go!" - Malay aunty.
"There is democracy and there is *democracy*" - Mat Salleh.
"Where is the racial riot???" - another question by general public while smiling at each other.
"Show us the Parang" - random shout to the police.
"We are the ones who lost the most due to the degrading of the judiciary"- a lawyer who exchanged his namecard [he has his own law firm!]

Nothing prepared me for what I saw accrosss the Klang river when I reached Pasar Seni LRT station; tens of thousands of people across the river. That was a safe haven for me as I joined the crowd but was greeted by tear gas being shot non-stop from Central Market. It was crazy. Tear gas canisters were falling every 2 minutes but the people kept on regrouping. Surprisingly, food stalls were open. Thanks to KFC and 7-Elevens which were open and allowed people in and out even though the managers chained their entrance with padlocks.

Pakatan sabotage?
The Rally belonged to the people through and through. Bersih was in charge, not Pakatan. I didn't see the unit amal nor the organized political party type of people.
It was a random crowd. Pakatan leaders only came to the rescue when there was no leadership in the crowd. Pakatan MPs/Aduns did not interfere. For example, YB Manika (Kapar) was at Pasar Seni but just standing and watching the crowd with his team; never did he take over from the Bersih steering comittee.
Wong Chin Huat was there. When Wong Chin Huat commanded a crowd of 10 thousand people at Pasar Seni Station and was reading the memorandum at the Top of his Voice and a reddened face full of energy, everyone was impressed by his leadership. He screamed at the Top of his Lungs "Kita Tak Mahu RASUAH!" and "Jangan-jangan - Jangan rasuah". His lengthy speech ended with singing Negaraku 3 times. There were tears in many eyes. Some sobbed openly unable to control their feelings. Everyone just stood there and sang in Unison ... Malay-Chinese-Indian-Punjabi-Kadazans-Asli and more.

A walk in the Park
Through Petaling Street to Stadium Merdeka, everywhere was packed to the maximum. It was a sea of people. Never had I imagined so many people would turn up through the propoganda and barricade and fear of riots being unleashed. Protestors just stood there and were communicating with the cops.
How do you expect us to go near Stadium Merdeka if you intend to paint the whole road blue with uniforms? At this juncture, I saw many friends sitting together and taking photos in the middle of the road. Dancers, singers, picnic-goers in the crowd just enjoying themselves. So this must be the Walk in the Park suggested by Datuk Wong Chun Wai of The Star? To irritate him further, "Datuk please take a look at how much we enjoyed ourselves with fellow Malaysians. People paper, ka? Come and see the Real People la braderr!" And please take note of this new trend which emerged from Bersih 2.0 - PLANKING. I am laughing out Loud seeing all those Planking photos and videos online!!

Survival of the Fittest
It was temporary joy as the crowd which was dispersing was given a warning shot and the FRU started marching in. Before you know it, they started chasing the crowd. The weakest or slower ones were caught immediately and arrested. We were running at top speed. I wish I had this speed while at school. Next was a one hour worth of Cat and Mouse game around the KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall and Wisma Tun Sambanthan!!
Thanks to the 7-eleven there, I went in the guise of a customer buying a drink. The Police never chase people who hold their posture and look composed. Hmm, maybe this was a good strategy. Nevertheless, I met my friend who was a Special Branch agent dressed in jeans with his team who advised me not to provoke. He said, "There are vans marked with CID officers. They go for the catch. The rest of us remain on the ground. The cops with cameras take photos of provocateurs (for evidence) then the rest go for the kill. But pity those people in the fringes, else they get caught." He assured me the cops are on our side of the struggle and are stuck between the public and a corrupted goverment.

Let us Go Home
When I thought it was finally over and time to return, there was a bigger crowd waiting in anticipation! As we ran, walked and panted away, we were greeted by friendly stationed police. This time, they even stood and smiled and posed for photos. One guy even mentioned, please make sure it comes out on Facebook!!! But just before we could thank our lucky stars, a few FRU trucks came in between Brickfields and Petronas and blocked our way back!!! People started screaming away, let us go home. We were dispersing but alas, this time we were not lucky. They were hell bent on trapping us and getting hold of us. After the harassment and another round of merry go round, we managed to get back to KL Sentral only to realise no trains were leaving from KL Sentral and the LRT was totally shut down.

The Differences
Firstly, the Goverment is now fully prepared for Massive Rallies by creating Massive Roadblocks and creating Massive Traffic Jams. Four years is a long time to prepare and with heavy propaganda and vilification, the process is much more extreme.

The Goverment has learnt much, but the people have learnt more.
Sub-contracting racism to Perkasa, whom we can daringly call cowards since they didn't turn up for the Rally, didn't work. The May 13 Bogeyman and racist conflicts don't work. The Communist tag to Bersih doesnt work (hello we have seen you tag Hindraf to LTTE terrorists, you think we belive you?)
Have you read the bedtime story called "The Boy who Cried Wolf"? After the 3rd time, nobody believed the boy. You are the Goverment for heaven's sake!!! Be responsible.
We have seen too many 'Gempar', 'Derhaka', 'Jahanam', 'HARAM' headlines from Utusan, NST, Star etc. to really bother.
Planting shiny parangs and well-preprared molotovs and taking us for rides do not work.

Khairy, who described Bersih 2007 as "beruk-beruk di jalanraya", became a Beruk himself. His comment that he was doing it because he did not agree with Bersih's method doesnt add value. All the more to beat the "Beruk", he became a Beruk himself. Where was PPP and MIC youth as claimed by him?

Facebook and Twitter were unheard of during Bersih 2007, but in Bersih 2.0 Facebook played a heavy role to garner support. Other than that, the after effects of Bersih are going Viral. Bersih went with Ambiga and came back with 65 year old Anne. Just look at Aunty Liberty and how famous she has become! Check and also Twitter account #bersihstories (or at

Planking: For the 1st Time we see a huge number of Malaysians having fun at the Rally by Planking. Go figure.

1Malaysia: This was the theme at Bersih 2.0: Masyarakat majmuk, all the slogans and posters mean nothing. The heartfelt togetherness at Bersih, the people that our goverment is trying to keep apart got together again. It was indeed 1 Malaysia.

Pakatan Rakyat: Didn't exist before the last rally, so we have a more formidable opposition / government in waiting. This is a fact. Pakatan gave support to Bersih, but Never did they Sabotage Bersih or Hijack the rally. Anwar could have been the Man in 2007, but Now it is Ambiga.

May 13: We realised more it was UMNO unleashing its demons against us. Yet there are more Malay brothers and Sisters who are on our side and will defend us before those who are against us will be able to touch us. That is why since 2008, no racial riot has happened even though many have tried to evoke it and the rakyat provoked. Malays are with their Chinese and Indian brothers and sisters. It is no More Us vs Them!

Lies: Too Many lies have been told that the rakyat doesn't believe them anymore. What more when the Prime Minister renegades his promise. We thought Najib will do a Badawi but he did worse. He didn't stick to his promise! It is worse when the very institution you continue to uphold, the sovereignty of the Malays Rulers are being trampled upon - People can see this.

Felda Folks - I travelled home with folks from Felda who were upset BN didn't listen to the king. They said they will spread the message to Felda. Money may be given but in the long run, it is we who will lose this country to corruption, lies and injustice.

Malaysians - For all who missed Bersih in 2007, now was their time to be part of History. No, we are not looking for Justice like in Tahrir Square but just peace-loving Malaysians who want Free and Fair Elections. Is that so Difficult to understand?

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