09 May 2012

If we're not Egypt, why fear Bersih? ask Marina Mahathir...

Marina Mahathir, daughter of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has launched a stinging attack on UMNO leaders who accused participants of the Bersih 3.0 rally last month of wanting to topple the government through street protests.

“What is this obsession with us not being Egypt anyway? If we’re not, then why worry? Besides, who needs to worry about the Arab Spring unless they identify themselves with Ben Ali, Mubarak, Gadaffi and Assad?” she wrote in a blog posting, referring to the Arab dictators.

UMNO leaders, including her father, had earlier said that Bersih protesters were imitating the people's uprising in the Middle East, collectively known as the 'Arab Spring', and wanted to replace the current government through street protests and foreign interference.

Marina (pic), who also joined the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28, defended the right to peaceful assembly and said there was nothing wrong when the Egyptian people assembled at Tahrir Square to press for democratic reforms.

“They want a greater say in the policies of the government. They want an end to corruption. They want proper elections with many candidates to choose from, not just those handpicked by the rulers. They want an end to military interference in politics,” she wrote.

“Aren’t these reasonable? But our government will not acknowledge that these demands are quite normal. Well maybe they’re not in an undemocratic country.”

Marina also took to task those who argued that Malaysians need not protest as their country was "not Egypt.

“If Malaysia is not Egypt and our leaders are not Mubarak, then why are Malaysians who went to Bersih treated like Egyptian protestors?” she asked.

“If anyone had gone down to Dataran on the Sunday after Bersih 3.0, apart from the barbed wire, everything was back to normal... Made our point, now let’s go eat. This is why we are not Egypt. In this we agree with our government. We are NOT Egypt. But then why respond in such Mubarak-like fashion?”

On the recent declaration by the National Fatwa Council that demonstrating against the government was forbidden in Islam, Marina reminded of a similar ruling made by Egypt's Al-Azhar University Fatwa Committee in the days leading to Mubarak's resignation on February 11, 2011.

“So getting the NFC ( hmmm…dubious initials…) to issue such a fatwa seems very Mubarak-like, doesn’t it?” she quipped. - harakahdaily

No one was provocative during Bersih rally...

 Social activist Marina Mahathir has said that she hadn’t witnessed any provocation from Bersih 3.0 supporters during the massive rally on April 28.

The rally, which turned ugly an hour after it officially began, saw police shooting tear gas canisters and water cannons into the 80,000-strong crowd after a group of protesters breached the barricades surrounding Dataran Merdeka.

In the aftermath, videos and pictures of violence from police as well as protesters surfaced with both sides insisting that the other take responsibility for the rally’s outcome.

In a recent interview on business radio station BFM, Marina recounted walking up to the barricades at Jalan Lebuh Pasar where the police were gathered.

“No one was being provocative,” she said. “There were high spirits, many young people and the police was being very patient.”

“But having said that they suddenly brought out the trucks, and the guys in helmets and shields. We didn’t really understand why. I thought it was an intimidation factor, to just have them standing there.”

Marina added that while word of Bersih 3.0 co-chairperson, S Ambiga’s, directive for the crowd to disperse had spread, many “rally tourists” still wanted to get closer to the barricades for snapshots.

“I don’t think anyone is really going to know just yet who is responsible,” she mused. “We may need a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to get to them bottom of this.”

“The government should set up such a commission to clear its name, and everyone should support it because everyone has a stake in it.”

Last Wednesday, the Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) had also urged Putrajaya to do the same in the light of conflicting reports on the violence between police and protesters during the rally.
No political hijacking

The police have defended their actions, saying that the situation would have worsened if they had simply stood aside. Marina, however, didn’t buy it.

“Horrible things happened (on that day) because they threw tear gas,” she pointedly said. “If they didn’t want people entering Dataran Merdeka then the tear gas should have been lobbed there instead.”

“Why shoot it straight into the crowd? I read one person’s account of being tracked by the water cannon so what’s that all about?”

Another claim that didn’t sit well with Marina was that of the opposition hijacking the rally and being ultimately responsible for the ensuing clashes.

According to her, the supporters were shouting for Ambiga and not for opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim. She also observed that isolated political chants were not taken up by the crowd either.

“So I don’t know whether that’s a fair charge to say about the whole rally,” Marina stated when asked for her thoughts on the rally’s link to the Pakatan coalition.

“They are politicians, that is their gain and that is what they do. If they were BN politicians, they would have done exactly the same thing.” - FMT

Uncensored - The Blame Game with Marina Mahathir

Anak Mahathir syor S'jaya Diraja siasat Bersih 3.0...

Aktivis sosial Marina Mahathir berpendapat kerajaan perlu menubuhkan sebuah Suruhanjaya Siasatan Diraja (RCI) berhubung insiden yang berlaku dalam perhimpunan Bersih 3.0 Duduk Bantah pada 28 April lalu.

Katanya, kerajaan perlu menubuhkan suruhanjaya itu bagi membersihkan namanya dan rakyat akan menyokong kerana mereka mempunyai kepentingan di dalamnya.

"Saya tidak fikir sesiapa yang benar-benar akan tahu lagi yang bertanggungjawab. Kita mungkin perlu sebuah Suruhanjaya Siasatan Diraja (RCI) untuk sampai kepada mereka bawah ini.

"Kerajaan harus merasa insentif untuk menubuhkan sebuah suruhanjaya untuk membersihkan namanya, dan semua orang patut menyokong kerana setiap orang mempunyai kepentingan di dalamnya," katanya dipetik daripada temubual Free Malaysia Today (FMT).

Beliau yang mengikuti perhimpunan Bersih 3.0 tidak menyaksikan apa-apa provokasi dari penyokong himpunan itu.

Katanya, perhimpunan itu bertukar huru-hara apabila melihat polis menembak kanister gas pemedih mata dan meriam air ke arah orang ramai, selepas peserta himpunan merempuh penghadang di sekitar Dataran Merdeka.

"Tiada siapa yang telah menjadi provokatif. "Terdapat semangat yang tinggi, ramai orang muda dan pihak polis sangat sabar."

"Tetapi mereka tiba-tiba membawa trak, dan orang bertopi keledar dan perisai. Kami tidak benar-benar memahami mengapa. Saya fikir ia adalah satu faktor ugutan," katanya.

Rabu lepas, Persatuan bagi Penggalakan Hak Asasi Manusia (Proham) telah juga menggesa Putrajaya untuk melakukan perkara yang sama dalam laporan yang bercanggah mengenai keganasan antara polis dan peserta himpunan dalam Bersih 3.0.

Bagaimanapun, pihak polis telah mempertahankan tindakan mereka mengatakan bahawa keadaan akan bertambah buruk jika mereka hanya berdiri tepi.

"Perkara yang Dahsyat berlaku (pada hari itu) kerana mereka melemparkan gas pemedih mata. Tidak mahu orang memasuki Dataran Merdeka kemudian dilepaskan gas pemedih mata," katanya.
- harakahdaily

Marina Mahathir kata dia tidak menyaksikan sebarang provokasi dari Peserta BERSIH 3.0


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