20 June 2011

Is asking for free and fair elections too much...

The Bersih 2.0 has attracted its fair share of supporters and detractors, especially those who believe that Malaysians shouldn’t march or assemble for a series of demands and causes that will lead to greater democracy.

Perkasa’s curiously named Gerak Aman movement, which ironically said it won’t be responsible for any violence if Bersih 2.0 continues with its July 9 march, believes it, too, will exercise its democratic right to march on that day.

For that matter, Umno Youth, too, wants to march for democracy although it doesn’t support the Bersih 2.0 demands. And funnily enough, its parent body, Umno, feels it shouldn’t take to the streets at all.

This is funny, funny-strange, coming from a party that took to the streets to protest the formation of the Malayan Union. Then again, the Umno of today is not the Umno of 1946 that was born in a Johor palace.

That Umno died in 1988. Today’s Umno was born in the late Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat’s house in Damansara but holds on to the glory of its democratic past.

And it is this very democracy that Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin did not refer to when saying Bersih 2.0 was compromised by opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s remarks that he can stop the rally if their demands are met.

“He (Anwar) thinks that Bersih is an agenda of and platform for the opposition. That shows Bersih is compromised, because if Anwar can think that it (Bersih) belongs to the opposition then Bersih’s objectives are jeopardised. They (Bersih) are being used by the opposition,” he told reporters during a press conference here today.

If that is all there is to show a compromise or that the rally’s objectives have been jeopardised, then Khairy needs a reminder as to what the Bersih 2.0 rally is all about. It’s about asking for free and fair elections with a lengthy campaign period that used to be the case until the 1969 elections.

Those elections were marred by race riots in the aftermath of polling day, the same spectre that is being raised by Perkasa and groups of the same ilk — the people that Umno panders to and supports when it suits their agenda.

Now we know that Khairy and Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali don’t see eye-to-eye on any issue but when it comes to Bersih, they stand together. Does this mean Khairy or Umno Youth is compromised by being on the same side against Bersih 2.0 although the Rembau MP is against any form of violence?

It would be too simplistic to draw that conclusion. As it is, Khairy and his baggage did not help him win his Youth post. He should know better than to harp on a throwaway line rather than focus on the substance of the Bersih rally.

Bersih wants free and fair elections. Isn’t that what Khairy wants too? Or for that matter any Malaysian no matter their political affiliation? How hard is it to allow anyone to march or gather peacefully? How hard is it to have free and fair elections?

If that is already in place, then it’s just a day to walk through Kuala Lumpur for Khairy, Gerak Aman and Bersih 2.0. Neither the ruling government nor Anwar has the authority to stop that or insult it with comments that do not make any sense.

source:malaysian insider

Biarkan rally itu diadakan - Pihak keselamatan jagalah keselamatan rally tu.

Khairy: Waktu untuk amaran sudah berakhir


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