Negotiations with the authorities have broken down and Bersih 2.0 is maintaining that its rally will be at Stadium Merdeka at 2pm tomorrow.
In a statement late this evening, the Bersih 2.0 steering committee said the authorities have put “obstacle after obstacle” to frustrate any form of cooperation.
“Having faced half-hearted offers of stadiums, arrogance regarding meetings as well as denial of permits, arrests, detentions and so much more.
“We feel that we have done all that is humanly possible to demonstrate sincerity and good faith in dealing with the government - but we have only been met with reversed decisions and stone walls,” said the committee.
The statement comes soon after Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that the movement is free to hold its rally anywhere other than Kuala Lumpur. However, the minister's statement just comes hours after the Selangor Sultan decreed that no rally can be held in his state, leaving Bersih 2.0 with little options.
There has been a massive police mobilisation in Kuala Lumpur as authorities plan a water-tight cordon around the city centre where the stadium is located. Bersih 2.0 is adamant on using Stadium Merdeka due to its historical and symbolic significance, but the authorities want the movement to use another stadium.
Below is Bersih 2.0's statement in full:
2pm, July 9, Stadium Merdeka:
Malaysia's moment of truth. Malaysians from all walks of life have travelled a very long road to reach this defining point in our nation's history.
With less than 24 hours to our intended peaceful gathering, our resolve to walk the last, most difficult mile as one united people in pursuit of clean and fair elections and a better Malaysia for all is firmer than ever.
Our reason for gathering is pure and simple – to demand the electoral roll be cleaned, that the postal voting system be reformed, that indelible ink be used, a minimum 21 day campaign period be instated, free and fair access to media for all be provided, public institutions be strengthened, and for corruption as well as dirty politics to be stopped.
The authorities have put obstacle after obstacle where they only needed to provide sincere cooperation to win the trust and confidence of the people. Having faced half hearted offers of stadiums, arrogance regarding meetings as well as denials of permits, arrests, detentions and so much more, we feel that we have done all that is humanly possible to demonstrate sincerity and good faith in dealing with the government – but we have only been met with reversed decisions and stone walls.
There are no walls however, that will arrest the advance of the cause of peace and justice. Come the 9th of July, we will uphold our constitutional right to converge peacefully on Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur.
No government agency has any right whatsoever to prevent Malaysians from exercising their freedom of movement and access to our capital city. No threat or intimidation can overturn this fundamental truth.
Malaysians have now seen for themselves the degree of paranoia and lack of principled leadership that seems to have gripped the government. It is thus all the more imperative that patriotic Malaysians rise now and take this stand together to save Malaysia from slipping further into this insane darkness.
Since the beginning of Bersih 2.0, we have witnessed nothing but the utmost bravery and commitment to peace and justice demonstrated by ordinary Malaysians from every walk of life. Inspired by this example, the Bersih 2.0 leadership reiterates our own unyielding commitment to our shared cause, and to being at Stadium Merdeka at 2pm tomorrow.
We will meet at the carpark, and trust that the doors will be opened for us. This is Malaysia's single most important defining moment in recent history, and we are fully confident that the rakyat will heed the call to safeguard the principles Malaysia was founded on and together ensure that we pass down to our children a nation that is just, democratic and united in love for one another.
BERSIH mahu berhimpun di luar Stadium Merdeka
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Government cannot stop us, says Bersih