Friday 9 November 2007

November 10, 2007 People's Rally: The Lie-Detector Test on the Government's Democratic Principles and Beliefs

From Human Rights Watch Website: Read here for more and HERE in Malaysiakini


Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has vowed to crack down on a planned mass rally in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow (Nov. 10).

He gave his support to the police to break up the protest and arrest participants. Abdullah said the rally organisers have shown that they were stubborn and defiant against the country’s laws.

Tapi saya mesti kata saya pantang dicabar (But I have to say that don't you dare challenge me),” said Abdullah to roars of approval from the (UMNO) delegates. Read here for more on Malaysiakini.

Police Road Blocks to the City

Kuala Lumpur police chief Zulhasnan Najib Baharuddin said there will be several road closures and checkpoints throughout the city to keep people away from Dataran Merdeka.

Eyewitnesses claimed that police have mounted roadblocks since yesterday along the busy Jalan Kuching and Karak Highway in an apparent move to screen motorists arriving from the East Coast.

Another eyewitness from Malacca told Malaysiakini said similar roadblocks had been mounted near Simpang Ampat since early this morning.

Print Media Clampdown by the Government

Malaysiakini had earlier learnt that the print media has been instructed by the government not to carry any statements issued by Bersih on the rally or to highlight the event. Industry sources said they are only allowed to run the authorities’ side of the story.
Read here for more on Malaysiakini

High-Powered Delegation at the People's Rally

A delegation of political and civil society leaders has been identified to submit a memorandum to the King’s representative at the end of the People's Rally.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket The team will comprise of PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, DAP leader Lim Kit Siang, PAS secretary-general Kamaruddin Jaffar, MTUC president Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud, DAP publicity secretary Teresa Kok, Writers Alliance for Media Independence chairperson Wong Chin Huat, one representative each from student groups Gamis, SMM, Dema, Centre for Independent Journalism executive director V Gayathry, Women’s Development Collective executive director Maria Chin Abdullah and Penggerak Demokrasi Rakyat coordinator Anuar Tahir. The pro tem leaders and members of the yet-to-be registered Parti Sosialis Malaysia have also committed their presence.

Bersih secretariat member Faisal Mustaffa said an indication of what is to come can be seen from the fact that the PAS Youth wing and powerful Ulama wing have issued a directive to all members to take part in the rally.
Read here for more on Malaysiakini


“...Prime Minister Badawi claims to be a reformer, but when it comes to holding onto power, he and his (UMNO) party make one set of rules for themselves and another for everyone else.

If Malaysia wants to count itself a democracy, it can begin by upholding constitutional guarantees of free speech and assembly.

What is a democracy without public rallies by all involved, including civil society and opposition parties?”

-Brad Adams, Asia Director
Human Rights Watch

Excerpts: Read here for more on Human Rights Watch Website

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Allow Rally for Electoral Reform

New York-based HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH said the police in Kuala Lumpur should permit a public rally and march organized by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (known as Bersih) to proceed as planned on Saturday November 10.

Kuala Lumpur’s police chief has warned the public that they risk arrest, fines and jail if they participate in the Bersih rally and march, adding that roadblocks and road closures would be in place. Police plans also include the deployment of some 4,000 officers and checks on all cars coming in from outside Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia’s inspector-general of police took the unusual step of reiterating the warnings. Current Malaysian law bans public gatherings of more than five persons without a permit.

According to Brad Adams, the ASIA Director at Human Rights Watch:

“The grounds for refusing the rally are NONSENSE.

If Malaysia wants to count itself a democracy, it can begin by upholding constitutional guarantees of free speech and assembly.

The way the system works now, ONLY the ruling (Barisan Nasional Coalition can get its messages out.

Organizers of the Bersih rally only want to create a level playing field FOR ALL in the coming elections, yet they are being denied the basic right of expressing their concerns in a peaceful demonstration.

Prime Minister Badawi claims to be a reformer, but when it comes to holding onto power, he and his party make one set of rules for themselves and another for everyone else.

The government should not be afraid to allow Malaysians to raise very basic issues about the fundamental right to vote in Merdeka Square.

What is a democracy without public rallies by all involved, including civil society and opposition parties? ”

Approximately 70 nongovernmental organizations and opposition political parties have asked the government to implement a series of reforms to address widespread election irregularities.

Bersih’s initial request to assemble in Merdeka Square in downtown Kuala Lumpur to march to the national palace to deliver a memorandum to the king was denied on the grounds that:

  1. the organization was not a registered body,

  2. City Hall had not approved use of the square,

  3. the square would be otherwise occupied,

  4. the march would inconvenience drivers, and

  5. the march could affect public order.
The organizers disputed each of these points.

  1. Although Bersih is not a registered organization, the participating groups are registered.

  2. Organizers have pledged that Merdeka Square would be cleared in plenty of time for the subsequent event, and said that they chose this long holiday weekend to inconvenience as few drivers as possible.

  3. To address public safety concerns, organizers have asked participants to refrain from carrying anything that could compromise the organizers’ peaceful intent and have assured the police that 600 volunteers in addition to those from participating political parties would be on hand to ensure a nonviolent and safe event.

  4. Observers from neutral organizations have also been recruited.
Malaysia’s parliamentary elections have been characterized by vote buying, the use of public resources by the ruling parties, and gerrymandering.

The Election Commission has been accused of bias.

Bersih has asked that indelible ink be used to prevent voters from casting more than one vote, removal of alleged phantom voters from the electoral rolls, elimination of the widespread use of absentee ballots by government workers, and access to state-controlled media by all political parties.

To date, the Election Commission has only agreed to using indelible ink.

From Zainol Abideen of "Mahaguru58" Blog: Read here for more

Deafening Silence of Istana Negara

"... Malaysians will be attending the rally to dress in yellow as a mark of respect, and hope for INTERVENTION from His Majesty the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong HIMSELF, to AVOID police brutality from taking place at the proposed public rally.

... although this public rally is common knowledge throughout Malaysia and... the police threatens to use force upon those who attend the rally, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong's silence is deeply regretted and a cause of concern to me and the rest of the Malaysian Blogosphere and citizens who are concerned about our nation.

His Majesty, Tuanku Mizan stands to go down in history as a King who didn't or doesn't care about us Malaysians, His Majesty's subjects, who face imminent lethal harm from the very police force who are supposed to protect us from any dangers in upholding our rights and freedom to assemble in peace as guaranteed and provided for in the Malaysian Constitution...." Read
here for more
From Bernard Khoo of "Zorro Unmasked" Blog: Read here for more

An Appeal to His Majesty, the Agung


Your People Want Change.

They have pleaded for Change.

They have nobody to turn to Change.

The Government they voted in refused to.

They turn in desperation, in peaceful desperation, to you, their King.

They do not want violence. They pray in silence.

But the FORCE will force obedience. The FORCE will NOT allow your people their peaceful walk. The FORCE will NOT allow your people to walk to you.

The FORCE will fine, arrest, jail your people who want to walk to you.

We do not want the violence. They promised to avoid violence


If it is not possible for Your Majesty to come, can you ask your army to escort us in our walk to see you?

I crave your Majesty's forgiveness if I am too forward but this is just a plaintive plea from an old subject of yours.



  • From Noor Yahaya Hamzah: Read here for more
  • "... The writing is on the walls...

    1. First, the concentration of power to one group of people, UMNO/BN

    2. Then the Prime Minister's family.

    3. Then the concentration of wealth and hence power to the powerful and rich, notably UMNO/Barisan cliques.
    There has been a series of stupid, discriminating and 'kuku besi' style laws that increase the hold of the powerful over the masses.

    And dissent and debate is discouraged and punishable by law.

    And NOW, people are NOT allowed to walk from Dataran Merdeka to Istana Negara to present their signatures to the King.


    There are examples from around the world, which I am sure that the 'power that be' are quick to learn.

    Fiji, Pakistan, Iraq during Saddam, Algeria, Tunisia...

    Saturday 10th November could be the day that changed the written history of our country.

    BERSIH wants to hold a rally to present petition to the King, but Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wants none of it.

    What would happen? After all, the police has started mounting roadblocks around KL as reported by Malaysiakini..

    Let say that today BERSIH would managed to garner 100,000 people to converge in Dataran Merdeka, let say they all somehow managed to slip pass police roadblock and turn up at Dataran Merdeka.

    Would the police and FRU come on hard on their own people?

    Let say they do, and a few people lost their lives in the process...

    Story from Myanmar is just fresh in our memories just a months ago.

    Let say the police changed their stance and join the people instead, march along with the people and present the petition to the King.

    Which I secretly hope they would.

    That remind me of Georgia less than a year ago...."

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