Top 10 Little Uncircumspect, Uncircumcised Reasons for the Malay Vote Swings in PRU-13

I received this article from Apocryphalist for the benefit of all readers out there. His other articles on other matters can be read here and here.


Top 10 Little Uncircumspect, Uncircumcised Reasons for the Malay Vote Swings in PRU-13

A total political tsunami, including a massive exodus of malay voters swinging over to the Pakatan, would have happened had it not been for some minor silly mistakes that the entire PR machinery had brought about. Remember: the kingmakers are the rakyat. And in particular, the Kampung folks and the deep suburban housewives and youngsters, and the oil palm plantation workers and the estate rubber tappers. The east coast fishermen and the west coast factory workers. These are the silent giants, the mute decision makers. You won’t want to cross them.  And crossing them was what happened in the recent election. Let’s have a look at some of them here: some of them had been gelled for some time already, while some of them emerged just a few days before election day:-

1) Cute But Vulnerable Election Slogans. It’s good to have catchy little slogans that people can carry and shout around, not to mention to make stickers with which you can stick everywhere. But if you do that, can you please make sure that they are soooo invincible that it leaves no one, and I mean no one, able  to find alternative, albeit equally catchy, phrases? So for example:-

a) Asalkan Bukan UMNO. Or ABU, as created by lawyer Harris Ibrahim. Almost overnight, its sensation and impact drizzles down when the pro-Umno guys came up with an alternative of what the acronym really stands for: Allah Bersama UMNO! Yes, that Allah that the DAP wants to share, remember? But frankly, among the kampong folks, which one do you think is more appealing: the Asalkan Bukan one or the Allah Bersama one?

b) Ini Kali Lah. I thought this one would be cute too, when lo and behold, the BN Dead Poets Society came up with their own version of what the PR reeeeaaaalllly means: Lain Kali Saja Lah

2) Cute and Witty but Harmful Remarks. Irrespective of how much you hate Dr Mahathir, no one (apart from some die-hard Mahathir dissenters in Rocky Bru’s comment columns) would so much hate the former Prime Minister vehemently. So imagine your PR number one man saying something like “Kalau mahu mati, mati saja lah …” So the karma goes back to him. And what about that do’a by the brother of Nik Aziz: “KO UMNO! KO UMNO! KO UMNO!” So it got the common and ordinary folks into thinking … hey this is really unbecoming of a group of people who claims truth and righteousness side with them. And they voted …

3) Cute Little Multimedias. Well, we’ve seen them all. The mirip Anwar sommersaulting the China Doll. The mirip Anwar groping a guy’s scrotum in a hotel room. The mirip Anwar sweet-talking a boy in another hotel room, believed to be the rudimentary beginnings of foreplay. Then there’s the mirip Azmin Ali offering some Cornetto to a lady friend in a bathroom. The mirip Stopa Ali asking his … err… wife… to massage him for RM1400 after … err… performing his duty as a husband. Yes yes I know. People are tired and loathsome with all these raunchy videos, but then, they either go back to their homes believing that UMNO is such a GRRREEAAAT filmmaker to come up with movies so very much like the original people that even great Hollywood directors could not do, or … there MAY be something to it. There MAY be something to all these allegations and proofs after all. And they thought and they thought. And then they voted.

But the voters look beyond these videos and multimedia. They observe silently, pool all the information they gather around them, and put two and two together. For example, this is what they have been thinking:

    • Nasharuddin Isa takes a trip with Najib to meet some Mid East scholars and he’s expelled? (When he was shown flanking ranks with some DAP harbis he was considered a hero)
    • Hassan Ali insisting that malay-filled Shah Alam should not be selling alcohol in public and raided a premise that did, and when he opposed Ronnie Lieuw to ask the government to “put them alcohol back”, he was expelled?
    • When Stopa Ali’s mirip video was shown, the entire PAS machinery deem it Unislamic to expose a person’s keaiban? But much earlier Hadi Awang goes on record to say that it is okay to expose the wrongdoings of a leader, and he means his raunchy ones too, if it is for the reason of telling the voters what kind of man that that particular leader is. He was, of course, referring only to BN leaders.
    • When PR leader championed LGBT, Pluralism, Israeli rights etc, none of the PAS leaders bat an eyelid?

4) A Little Over-the-Top Be Bop Flip Flop. Well how would you like to vote for leaders who, at one point says that there shall be no hudud and thereafter says that there shall. First the name of Allah can be used by those who don’t believe in His Oneness and then (for the sake of votes) say that they can’t. First you say Lynas will produce mutant babies and therafter say that it is safe. If you can flip before elections, say the voters, what makes you think that you cannot flop right after it?

5) The Lahad Datu Fiasco. Reports of Tian Chua and Sivarasa’s trip to Manila just before the intruders intruded, and Nur Misuari’s open support for PR as well as Anwar Ibrahim’s meeting before him prior to the fiasco, made people wonder just what the hell is going on. But when lives are lost, they decided they if they can’t defend their sovereignty using guns, they would do so using their voting rights. And they did.

6) The Open Zionist Israeli support for the PR. Oh Brother! Of all these 10 reasons, this one is perhaps the stupidest of all. I mean, what were they THINKING? And who was it that convinced those Israeli firsters to shoot a video of themselves and send it to Ziono-phobic Malaysia to gain votes? I mean, I would even to start believing that there are certain sections in DAP out to sabotage the party by convincing them to do this one up. Either that, or the DAP really should replace their strategists. This point is self-explanatory.

7) Increasingly glaring revelations by Anwar’s closest friends and aides. Yes. The ones who know Anwar rightly and deeply are not the Surendrans or the Sivarasas or the Rafizi Ramlis who just got to know Anwar only since last year or so. The people who were with Anwar for like more than 4 decades—the ones who created ABIM together with him, who supported him even before he was UMNO, the ones who were his schoolmates, the ones who defended him in court 15 years back, the ones who taught together with him in Yayasan Anda right during the days when Anwar still goes around in buses in rubber slippers. These are the ones who have left him, for good reasons. And the reasons, the gory details for their doing so, is scattered everywhere in the the net. And it’s not a pretty picture, I tell you!

8) Saiful’s Kaabah Sumpah Laknat. Folks, do not belittle the power of Sumpah Laknat. You know, the one that starts with Wallahi, WaTallahi, WaBillahi … A muslim can rob, a muslim can steal, a muslim can entertain his neighbour’s wife playing konda-kondi wearing expensive Calvin Klein socks and nothing else, but ask him to perform this sumpah, he wouldn’t dare. And in front of the Kaabah? Doubly wouldn’t dare. And isn’t this the very exact introductory sumpah that became the pivotal statement of Najib’s oath as a Prime Minister in front of the Agong yesterday? And let’s say, takdirwise, and nau’zubillah, that Anwar DID become prime minister. Wouldn’t he have to undergo the same sumpah in front of the Agong? That very sumpah that Anwar says is unislamic, unnecessary and above all, means nothing? And latest is, just a few days before the polls, came the exploding revelation of this former Anwar aide by the name of Rahimi. He was a close friend to Saiful, and man! Those who had any doubts in Saiful before, better be hearing this guy out. The details, the very clear picture of what happened at the heights of the Saiful allegations on Anwar, those few hours preceding it … there is absolutely no way at all that this guy could be lying. Who else would know that much detail? And equipped with all this, the silent voter goes to the polls.

9) Very dubious Characters of PR strongmen. And very strange ones too, not to mention horny. First they caught a PAS guy doing acrobatics with another man’s wife inside a train—caught red handed by the jilted husband himself! Brought him to the Tok Guru, and the latter, in the manner of a Catholic Pope, announced that said playboy had already been pardoned by Allah! Luckily no monetary indulgences were necessary. And then they trapped this PKR biggie talking to a mole in the internet, who was able to convince the guy to open up his pants and beat his meat in front of the camera. And then they sort of put two and two together, and lo and behold, suddenly Mat Sabu’s Room 121 case, Ustaz Badrul Amin’s tryst with another guy’s wife in hotel room etc etc seem all too real, too believable and too … humanly possible!

10) The sudden realization of what the WHOLE thing means. There is an overwhelming suspicion that says the Chinese are really not against corruption and fairness and transparency etc etc at all. For if applying the same standards, they would have equally complained about PR-led states like Selangor and Penang too. But of course when cornered they can always shift the blame to faulty Microsoft Excels or convenient typing errors, such errors sometimes potentially costing a billion ringgit or two. But apparently, the Object of Contention is the Malays! Yes, their slogan Malaysian Malaysia really means, Chinese Malaysia. I mean, that’s what are in the minds of these simple folk voters as to what it really means. And after the ordeal is over, especially in Gelang Patah, it is clear that chinese voters would prefer Mummy-Foo’ed Kit Siang who, in his 40 years of existence, had absolutely nothing to prove of his worth as a Malaysian politician, over squeaky-clean Ghani Othman, the architect of Modern Johore Development, just because Ghani is a malay and Kit Siang is a chinese. That, along with pictures like the ones shown below, are not helping voters to side not along racial lines at all:-


Suddenly, the voters awoke from their slumber. Suddenly, the kampong voters stop to ponder what it all means:-

  1. Here’s a vote to allow LGBT to take roots in Malaysia
  2. Here’s a vote to make me complicit in establishing pluralism as a national Ideology
  3. Here’s a vote to abolish, or reduce, article 153
  4. Here’s a vote to UBAH … for the worse !


#anwar-ibrahim, #bersih, #chinese-supremacy, #lim-guan-eng, #lim-kit-siang, #malaysian-ge-2013, #reference, #sodomy-ii, #sour-grapes

A Samad Said does not want Anwar Ibrahim to become Prime Minister

When a person is so desperate and become too biased in his thinking, inadvertently he will become stupid. That is the case of A Samad Said. Sensing that he has no more other ideas to condemn the government led by Barisan Nasional, he blurted a racial statement which not only seemed idiotic, but has revealed that he can offer Pakatan absolutely nothing in this election campaign.

He questioned (in red below) the race of all our Prime Ministers (former and current) and remarked why are they all malays. He remarked that it is high time for voters to be critical of this fact. In his mind, there should be a Prime Minister of a different race other than malays in the near future.

With this statement, I believe A Samad Said, in his intellectual capacity, will have to go against his own Pakatan Rakyat’s choice of Prime Minister and reject the malay Anwar Ibrahim if Pakatan Rakyat wins this general election. A Samad Said must also reject Abdul Hadi Awang, the President of PAS because he too, is a malay.

But who does A Samad Said root for to be the Prime Minister? Would it be Lim Guan Eng? That seems to be plausible since DAP is the biggest opposition party right now.

Openly campaigning for Pakatan, Pak Samad tells voters to oust BN


APRIL 06, 2013

SELAYANG, April 6 — Bersih 2.0 co-chairman Datuk A. Samad Said openly called on voters today to support the opposition and use this “once chance” to end Barisan Nasional’s (BN) rule in Election 2013.

This is the first time the national literary icon popularly known as Pak Samad, has openly urged Malaysians to back the federal opposition coalition to “overhaul” the government and “amend the broken machinery” like healthcare and education, which Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has promised to deliver.

“This is our chance… the time has come for us to overhaul the government to that power would fall in the right hands.

“This is our opportunity to amend the broken machinery like healthcare, education and democracy of which have been promised by the opposition,” he said at an event organised by polls reform group Bersih 2.0 here.

Bersih 2.0, a coalition of over 80 non-governmental organisations, has in the past been forced to defend itself against criticisms calling it a partisan group, largely due to the immense support it had received from PR leaders for its street protests.

The former national laureate Samad (picture) said now is a critical time for voters to ask themselves why the same coalition has ruled Malaysia for more than five decades and why is it those in power are only Malays.”I am also a Malay but I often asked why is it that the powers above me are only Malays?

“Tunku Abdul Rahman was a Malay, (Tun) Abdul Razak was a Malay, (Tun) Hussein Onn was a Malay, (Tun Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) is not a pure Malay but can be considered a Malay.. (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) is also a Malay,” he said.

Despite a solid Malay leadership for five 56 years, Samad pointed to the racist tactic used by the ruling coalition to keep the country’s ethnic majority on its side.

Since A Samad Said (and Bersih) is no longer non-partisan, we can deduce that Bersih is a full fledged opposition outfit. It has been a foregone conclusion for the past few years that Bersih is the Street Demo Division of Pakatan Rakyat and with this all out support by A Samad Said, there is no longer any doubt.

However, what A Samad Said had said run contrary to what his colleague in PAS had said. The vice president of PAS, Salahuddin Ayub just told the media that there is no way a chinese will be the prime minister.


Perhaps he is saying this in front of an audience which was mainly Malays? Maybe. Pakatan leaders have always played to the gallery. After all, their God-sent leader, Anwar Ibrahim is the chief chameleon.

GE13: A Chinese will never be PM, says PAS veep Salahuddin

Salahuddin Ayub

JOHOR BARU: A Chinese will never be Prime Minister or the Johor Mentri Besar if Pakatan Rakyat comes to power, said PAS vice president Salahuddin Ayub.

He said that it was impossible for DAP to offer a Chinese candidate for these positions as they were only contesting 50 of the 222 Parliament seats.

“I do not think that the Chinese and Indians are interested in becoming the Prime Minister or even the Agong,” he said.

“As for the position in the state, it says in state bylaws that only a Malay and a Muslim can be the Mentri Besar in Johor.”

He added that the same accusations surfaced when Datuk Chua Jui Meng was appointed the Johor PKR chief and had resurfaced with DAP advisor Lim kit Siang contesting in Gelang Patah.

Salahuddin is tipped to contest the Pulai parliamentary and the state seat of Nusajaya.

It is quite extraordinary for Salahuddin Ayub to say this actually. He sounded just like Ibrahim Ali of Perkasa. If any of the Barisan Nasional leaders had said this, they would be deemed as racist by the Malaysian First hypocrites like Hannah Yeoh or Lim Kit Siang.

But with A Samad Said not wanting a malay as Prime Minister, we can see there will be more peculiarities coming from Pakatan Rakyat in this next few weeks. And for A Samad Said’s information, there is nothing wrong with a malay being the prime minister. Thinking too much on the racial lines makes you a racist yourself.

And finally, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is a malay through and through. Only his paternal grandfather is of indian blood. The rest, (maternal grandparents and paternal grandmother) were of malay descent. Moreover, Tun Hussein Onn’s grandmother was from Turkey but according to A Samad Said’s standard, Hussein Onn is pure malay. All this double standard and total ignorance is unbecoming of a national laureate. True enough, when you are prejudiced, you become irrational.

#anwar-ibrahim, #bersih, #lim-guan-eng, #lim-kit-siang

Those who shouldn’t be contesting

The year is travelling so fast and before we know it, March is already upon us. And within then next 45 days, there will be a new line up of cabinet ministers that will administer this country for the next 5 years.

Back in 2009, a post was written regarding the newly appointed cabinet by the then newly minted Prime Minister, Najib Razak. On hindsight, that article was a balance between a crystal ball of “I told you so!” and something that is totally off the mark altogether. But nobody is perfect.

But what is important, in order to have a really strong government, the candidates contesting for this coming general election have to right.

We need people who are energetic, wise, intelligent, credible and above all, have the integrity to be respected by most. This applies for both sides of the divide. The highest law making body in the land is made up with lawmakers from all parties be it the Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat.

This time around, I honestly feel there are few people that should not offer themselves as candidates in the next general election.

They are:

1) Nik Aziz

He has been the Menteri Besar of Kelantan for 23 years. Already sickly and decrepit, he sometimes suffer bouts of dementia which ultimately lend credence to his senility. Who would forget a youtube video where he said it is okay for a woman to be raped because she did not cover up? At 82 years old, do we honestly think he should not give the younger leaders a chance? Do we expect him to lead Kelantan for the next 5 years until he is 87? Even Dr Mahathir retired at 78.

Back in early 2000s, Nik Aziz made a pledge that should Dr. Mahathir resigned from his premiership, he will resign the very next day as well. It is now 2013. It has been nearly 10 years since Dr. Mahathir resigned. And Nik Aziz is till clinging to power like it is the most important thing in this world. Although the afterlife is what PAS leaders always say they are focussing on, it is insignificant thing like politics is what they cherish more.

Nik Aziz should just retire.

2) Rais Yatim

What can we say about Rais Yatim which has not been said already? Turning 71 this year, surely there are more capable people that can lead the information ministry in ways so much better than he could. If he had done his job well, there will be a lot more people supporting Barisan Nasional right now. But fiasco after fiasco and bad decision making are the hallmark of his ministry.

Who could forget the Merdeka Day fiasco last year where he mishandled the issues on the merdeka theme and and the Janji Ditepati song? Even the simplest issue like merdeka logo which was made in haste and in bad taste could not be successfully mitigated by his ministry.

Surely, the Jelebu parliamentary which had been held strong by Rais Yatim all these years can afford to have a change of guard. Please do not tell us that should he is not selected as the candidate in the next general election, Jelebu will fall. That means, Rais Yatim is doing a terrible job in succession planning. Or he is a good job in promoting himself as an individual, but a really bad job in promoting his party, the Barisan Nasional.

Either way, it is time to retire. He may think he has a lot more to offer, but in actual truth and honesty, he doesn’t. Do we need a minister who will be a minister till he is 76?

3) Lim Kit Siang

Poor old Lim Kit Siang. The only thing that can make him feel relevant is to hold on to the number one post in DAP for as long as possible. He has been the supremo for that party since Tun Razak was the prime minister. That is more than 40 years of being the ruler of DAP!

Already 72 years old, what more do we need from him? He can always write his thoughts in his blog rather than be involved directly in Malaysian politics. All those time spewing hatred and giving out supremacist speeches in rallies must be tiring for an old man like him. He has already established a dynasty within his party. His son, daughter in law, and perhaps his grandson will definitely hold the reins of the party long after he is gone. So his legacy is intact. There is nothing to worry about.

It is time to go Uncle Kit. Do us this favour or you will die in office as the longest serving party dictator in this part of the region.

4) Karpal Singh

73 year old Karpal Singh is another old guard that has to go otherwise together with the names mentioned above, we shall probably have to put him as an exhibit in Jurassic Park in Melaka.

Already wheelchair-bound, it is such an inhumane thing for us voters to force him to continue servicing us as an MP. Most of us do not know the demands and the punishing schedule of an MP. There is not enough hours and minutes in their typical day. I just hope the party leadership in DAP will be more merciful to Karpal Singh. Honestly, I do not think Karpal Singh have the energy to face another 5 years of politicking anymore. What more with his often tumultuous relationship with Anwar Ibrahim and his compatriots in PAS.

Let the old man rest.

5) Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah

Ku Li has been an MP since 1969. One of the longest MPs still serving in our current day Parliament. Although he is still sharp at 76, I think it is high time Kelantan Umno find a replacement for his candidacy in Gua Musang. Please do not tell us that Kelantan Umno will only think about a suitable successor for Gua Musang only when Ku Li is 81 at the 14th general election in 2018. That would be a huge mistake.

Do it now when his majority for Gua Musang in the last 2008 election is still high. Surely Ku Li do not expect to be an MP forever? Please do not pull a Nik Aziz on us.

6) Khairy Jamaluddin

Now although he is still young (37), he did actually made a decision not defend his Rembau seat back in 2011. In order to maintain the integrity of all Barisan Nasional candidates, we hope Khairy will act as he had promised unless he is willing to be seen as an attention seeker who suffer bouts of knee-jerk reaction and talking without thinking syndrome. We need leaders with principles. Not drama queens.

Although we hate to see him go since he had done quite well in the youth front, we do wish him well in his future undertakings. Bon voyage.

Khairy confirms he won’t defend Rembau seat

PETALING JAYA: Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has confirmed speculation on social networking site Twitter that he will not defend his Rembau seat in the next general election.

When asked to verify the speculation that he might not contest in the 13th general election, Khairy replied “yes” via SMS.

He had earlier created quite a buzz in Twitter when he sent a tweet about taking a break from politics.

“Hope to help win more youth support for BN (Barisan Nasional) in 2011 & work hard preparing for elections. Then I’m taking a break from politics. Can’t wait,” Khairy wrote on Twitter.

His tweet generated much response from his followers who wondered if the Rembau MP was not going to defend his seat in the 13th general election.

“I would like to ‘stand down’ as they say in the UK. A couple of things I’d like to do before it gets too late,” tweeted Khairy in response to a follower who asked him what he meant by a “break”.

Asked how long he planned to be away from politics, Khairy replied: “Indefinite. Not sure what I will be doing. A few things I want to do like go back to school.”

Khairy first mentioned the possibility of not defending his seat in an interview with a newsportal last July.

At that time, he clarified his statement a day later, saying he was only mulling the possibility and that he had yet to make a firm decision on the matter.

7) All other Pakatan Rakyat leaders

If we do not have integrity and principles, then we are less of a human being than an animal. We stood our ground because we have principles. We are respected and treated seriously because we have integrity.

In 1969, the now defunct Labour Party boycotted and did not enter the general election that year because they thought the Alliance could not tolerate the existence non-communal opposition party with leftist tendency and that to participate in that election would be to condone communal elections.

That is what we call a principled decision with highest integrity.

Our Labour Party was not the first nor were they the last to have done that. In Egypt recently, the opposition had decided not to contest in the upcoming election due to transparency issue.

Therefore it is really questionable and their integrity found wanting when Pakatan Rakyat decided to contest in this 13th General Election when time and time again they have shouted on top of their lungs that this general election will be the dirtiest ever with a lot of ‘discrepancies’ and very ‘dirty’ electoral rolls.

But at the same time they are bragging that they can win up to 140 seats this time around. Again, how do they reconcile this differing point of view?

On one hand they claim that BN will ensure that they will win it by hook or by crook, but on the other hand they assured the voters that Pakatan will win 140 seats! Are they confused? Again if we do not have the integrity, it will make you look stupid. People will disrespect you.

What they should have done is to boycott the very system they said to have failed them. Why enter a race which you know is unfair from the start? Why waste money and resources?

Thus, all these skulduggery are just another one of their acts. An act of an unprincipled and dishonest venture for power.

In order for them to regain trust, they should just stand up, own up and be a man or don’t stand at all.

#anwar-ibrahim, #bersih, #karpal-singh, #lim-kit-siang, #tengku-razaleigh-hamzah

President of Bar Council rejects election observers

Usually those who do not have the integrity and hearts filled with bad intentions will be exposed to public sooner than later.

Take for example, Parti Keadilan Rakyat. They shouted about the general elections in Malaysia, alleging that they are dirty and unfair, but their own party elections  in 2010 are rigged and caused so much uproar that caused party stalwarts like Zaid Ibrahim and few others to leave the party in bitter disappointment.

PAS in their general assembly a couple of weeks ago prayed for Umno’s destruction. But Umno members are muslims too but PAS has no qualms in telling the world that all members are apostates and are no longer muslims. PAS who claimed to be more islamic than even the arabs had the audacity to play God and banish Umno by invoking God’s name. All this in the name of power. In retrospect, Umno in their own general assembly prayed that muslims will remain united, safe and strong.

Another classic case of manipulation gone awry was the Scorpene case involving Suaram. After much brouhaha was created by Suaram where they told media that a trial on Scorpene case is underway, and that PM Najib will be subpoenaed to appear in the tiral, a French official claimed that there are no trial taking place. Suaram is exposed as a lying organisation and left their members, especially Cynthia Gabriel with no dignity and credibility whatsoever.

And now today it was revealed that the President of Bar Council, Lim Chee Wee was reluctant to accept observers to Bar Council election 2013/2014.

The letter below (which is making rounds in Facebook) and the comment from the member of Malaysian Bar (Mohd Khairul Azam) is self explanatory.

Lim Chee Wee, a main advocate of Bersih and call for free and fair elections in Malaysia, is actually imposing double standards to his own organisation. How do you reconcile your public pursuit of Bersih with your own personal agenda within your own council? It doesn’t jive at all. I see no point of Bersih to harangue Barisan Nasional to call for foreign observers when they themselves do not want to call observers to their own little election.

“Saya adalah calon pemilihan Bar Council. Saya telah menulis surat bertanya kepada BC, “bolehkah saya memantau proses kiraan undi nanti?”. Tau apa jawapan Bar Council???? “…due to logistical and security concerns, the counting process is not open to observers”….. Dan pada masa yang sama, Presiden Malaysian Bar menyokong BERSIH menuntut ketelusan SPR dalam PRU????”

The letter by Bar Council president

#bersih, #malaysian-judiciary

They spent millions of dollars to train activists

In the wake of the news of foreign funds financing local non governmental organisations here in Malaysia and the rise and fall of ‘Arab Spring’ in the middle east, the Obama’s policy and admission of training activists in Muslim countries to change their governments (albeit undemocratically), are an eye-opener.

Have a look:

#bersih, #twitter

Existence of half past six politicians in Pakatan Rakyat

I find this piece of news laughable due to the sheer desperation from its originators.

Biometric system makes EC all-powerful, says Pakatan
By Clara Chooi
July 27, 2011

An official checks for traces of indelible ink on a voter’s hand during parliamentary elections in Tbilisi May 21, 2008. — Reuters file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders alleged today that a biometric voter verification system would only eliminate checks and balances in the present election process and grant the Election Commission (EC) absolute power over ballots cast on polling day.

In a joint statement here, the leaders said this was because the EC would be the only authority with exclusive access to the biometric system, allowing it to manipulate the voting process.

Polling and counting agents from political parties, they claimed, would no longer be required to monitor the polling process.

“They will phase out the involvement of party representatives to monitor the voting process. So there will no longer be any checks and balances.

“Voters will come in, present their MyKads, get their thumbprints scanned and that’s it. So there will be no need for checking agents because we will not have access to the system which verifies these voters anyway,” PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli told The Malaysian Insider when contacted. – Did the EC announce how biometric validation will be conducted yet? Not yet. Thus, Rafizi is putting the cart before the horse.

He added, however, that if too many parties were allowed to access the biometric system, it would similarly be open to further abuses.

“But if only the EC has access, then who is to say that there is no manipulation?” he pointed out. – You are certain that too many parties (that include you) will abuse the system and you are also certain that if only EC has the access, they will manipulate it. I suggest we call down The Autobots to conduct, operate and monitor our general elections.

In the statement, signed by Rafizi, DAP’s Liew Chin Tong and PAS’s Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli, the leaders reiterated their stand that the use of indelible ink would still be the cheapest way to clean up the election process. – Cheapest doesn’t mean foolproof. It means that it is open more to abuse. More on this later.

They said that the opportunity for political parties to send their agents to monitor the voting process is the key criterion of a clean and fair election. – Again, sheer desperation just to make the news in Malaysian Insider. But wait a minute, all these while party agents CAN monitor the voting process therefore, Rafizi is indeed, confused. A confused politician is bad for the country.

“Therefore, any measures which aim to eliminate the involvement of political parties are contrary to the will of the people expressed through Bersih 2.0. The EC must return to Bersih’s eight demands. – what measures? No announcement from EC yet. This is coming from a highly imaginative but half past six mindset.

“The country’s electoral system needs an overall reform, not minor amendments which will not only cost hundreds of millions, but also raise new issues to fuel public anger,” they said. – so, indelible ink is an overall reform?? Are you sure you know what you’re talking about?

The PR leaders argued that the new computerised system would also be subject to technical glitches and security risks. This, they pointed out, is likely why the EC itself had admitted that the system would not be ready in time for the 13th general election. – EC will conduct dry run on this.

“More important, however, is the inability of the biometric system to prevent phantom voters or double-voting because it is using the wrong approach, i.e. those with identification cards are considered valid voters … this would allow many illegal immigrants with identification cards to vote in GE-13,” they said. – there were no such instances or cases of double voting in this country. A FACT that even Ambiga of Bersih could not find any evidence of this. Anyone of you here with a shred of documented proof that says someone had voted twice using different ICs, or different names please submit it to whoever you wish that might highlight your proof. 

The leaders also claimed that the prime minister and the EC’s support for the proposed biometric system proves that the government has admitted to discrepancies in the current election process. – maybe government should not even do anything. They should just sit back and relax and don’t change anything. Obviously, constant improvement is a bad thing for Pakatan buffoons. We improve ourselves when better alternatives and technology is presented to us.

“This proves that the Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership cannot afford to deny the voices of those who joined Bersih 2.0’s rally,” they said. – then you should be grateful that the government is listening for ways to improve instead of maintaining status quo or doing a Mugabe and cut both your hands. Since the government is not cruel (contrary to what your perverted mind would like to think), they strive to make things more efficient. Which can only be a good thing.

On a side note, kudos for The Malaysian Insider for showing picture of people in a former Russian colony checking for indelible ink.

By the way, do you know that in United States of America, they have only about to revamp their elections law? They have just adopted a law for a electoral process whereby photo identification is a requirement for you to vote. Apparently, all this while, it is not a requirement to produce ID when voting!

We in Malaysia is lightyears ahead of them and yet, the people in Bersih wants us to regress few steps and use indelible ink.

One of the biggest complaint of indelible ink is that unscrupulous people (they can be from Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat or other good for nothing people) can roam the rural/urban areas and trick unsuspecting voters to use the indelible ink before the election starts thus the voters cannot vote even when they turned up at the election centres. Can we afford this risk? If your grandfather’s cousin was tricked by someone a day before the election and permanent ink has been swiped on to his finger nails, he can sue the EC millions if he was prevented to vote. This is provided by the law.

The biometric on the other hand does not try to replace the IC as the IC is the all important document that can verify a voter.

For instance, can you pass the automated gateway at the airports without your passports by just scanning your fingerprints? Of course you can’t. Same with voting process.

The fingerprint being scanned by the biometric system is just a verifying tool that enables the system to recognise that the holder of the IC is indeed the same person.

It is a system that double checks your identity. Once your particulars and thumbprints have been recorded in the system, you may not be able to vote anywhere else. If there are two same fingerprints being detected, the system will flag the person and will alert the authority. This is a foolproof way to prevent phantom voters.

This is also the very same system that is preventing criminals from entering our country through official entry points (if they enter by swimming to our beaches then a bit hard to detect).

KLIA, LCCT and JB entry points for example process minimum 100K, 90K and 80K people respectively on daily basis without any major breakdowns using the biometric system. The technology is here and ready.

Importantly, party representatives from either party can still monitor the voting process by getting a live screen of electoral roll being validated by the biometric system. Previously, they have this list of voters in each polling centres which they cross check with ballot paper figures. Now, they should just add this simple technique of real time data streaming. They can then validate the voting process themselves.

Clearly the Pakatan leaders, being half past six themselves, have not studied the system to make a well informed statement. But then again, I believe they just want to trick people who are unaware of their deceit so that they can continue playing this issue over and over again.

After all, being irrelevant is a death-knell to 3rd rate politicians.

#bersih, #reference

BERSIH 2.0 For Dummies

I got a lot of queries from college/university students and schoolkids about the recent Bersih 20.0 demonstrations. Therefore, today I would like to provide my point of views and hopefully the most definitive guide for those who want know what Bersih 2.0 is all about.

So guys and girls, here it is. Astound your family and friends with these facts:

What is Bersih 2.0?

BERSIH started out as the Joint Action Committee for Electoral Reform, which was formed in July 2005, and the coalition’s objective was to push for a thorough reform of the electoral process in Malaysia. This committee thought that the election process in Malaysia is unfair and not free from the influence (imaginary or otherwise) of current ruling government of Malaysia. Hence they established this committee to look into these electoral processes.

The formulation of the Joint Communique
The Joint Communique was a result of an ‘Electoral Reform Workshop’ held in Kuala Lumpur in September 2006. The Joint Communique defines the long-term objectives and the immediate working goals of the coalition. One of it is the establishment of the steering committee below.

BERSIH Steering Committee
The Committee comprises members from the political parties, as well as representatives from the following NGOs: Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Women’s Development Collective (WDC) and Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI). Note that most of the NGOs are led by people actively involved with the opposition or known to affiliate themselves with the opposition. Although most of the NGOs are legitimate, the coalition itself is illegitimate as it did not register itself as a unit with the Registrar of Society.

The Beginning of BERSIH
BERSIH was officially launched on 23 November 2006 in the Malaysian Parliament building lobby. It was attended by political party leaders, civil society groups and NGOs, including PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah, DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng, DAP National Publicity Secretary and MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok, PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa, PAS Youth chief Salahudin Ayub, PSM Secretary-General S. Arutchelvan, Malaysian Trade Union Congress Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud, WDC executive director Maria Chin Abdullah and SUARAM executive director Yap Swee Seng.

Thus with names cited above, the opposition friendly BERSIH was formed.

8 Points

Bersih’s call for FREE AND FAIR ELECTION is summarised in the following 8 points:

1. Clean the electoral roll

The electoral roll is marred with irregularities such as deceased persons and multiple persons registered under a single address or non-existent addresses. The electoral roll must be revised and updated to wipe out these ‘phantom voters’. The rakyat have a right to an electoral roll that is an accurate reflection of the voting population.

In the longer term, BERSIH 2.0 also calls for the EC to implement an automated voter registration system upon eligibility to reduce irregularities.

2. Reform postal ballot

The current postal ballot system must be reformed to ensure that all citizens of Malaysia are able to exercise their right to vote. Postal ballot should not only be open for all Malaysian citizens living abroad, but also for those within the country who cannot be physically present in their voting constituency on polling day. Police, military and civil servants too must vote normally like other voters if not on duty on polling day.

The postal ballot system must be transparent. Party agents should be allowed to monitor the entire process of postal voting.

3. Use of indelible ink

Indelible ink must be used in all elections. It is a simple, affordable and effective solution in preventing voter fraud. In 2007, the EC decided to implement the use of indelible ink. However, in the final days leading up to the 12th General Elections, the EC decided to withdraw the use of indelible ink citing legal reasons and rumours of sabotage.

BERSIH 2.0 demands for indelible ink to be used for all the upcoming elections. Failure to do so will lead to the inevitable conclusion that there is an intention to allow voter fraud.

4. Minimum 21 days campaign period

The EC should stipulate a campaign period of not less than 21 days. A longer campaign period would allow voters more time to gather information and deliberate on their choices. It will also allow candidates more time to disseminate information to rural areas. The first national elections in 1955 under the British Colonial Government had a campaign period of 42 days but the campaign period for 12th GE in 2008 was a mere 8 days.

5. Free and fair access to media

It is no secret that the Malaysian mainstream media fails to practice proportionate, fair and objective reporting for political parties of all divide. BERSIH 2.0 calls on the EC to press for all media agencies, especially state-funded media agencies such as Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM) and Bernama to allocate proportionate and objective coverage for all potlical parties.

6. Strengthen public institutions

Public institutions must act independently and impartially in upholding the rule of law and democracy. Public institutions such as the Judiciary, Attorney-General, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC), Police and the EC must be reformed to act independently, uphold laws and protect human rights.

In particular, the EC must perform its constitutional duty to act independently and impartially so as to enjoy public confidence. The EC cannot continue to claim that they have no power to act, as the law provides for sufficient powers to institute a credible electoral system.

7. Stop corruption

Corruption is a disease that has infected every aspect of Malaysian life. BERSIH 2.0 and the rakyat demand for an end to all forms of corruption. Current efforts to eradicate corruption are mere tokens to appease public grouses. We demand that serious action is taken against ALL allegations of corruption, including vote buying.

8. Stop dirty politics

Malaysians are tired of dirty politics that has been the main feature of the Malaysian political arena. We demand for all political parties and politicians to put an end to gutter politics. As citizens and voters, we are not interested in gutter politics; we are interested in policies that affect the nation.

BERSIH 1.0 in 2007

In 2007, BERSIH launched it’s first ever demonstration on November 10th 2007. The original BERSIH was led by led by a group consist of PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, PAS secretary-general Kamaruddin Jaffar, Wong Chin Huat, DAP publicity secretary Teresa Kok, MTUC President Syed Shahir Syed Mohamad etc.

Most of them are members of the opposition. The rally was epic. Some estimated that up to 40,000 people gathered in the streets of Kuala Lumpur to deliver the Bersih Memorandum to the King.

Upon delivery in Istana Negara, Anwar Ibrahim and PAS President, Abdul Hadi Awang were also present to lend a credence to the memorandum.

Launch of BERSIH 2.0

BERSIH issued its first joint communiqué on 23 November 2006.

At its formation, BERSIH comprised civil society organisations and political parties with the objective of campaigning for clean and fair elections in Malaysia.

BERSIH’s journey thus far has been both monumental and memorable. The public demonstration of November 2007, which saw thousands of ordinary Malaysians take to the streets in support of clean and fair elections, was a critical juncture in our nation’s electoral journey.

They believe that after almost 3 ½ years later, the aims of BERSIH continue to be relevant.

They wanted to continue its crusade for clean and fair elections independent of any political party. BERSIH is thus re-launched as BERSIH 2.0, a coalition of like minded civil society organisations. However their claim to be unaffiliated with any political party remains untrue. But of course, their aim is to effectively monitor both sides of the political divide.

The Steering Committee members of BERSIH 2.0 are as follows :

Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan, Chairperson – (She was the Bar Council President during the tenureship of our 5th Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Hj. Ahmad Badawi)
Andrew Khoo – (Bar Council member)
Arumugam K. – (President of Suaram)
Farouk Musa – (President of of the Islamic Rennaisance Front)
Maria Chin Abdullah – (Executive Director of Empower)
Haris Ibrahim – (President of Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM), a splinter political party of PKR)
Liau Koh Fah – (Chair of the Civil Rights Committee, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall)
Richard Y W Yeoh – (Pakatan Rakyat’s Councillor of Petaling Jaya, Selangor)
Toh Kin Woon – (ex-Gerakan leader who quit the party to join the opposition)
Wong Chin Huat – (Chair of Writers’ Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI), a very active opposition activist)
Yeoh Yang Poh – (Former President of Bar Council)
Zaid Kamaruddin – (President of Jamaah Islah Malaysia, a PAS affiliate)
Faisal Mustaffa – Coordinator of the Secretariat (also member of PKR, Kelana Jaya division)

Events prior to 9 July 2011

Dato’ Ambiga took over the leadership of BERSIH to continue the pursuit of electoral reforms with the EC. On 27th November 2010, Ambiga and the BERSIH committee met with the EC and discussed the 17 demands for electoral reforms.

The 17 demands are:

 1. Investigation of Election Offences

2. Obstruction to voters registration

3. Automatic Registration

4. Lowering of voting age from 21 to 18

5. Absentee voting for all.

6. Indelible Ink

7. Minimizing gerrymandering

8. Minimising malapportionment of constituencies

9. Meaningful campaign period of 21 days minimum.

10. Free and fair media access

11. Control of party expenses

12. Public Finance of Party Expense

13. Right to contest election after resignation

14. Administrative neutrality

15. Restoration of Local Government elections

16. Full Judicial scrutiny on Election Petitions

17. Right to observe elections

As the result of the meeting, BERSIH cut down the demand into 8 points as stated above and all the 17 demands above became redundant. The reason for the decrease is due to the invalidity and irrelevance of the other 9 points and the inability of BERSIH to find proof of the concerns. For example, point number 12 above – Public Finance of Party Expense which is translated as public money to finance political party’s expenses. A bit dumbfounded don’t you think? Why would our tax money be used to finance politicians?

Another one is the obstruction of voters registration. It was dropped because they could not find any evidence on the obstruction.

The rest of the demands are either not connected to the EC, or the EC is already implementing them or it is beyond the powers of EC to deliberate.

When we are negotiating to improve something for the good of the country, we would usually meet and have a dialog with the relevant authorities many times. Just like in school when you are a committee member and is tasked to organise a project, your committee and the relevant bodies will meet many times to see it through.

However, BERSIH only met the EC once on 27th November 2010 but subsequently proceeded to announce that the EC will not cooperate.

The announcement was triggered due to the collapse of a 2nd meeting in April 2011. The EC were said to unable to meet them due to the hectic preparation of the Sarawak state election in May 2011.

However, instead of rescheduling for another date, BERSIH announced that they will organise a demonstration scheduled on 9th July 2011.

Election Commission’s response

The EC is an institution that reports directly to the Parliament. They do not report to any ministers or political parties.

Hence, any change in the electoral process must be done by the Members of the Parliament which consist of the Barisan Nasional MPs and the MPs of the opposition pact because they are governed by the Election Act, 1958 which are passed through Parliament. They can however make recommendations to Parliament. But ultimately, it is the parliamentarians who will pass any changes in the law.

Note that with the obvious heavy presence of opposition MPs backing the BERSIH line-up, no suggestions to reform the electoral process were presented by the MPs in Parliament since 2007. Surely this would be a good and efficient way to actually improve something? However, not one Private Member’s Bill concerning electoral reforms was tabled in Parliament since the formation of BERSIH.

Nevertheless, EC’s feedback on the 8 points presented above are as below.

1. Clean the electoral roll

One of the major concerned of BERSIH is the existence of deceased persons in the list of Malaysian voters. Since people die everyday, it is impossible to update the list on real-time basis as it is required by law that the next of kin of the deceased person to personally contact the EC to notify of the death. The EC do not, and can not have the authority to automatically wipe out the names without a formal notification by the next of kin.

Imagine if the election is today. There will still be names of dead people in the list because there are people that just died yesterday.

EC’s own improvement initiative is to continuously, and expeditiously clean the electoral list immediately after being informed of any deaths.

Another point of contention is the existence of irregularities whereby there are people registered under different address or multiple persons registered under single address.

This had also been improved by the EC when changes to the Act was made in 2002. From thereon, your place of voting is determined by your address in the IC.

The irregularities existed because previously, political parties, through agents, can register their members without the members knowing it. Hence, your voting address will be determined by the person registering it for you.

Plus, in the period before 21st century, most places in Malaysia do not have individual address to a specific home. Most mail/letters that were sent to rural or semi rural areas were sent to one specific spot and collected by the people on daily basis. These spots were mostly, some ‘kedai kopi’ in the villages, post offices, house of the village head etc.

Most people at that time have ICs that indicate addresses which have only the name of the area they live in. This was way before postcodes were invented. By the way, postcodes were only introduced in the late 80s.

Due to this predicament, the problem of specific addresses in the ICs would spill over to the problems of voters’ address in the electoral roll.

However, this was rectified in 2002 whereby voting address will have to be the same with the address appearing in your IC. Voters can at anytime check their voting status and place to vote online with the EC at and is encourage to report to them should there be any discrepancies.

Another problem is implementation of automatic voter registration system.

It actually means, once you reach 21, you are automatically be registered by the EC to vote.

In the highly rigid Singapore, it is MANDATORY to vote. Any citizens who did not vote will be penalised by the government.

Malaysia is different in a way she gives you the democratic right of NOT to vote. As an extension, she is giving you the right not to register as a voter as well. People have the right to vote or not to vote. And this is enshrined in our Constitution. You can actually sue the EC and demand why have you been automatically registered when the Constitution does not say so?

BERSIH’s demand seemed to take away this right. EC has the view that, even though voting is very important responsibility of a Malaysian, they must be given the right not to discharge it.

Thus, the EC do not agree with this point. However, they continuously implement awareness programs to ensure that people would know the importance of registering as a voter. They are aware that if the have to impose automatic registration, the Constitution must be amended first before they can actually implement it.

2. Reform postal ballot

BERSIH has this idea that all Malaysian citizens should vote within the SAME DAY.

Due to the illogical manner and the improbability of this to happen, the EC have only to a certain extent, implement some of the changes to improve the postal ballot.

Police, military and other security forces which made up about 200,000 voters cannot vote on the same day with the rest of us due to the fact that they have to be on high alert during election day. If all military and police personnel go out to polling centres, then obviously there will be no proper security to guard our country at that time.

Imagine if all the policemen and the army queuing up for hours on election day. Who shall look after the streets and our borders?

That is why, these people will vote few days earlier than the rest of us. This is called postal voting because the voting process is done at their police or army posts. Recently, the EC had changed the name of postal voting to ‘advance voting’. The process is still the same where you queue up, show your identification, your name will be crossed out, you receive your ballot papers to tick the candidate you choose and the ballot paper will be then slipped into a transparent box. All this will be done under the watchful eye of political parties’ agents.

The votes will then be counted on the same day. No mailing of the votes involved. Perhaps that is why there was a misperception. Just because the process is called ‘postal vote’, people thought the votes will be mailed somewhere else which gave rise to the perception that it could be abused.

3. Use of indelible ink

With regards to indelible ink, it is used among countries which have no IC, such as Africa and India. It is a very low-tech approach. It is as if everyone else is using Twitter or Google+ but BERSIH still wants you to use Friendster.

The countries in Africa or even India have not reached our level yet. We only have 12 million voters. Why should we turn our system backwards when we have reached this level of technological advancement? The reason there is a push for the use of indelible ink is due to fear of double-voting, but we have an adequate system to handle voter identification and it is nearly impossible for people to register twice.

Everyone has one IC number and one identification card. This is the ultimate control system that is used to register and identify the voters. Ever heard of anyone with two ICs? No you have not.

However, to ensure even more security and to improve on voters identification, the EC is seriously considering the biometric system. This is the thumbprint scan very similar to the ones you use in the airport when your passport is scanned.

Another big risk of the indelible ink is the potential abuse. What would stop anybody from going around in rural areas with the same indelible ink and tricks some unsuspecting old grandma into using that ink BEFORE polling day? Come voting day, she will not be allowed to vote by the officers at poll centre because her finger has already been marked. It is against the Constitution to disallowed a registered voter to vote and the grandma can sue the EC for turning her away.

Hence, biometric is the way of the future because let’s face it, everyone has thumbprints.

4. Minimum 21 days campaign period

Longer campaign period is the norm in big countries with a lot of population such as Indonesia and Thailand. We simply cannot compare our country with others that have longer campaigning days. Look at how big the number of voters is in countries such as Indonesia or Thailand.

The EC has the jurisdiction to determine the number of campaign days that they see fit. Remember, the longer the campaign period, the bigger costs are involved to manage the whole election period. More resources such as police and EC officers have to be on duty. This will take a toll in the EC expenses and ultimately, the tax payers will have to pay for these incrementals.

The shortest campaign period was 8 days in the general election of 2008 while the longest was 42 days (more than one month!) back in pre-Merdeka days of 1955. Naturally, back in those days, there were no internet or TV to quickly disseminate your political manifestos. Hence, the longer campaign period for the politicians to go around the country. How things have changed.

5. Free and fair access to media

BERSIH’s whole idea of existence is to negotiate the demands with the EC. However, this particular demand is beyond EC’s jurisdiction because they do not control the media such as Malaysian Insider, Malaysiakini, Malaysia Today, Harakah Daily Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times and The Star.

Therefore, this demand is invalid and irrelevant.

6. Strengthen public institutions

This is also not in the purview of the EC as they are not the bosses of the Judiciary, Attorney-General, MACC and the police. There is also no law for the EC to instruct any of these institutions. In other words, the EC is indeed have no power to ‘strengthen’ public institutions.

Therefore, it is simply illogical for BERSIH to make this demand in the first place. The parliament is the correct platform to do this.

7. Stop corruption

Just like point number 5 and 6 above, stopping corruption is not the responsibility of the EC. BERSIH cannot demand the EC to end all forms of corruption because simply put, eradicating corruption is not just the duty of the EC but also the duty of all Malaysians.

The Election Commission cannot be expected to apprehend people that are bribing policemen or catching some dishonest businessman who just inflated the price of his project.

Vote buying instances have been documented to be practised by both sides of the divide and those instances have been brought to courts. Again, it is not the EC’s duty to preside over fraudulent cases. That should be the matter of the courts.

8. Stop dirty politics

Perhaps the best way to stop dirty politics is for the politicians within the government and the opposition to practise a more ethical campaigning methods.

This is certainly not under the jurisdiction of the EC.

BERSIH demonstration on 9th July

Without due regards to common courtesy and decorum, BERSIH pushed for demonstrations even after the EC had responded with the responses stated above. The tagline for BERSIH is ‘Free and Fair elections’. And they wanted to handover the 8 points memorandum to the King.

Some say it is their right to show dissatisfaction and by that extent, the people’s right to have freedom of speech.

However certain quarters have the impression that the demands do not warrant a public rally since the EC are quite open for the changes and improvements (except for the ones outside their powers).

Therefore, why should BERSIH incite the people of Malaysia to rally based on the demands that are invalid or already implemented?

If they want to call for free and fair election, at least the call must be fair and also must be free from political motives.

That is why the King made a statement that demonstrations are not the way to solve any issues in Malaysia. He practically asked BERSIH to discontinue their intention to hold street demonstrations.

A day after that, on 5th July 2011, Ambiga and several others had met the King and agreed not to organise a street rally. Interesting to note that Ambiga did not give BERSH’s memorandum to the King at this point of time.

At the same time the government had announced that BERSIH can hold their rally in a stadium which BERSIH readily accepted the offer.

Before any chance for the police to identify which stadium with the most minimum risk to congregate thousands of people, BERSIH announced that they will hold their rally in Merdeka Stadium.

Since the stadium is situated in the middle of Kuala Lumpur the police declined to give BERSIH the permit. Instead, they told the organisers that issuance of permit will be given if the rally is held at Melawati Stadium in Shah Alam. Furthermore, the management of Stadium Merdeka could not approve the use of its stadium because renovations are currently underway.

BERSIH was adamant to use the stadium despite the inability to get permit and despite the fact that Stadium Merdeka is closed for renovations.

As the result, police deemed any illegal gathering around the stadium or in Kuala Lumpur on the 9th of July will be dealt with severely. Warnings have been issued out.

Laws in this country were made to ensure everyone can live comfortably without fear. It is just like in school when there is a rule that everyone must attend all classes.

Imagine when an illegal club in school began to incite other students not to attend classes and gather in the canteen during school hours because they claim one of the school toilets is dirty.

Most of the students have never been to that toilet and do not really know the actual condition of that particular toilet. The janitor of the school made several attempts to explain to that illegal club that the toilet was indeed not perfect or slightly dirty but it is still usable and there are efforts to clean it up even more.

But this does not warrant all the students to assemble at the canteen and break the rule of not attending the classes. The rule is there to maintain order. Students are not allowed to be just anywhere they want to be during school hours. What would the school administration do?

They will naturally penalise the people who had broken the rule. Prefects will herd the students back to the classes while teachers will administer some form of punishment. Does this fall into the freedom of speech concept. Freedom of speech must first be a a valid one. It cannot be based on lies and importantly, it must not break the law.

It is the same with the BERSIH illegal gathering. The protesters made the first retaliation by not adhering to the law of public gathering whereby any mass gatherings must apply for a police permit.

Our Constitution states that we have the right to freedom of speech and expression and the right to assemble peaceably and without arms. However these rights are restricted if it is against public order or security of the people. That is why police will always supervise the issuance of permits.

On the other hand, police must practise caution when dealing with stubborn and ignorant protesters as they are humans as well regardless whether they are there with or without permit.

In order to defeat the illegal gathering, roadblocks had to be set up. This resulted in massive traffic jams all over the city. When options were available to hold the rally in a less hectic venue such as the Melawati Stadium, the police had to cordon off half of Kuala Lumpur so that thousands of protesters can be dispersed easily.

Just like the prefects in school using various methods to discipline the crowd, police used their own anti-protesters methods to drive away the crowd.

In the mean time, BERSIH leader, Ambiga had a press conference with other opposition leaders such as Anwar Ibrahim, Datin Wan Azizah, Lim Kit Siang and Hadi Awang in Hilton Hotel to announce Pakatan Rakyat’s backing over the illegal gathering.

The rally which started at 2pm, ended around 5pm. However, they still failed to hand over the memorandum to the King. Reason for this failure is not clear although rumour has it, the memorandum was lost along the way because BERSIH leaders were busy on the streets near Stadium Merdeka when in fact they should just have made a quick drive to Istana Negara to hand over the document.

The number of people that gathered that day was estimated to be as low as 6,000 and to be as high as 50,000 although the figure of 10,000 is more likely.

Results and accomplishments

1. The BERSIH organisers achieved their objective in mobilising thousands of people to gather illegally in the streets of Kuala Lumpur that day.

2. The BERSIH organisers failed to hand over the memorandum to the King TWICE.

3. Pakatan Rakyat succeeded in hijacking BERSIH’s call of ‘free’ and ‘fair elections’ and morphed it into ‘bring down the government’ and ‘reformasi’.

4. Pakatan Rakyat succeeded in painting a bad light to the government.

5. Government succeeded in giving itself a bad name.

6. Police managed to curb the demonstrations within 3 hours.

7. BERSIH managed to hoodwink the Malaysian public that the free and fair election tagline was actually not a really fair tagline.

8. Malaysia managed to be in the international media because somebody is sad that the EC will not put a permanent ink on your finger.

Thank you.

#bersih, #project-paper, #reference