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Nuffnang

Ahad, 29 April 2012

The Spirit of Lubok Kawah/Semangat Lubok Kawah

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The Spirit of Lubok Kawah/Semangat Lubok Kawah


BANTAH-DUDUK 3-0 KEBANGKITAN RAKYAT

Posted: 29 Apr 2012 09:04 AM PDT

Saya dan Kak Hendon sampai di KL jam 5.00 pagi, untuk menyenang-nyenangkan badan dan untuk kemudahan mandi dan solat Suboh, kami menyewa di sebuah hotel budget di Ampang Point, dan setelah mandi 
dan setelah mandi dan solat Suboh, kami menunggu hingga jam 9.00 pagi untuk mencari breakfast, kedai mamak dibawah hotel itu menyediakan juga nasi lemak dan pelbagai breakfast.

Setelah mengambil breakfast, kami check out dari hotel, dan pergi ke setesyen LRT berdekatan dan meninggalkan kereta kami disana.

Di setesyen LRT itu dapat bertemu dengan begitu ramai kumpulan berbaju kuning dari merata tempat.  Saya bergaul dengan mereka dan sempat bergambar dengan sebahagian dari mereka.

Ada yang mahu turun di Setesyen Pudu, ada yang mahu turun di Setesyen Bandaraya, dan ada yang mahu turun di Setesyen Masjid Jamek.  Saya akan turun di Masjid Jamek kerana dari sana akan mengambil connection ke KLCC.  Kumpulan Anti-Lynas akan mula berkumpul di KLCC dan dari sana akan berjalan ke  Dataran Merdeka.

Setelah tiba di Setesyen Masjid Jamek, kedapatan puluhan ribu manusia sudah berada di sana. Lautan mereka.

Saya beritahu Kak Hendon untuk tidak pergi ke KLCC bimbang nanti Stesyen LRT di tutup dan sukar untuk kembali ke Masjid Jamek.

Saya tidak buang masa, terus menjalankan tugas untuk membuat laungan: REFORMASI, REFORMASI, REFORMASI, HIDUP HIDUP HIDUP RAKYAT, TOLAK TOLAK TOLAK NAJIB, TOLAK TOLAK TOTAL ROSMAH, TOLAK TOLAK TOLAK UMNO, TOLAK TOLAK TOLAK BN, TAKBIR DAN FU YAU UMNO, FU YAU BN...berterusan dan saling berganti dengan pelaung-pelaung lain.

Bergema hebat.  Tidak kurang 70% kehadiran peserta dari semua kaum terdiri daripada anak-anak muda.  Orang-orang tua pun ada, begitu ramai wanita, dan kanak-kanak juga turut hadir.

Ratusan polis sudah ditempatkan di tempat-tempat strategik seolah-olah mereka sedang berhadapan dengan satu perperangan.  Dan lawan mereka adalah himpunan aman yang menuntut Pilihanraya yang bersih dan adil.

Saya pergi ke barisan Polis itu dan menghulurkan salam kepada mereka, dan mereka menyambut salam, dan tersenyum; dan ada diantara mereka yang berani berkata, "teruskan perjuangan," walaupun ada yang menunjukkan muka yang masam dan menampakkan kebencian.



Mulai jam 2.30 petang pihak Polis menggerakkan anggotanya di mana Kumpulan Bersih tersepit di tengah-tengah dan tidak boleh ke sana ke mari lagi, dan pada waktu itu setesyen LRT sudah ditutup, maka di Bandaraya yang tidak ada teksi, tidak ada bas dan tidak ada LRT dan Monorail, tidak membolehkan peserta-peserta Bersih meninggalkan kawasan Demo mereka.

Jam menghampiri 3.00 petang, saya mengajak Kak Hendon mencari makanan kerana perut sudah lapar.  Kami berjalan menuju Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman dan Jalan Masjid India kerana disana banyak warong-warong makanan.

Setelah makanan sampai, sebaik saja kami mahu memulakan makan, mata terasa sakit dan pedih; semua orang tertanya-tanya apakah jenis masakan yang sedang dimasak yang menyebabkan mata terasa sakit dan mengeluarkan air mata.  Tetapi apabila diikuti dengan sukar bernafas, maka setiap di warong itu menyatakan bahawa ini bukan dari kesan masakan, tetapi gas pemedih mata.

Sekejap lagi satu lagi tembakan gas pemedih mata di tembak di kawasan Jalan Masjid India.  Orang ramai termasuk yang sedang makan dan membeli belah mula lari berterabur.  Polis jenis apakah yang sanggup melakukan perbuatan sekeji ini?

Tak sempat saya menghabiskan makanan, terus membayar; dan towkay warong pun didalam keadaan yang amat tidak selesa dengan menutup mata, dan saya dan Kak Hendon membantu semua yang dekat dengan kami dengan memberikan kepada mereka garam, dan ada seorang yang bersama kami itu membeli puluhan botol air mineral untuk diberikan kepada mereka yang berada di warong itu untuk membasahkan towel masing-masing.  Dengan towel basah dan menelan garam, kesan dari gas itu tidaklah begitu teruk.

Bagaimana pun masih ada yang jatuh pengsan.

Jam menghampiri 5.00 petang, saya bincang dengan Kak Hendon untuk keluar dari kawasan itu.  Kami berjalan merentasi Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman menuju Setesyen LRT Bandaraya.  Setesyen itu diturup.  Semasa kami berada di situ, satu tembakan gas pemedih mata dilepaskan sekali lagi oleh Polis.  Peserta-peserta yang sudah terkepung itu tidak boleh ke mana-mana dan terpaksa berdiri di tempat mereka berada dengan berusaha mengurang kesan dari gas itu dengan membasahkan towel tekap ke mulut hidung dan mata disamping menelan garam.

Semasa itulah saya mendengar berita bahawa seorang peserta telah mati dilanggar oleh kereta polis, dan beberapa orang cedera dilanggar oleh motosikal polis.  Dikhabarkan juga bahawa polis itu dibelasah pula oleh peserta-peserta yang naik marah kerana rakan mereka telah dilanggar sehingga mati dan ada yang cedera. Dan didalam pada itu, ramai pula dari peserta-peserta yang memberikan bantuan kepada polis yang dibelasah itu.

Di Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman dan sekitarnya puluhan ribu peserta yang terkepong tidak boleh kemana-mana.

Penangkapan telah berlaku, dikatakan 388 peserta telah ditahan dan dibawa ke Pulapol, dan lebih 100 peserta  lagi telah dihantar ke Hospital.  Dakwaan mengatakan peserta-peserta mengganas tidak dapat dibuktikan dengan fakta, tetapi polis yang mengganas menyebabkan beratus orang peserta yang cedera dibuktikan dengan penghantaran mereka ke Hospital.  

Himpunan ini adalah satu himpunan yang aman.  Dari jam 5.00 pagi lagi peserta-peserta didalam bilangan puluhan ribu sudah berada di lokasi-lokasi tertentu di Kuala Lumpur, mereka berada disana dengan keadaan aman.  Dan keadaan aman ini berterusan hingga jam 3.00 petang apabila pihak polis mula melepaskan gas pemdih mata.

Tanpa probokasi dan tanpa gangguan polis, Himpunan ini adalah paling aman, bahkan diantara peserta-peserta sudah boleh berkomunikasi dengan baik dengan pihak polis.  Banyak juga peserta-peserta memberikan bunga kepada pihak Polis.

Saya akhirnya dapat berjalan menuju ke Kg Baru, dan disana sudah ada pergerakan kenderaan walaupun kurang banyak.

Semua taxi yang ada walaupun berhenti tetapi memohon maaf tidak dapat mengangkut penumpang-penumpang.  

Semasa menunggu taxi itu, tiba-tiba sebuah taxi berhenti betul-betul di depan saya, "Oi orang Pahang, naiklah taxi ini, kau nak kemana sekali pun aku akan hantar, I'm at your service," Amboih, baik betul pemandu ni.

Bila saya masuk kedalam taxi, pemandu terus berkata, "Abang Haji dan Kak Hendon, nak kemana gerangan?"

Oh..oh..oh, rupa-rupanya sahabat kami semasa bekempen di dalam Pilihanraya Negeri Sarawak di Bintulu dulu, Haji Naim Haji Rahim.  Dia juga memberitahu saya tentang Polis yang dibelasah oleh peserta-peserta, beliau adalah bekas Polis.  Saya berkata kesian juga kepada Polis yang dibelasah tu, dia jawab, "Ah Eloklah kesian tu, yang dia langgar orang sampai mati, kita tak kesian ke dengan yang mati?  Apa, dia ingat dia Polis dia boleh bunuh orang sesuka hati ke?"

Kami sampai ke setesyen LRT yang dituju, kami turun disana, Haji Naim langsung tak mau ambil duit dari kami, tapi saya tetap masukkan duit ke dalam poketnya.  "Kalau macam ni, lain kali aku tak mau ambil Haji dengan Kak Hendon lagi!" dia ketawa, saya dan Kak Hendon pun ketawa dan dia pun pergi dan kami mengambil kereta kami dan bertolak dari situ.

Itulah kisah kebangkitan rakyat.  Lebih 300,000 rakyat Malaysia telah dengan berani bangun dan bangkit, dan inilah kebangkitan rakyat yang sangat besar.


Jika PRU diadakan juga dengan daftar pemilih yang tidak bersih dan tuntutan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil tidak dilakukan, maka BERSIH 4-0 perlu diadakan dan kali ini ia merupakan BERSIH yang tidak ada had tempohnya!

Suara Sri Andalas

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Suara Sri Andalas


Police Response During BERSIH 3.0 Rally Disproportionate and Excessive

Posted: 29 Apr 2012 06:07 AM PDT

PRESS RELEASE

Police response during BERSIH 3.0 rally disproportionate and excessive

The Malaysian Bar is appalled at the abuse of the legal process and grotesque use of force by the police in connection with the BERSIH 3.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, 28 April 2012.
 
The crowds that had gathered for the BERSIH 3.0 rally reflected a broad cross-section of Malaysian society, and were peaceful.  The police were initially restrained, although they did try to stop people from reaching various pre-announced meeting points.  However, the attitude of the police underwent a sea-change at 3:00 pm that day.  The reported breach of police barricades in some areas does not justify the police unleashing the full force of their arsenal upon crowds that were peaceful.  The police have shown in this incident that they do not have the maturity, discipline and restraint required of a professional force.  In this regard the Malaysian Bar strongly disagrees with the Minister of Home Affairs' assertion that the police acted professionally. 

The court order excluding members of the public from Dataran Merdeka is arguably defective in law due to a lack of specificity.  Given that the BERSIH 3.0 rally had been announced on 4 April 2012, there was no need to have obtained the order ex parte.  There had been ample opportunity for the relevant parties to be heard before deciding if such an order deserved to be issued.  In addition, the order was obtained with respect to a situation of the authorities' own making, by their unjustifiable denial of access to Dataran Merdeka.  It is important to bear in mind that the Minister of Home Affairs had previously announced that the BERSIH 3.0 rally was not a security threat.

Nonetheless, having obtained the exclusion order, the police proceeded to disrespect the order by unilaterally closing additional roads and restricting access to other areas not covered by its terms.  The terms of the order itself, the closing of the roads and the restriction in access gave rise to a tense situation that contributed to the unnecessary violence that occurred. 

As has been done with some other public assemblies in the past, the Malaysian Bar deployed lawyers and pupils-in-chambers to act as monitors during the rally, numbering approximately 80.  Our monitoring teams reported witnessing the use of an array of heavy-handed tactics by the police, including the indiscriminate discharging of multiple rounds of tear gas without any obvious provocation, and arbitrary use of water cannons.  Police fired tear gas directly at the crowd.  They also manoeuvred their firing pattern to box in the participants rather than allowing them to disperse quickly.  This is not action to disperse, but is instead designed to attack, a crowd.  When items were thrown at the police, the police stooped to return like for like. 

The Malaysian Bar does not countenance the belligerent conduct shown by a number of the participants.  However, we express deep and serious concern as to how the police responded.  The police displayed a lack of restraint and proportionality, reminiscent of their actions at the BERSIH 2.0 rally on 9 July 2011.  Instead of displaying action to calm the situation, they instead aggravated it and contributed to the escalation of the conflict.  Although organisers of public gatherings must bear some responsibility when things get out of hand due to their action or inaction, this does not and cannot excuse the response of the police.  

The monitoring teams also witnessed numerous acts of police brutality, such as assault of arrested persons.  Instead of merely apprehending suspects, the attitude of the police was punitive in nature.  The reported attacks by the police on members of the media, both local and international, and the confiscation and/or destruction of their photographs and video recordings, speaks to police action in covering up or preventing a full and accurate record of the BERSIH 3.0 rally and the responses of the police.
 
Regrettably, the police also showed a general lack of cooperation towards the Malaysian Bar's monitoring teams, and were hostile in their attitude and approach at times.  This is most unprofessional and unbecoming, and serves as an unhealthy development with negative connotations for the future.
 
The Malaysian Bar notes that yesterday's events have not occurred in isolation, but stem from the fundamental problems that gave rise to the BERSIH 3.0 rally in the first place, namely the ongoing and outstanding issues relating to the electoral roll, and the lack of confidence in its integrity and that of the electoral process in Malaysia.  
 
Those who look upon Dataran Merdeka as a symbol of freedom will view the exclusion from Dataran Merdeka as freedom denied.  The promise by the Government to respect democracy and human rights, and implement reforms, was tested yesterday.  The Government's response and actions during the BERSIH 3.0 rally provided an indication of whether the new reform legislation will be perverted and abused in its use and implementation, where the wide powers vested in the authorities call for measured, proportionate and mature exercise.  The events of 28 April 2012 do not bode well in this regard.
 
Transformation and real recognition of democratic rights come at a price, namely constant vigilance.  The cost of not transforming and not allowing Malaysians the proper exercise of our democratic rights is too high.  In Malaysia's march towards developed nation status by 2020, which is only eight years away, the constitutional right to clean, free and fair elections cannot and should not be sacrificed.  
 
  
Christopher Leong
Vice-President
Malaysian Bar
 
29 April 2012 

Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim


Anwar Ibrahim at Bersih 3.0 Moments Before The Tear Gas & Watercannon Attack

Posted: 29 Apr 2012 12:10 PM PDT


Abim Ucap Tahniah Di atas Kejayaan Bersih

Posted: 29 Apr 2012 12:02 PM PDT

Harakah

Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Abim) mengucapkan tahniah di atas kejayaan rakyat Malaysia menganjurkan perhimpunan Berrsih 3.0 semalam.

Menilai kepada jumlah kehadiran orang di samping rangkaian protes serupa yang dianjurkan di seluruh dunia, Abim beranggapan ia memberikan isyarat jelas bahawa rakyat Malaysia tanpa mengira latar belakang agama dan bangsa yang mahukan sistem pilihanraya yang telus serta tidak diragui integritinya diamalkan di negara yang tercinta ini.

Demikian kata Amidi Abdul Manan, Presiden Abim dalam satu kenyataannya selepas perhimpunan Bersih 3.0 semalam.

Dalam hal ini, katanya, Abim mengimbau semula pelbagai rungutan serta kekhuatiran yang diutarakan oleh rakyat berhubung dengan isu ini, seperti kewujudan nama pengundi yang meragukan (pengundi hantu), integriti saluran undi POS, akses saksama kepada media untuk semua parti politik, dan integriti serta kedudukan institusi-institusi awam selaku badan yang bebas dari pengaruh partisan mana-mana kelompok politik di samping amalan politik kotor dan rasuah yang sering diperkatakan di peringkat akar umbi.

“Semoga penganjuran perhimpunan aman ini akan menggerakkan perubahan drastic serta agresif dan komprehensif terhadap tatacara pengendalian pilihanraya yang telus serta tidak diragui integritinya.

 

“Sesungguhnya penglibatan serta pandangan yang dikemukakan  oleh rakyat adalah bukti kematangan masyarakat sivil wujud di negara ini, dan sekaligus merupakan bench mark utama terhadap kualiti sumber daya insan yang ada di negara ini,” kata beliau dalam kenyataannya.

Menurut beliau, dari konteks umat Islam selaku teras peneraju politik di negara ini, Islam menganjurkan integriti serta ketelusan merupakan esensi penting yang ditekankan dalam kehidupan seseorang Muslim.

“Islam menganjurkan setiap amalan serta pekerjaan dilaksanakan dengan jujur serta ikhlas untuk imbalan berbentuk keberkatan serta keredhaan dari Allah s.w.t.

 

“Keberkatan serta keredhaan dari Allah s.w.t hanya boleh dicapai seandainya teras utama ajaran Islam yang menganjurkan amanah, keikhlasan serta kejujuran  diamalkan di pelbagai peringkat,” tegas beliau.

Bagi beliau, kemuafakatan atau konsensus  dalam Islam boleh dirangka melalui kepelbagaian pandangan dan pendapat yang diuruskan dengan hikmah serta harmoni.

Pengendalian pilihanraya yang telus serta tidak diragui integriti tatacara penganjurannya merupakan esensi penting untuk mendapatkan permuafakatan serta konsensus secara berkat serta diredhai Allah yang akan meresap jauh dalam denyut nadi serta amalan rakyat. Natijahnya, pembentukan Negara Barakah yang merangkumi esensi keberkatan dan keredhaan illahi dapat direalisasikan.

“Di akhir kalam ini, Abim ingin merakamkan ucapan tahniah atas partisipasi rakyat Malaysia dalam perhimpunan aman Bersih 3.0 ini,” katanya.

Bersih 3.0 a HUGE Success: Writing On The Wall For Najib Despite ‘Killjoy’ Police Attacks

Posted: 29 Apr 2012 11:46 AM PDT

Malaysia Chronicle

There seems to be a new trick to suppress pro-Opposition websites such as Malaysia Chronicle. Readers may be able to access and even put their comments on the latest Bersih 3.0 coverage BUT the portal is not able to publish new articles until much later – in our case only just after 8am Sunday morning.

Obviously this means ONLY the views and news of the establishment – Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government – gets out, influencing and bending public perceptions to its favor.

For Malaysia Chronicle, after checking with several IT experts, we suspect sabotage as it was more than 13 hours since we were suddenly ‘disabled’ and no solution could be found. It was indeed amazing!

Pre-planned and ruthless: Police and media attacks

It is clear that the police action against the protesters was unjustified and unnecessarily harsh. This was confirmed by all who reported on the ground for us. Nearly 400 people were arrested, scores injured.

There were also signs of manipulation, the use of agent provocateurs as well as bad faith by the Umno-controlled media. Some of these portals reported total crowd size of only 50,000, even giving breakdowns of how many participants at each location. One website went so far as to report that ‘tak sampai 4,000 yang berdemo’ (less than 4,000 people came to the demo).

Another dangerous manipulation was a news report that Bersih committee member Wong Chin Huat had admitted Bersih lost control of the crowd. Malaysia Chronicle did some checks and found this to be untrue. Bersih will be issuing a full statement shortly.

Such despicable actions cannot be condoned, although underhanded tactics can be expected given Umno-BN’s past record of using the media to color the people’s perception to its advantage. In the coming months, new and even more devious methods of propaganda will be used to smear Bersih and of course the Pakatan Rakyat Opposition.

Largest ever people’s assembly

Later on Sunday, Bersih will hold a press conference together with the 6 international observers who came to asses the Election Commission’s processes and who were also present at the April 28 mammoth rally.

Indeed, the crowd size of 250,000 to 300,000 makes Bersih 3.0 the largest ever people’s assembly in Malaysian history.

To an extent, the Najib administration can be counted on to hold its hand until the observers are safely out of the country. What happens after that is hard to predict, but on the cards are prosecution under the new security laws for both Bersih and Pakatan leaders.

Najib must take responsibility

Malaysians, who attended Bersih 3.0, must demand answers for what happened on Saturday – why did something joyous suddenly turn so nasty? From all the videos that have come out on You Tube, it was clear everyone was having a good time until it was marred at 3pm when the police fired tear gas into the crowd WITHOUT warning.

There was only one hour left to go before the rally was due to finish at 4pm. Which Bersih protester would be crazy enough to defy discipline at such a time when the mood was so happy and harmonious?

The answer – only those who wanted to discredit the outstanding display of support for Bersih! And guess who that would be!

Najib Razak, the country’s 6th prime minister, has been hiding his hand but can the police react in such a manner without his OK?

If it was just a sporadic breach of discipline at one or several scattered spots, why the continued hounding of protesters until way past 7pm?

Why the widespread use of tear gas and water canons?

Throwing the blame on Pakatan

PAS MP for Shah Alam Khalid Samad has been reported as assuring such police brutality would not be tolerated if Pakatan came to power. If that is so, Malaysian must ensure they vote for Pakatan to safeguard their own lives.

This may sound partisan, but until Najib demands an explanation from the police and sacks the Inspector General of Police for the unwarranted violence, the people have every right to impute conspiracy and bad faith.

“Police who are professional would never act this way but instead try to control the situation, safeguard the public including the demonstrators because the police have weapons but the people do not,” said Khalid.

But would Najib sack Ismail Omar? After all, did he sack Shahrizat Jalil?

The response from Umno Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was a study in contrast to Khalid’s. It was clear Hisham was laying the ground for the Najib administration’s next course of action – to blame the Pakatan and Bersih for instigating the unruliness.

Azmin Ali, the PKR deputy chief, can brace to be pinpointed for inciting demonstrators by allegedly asking whether they wished to sit on the Dataran padang.

Azmin’s comment that the Dataran did not belong to DBKL was not only reported by the Star but highlighted several times on Twitter by Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

GE-13 won’t be in June: Bersih 4.0 may be necessary

It is very likely that Najib and Umno will watch national and world reaction very closely before taking their next step. As far as possible, they will try to turn the tables on Bersih and blame Pakatan for instigating the police retaliation, in particular Anwar Ibrahim and Azmin Ali.

One thing for sure, the 13th general election won’t be in June anymore. It will be delayed but that doesn’t mean Najib will concede to a cleanup of the electoral roll. For that to happen, the people will have to keep on demanding for their fundamental right to a clean ballot. Bersih 4.0 may have to be called.

Malaysians must not allow the police crackdown on Saturday to scare them from demanding free and fair polls. Does it even make sense to do so? Instead, Malaysians must bounce back even harder and demand that if Najib does not put in electoral reforms before GE-13 and if he once again allows the police to behave in that barbaric way, they will march to Putrajaya instead of Dataran to throw him and his Cabinet out.

Let us not forget, there was no reason for City Hall to ban the use of Dataran Merdeka, nor for the 11th hour court order restricting crowd movement. If anyone had planned and maneuvered for an untoward incident to occur, and is to blame for the ensuing police violence, it is the Umno-BN and its agencies. And Najib, as the head, has to take the responsibility.

“On reviewing what happened and how it took place, the attack was pre-planned. Police used extreme violence to provoke public retaliation. The aim was to make Bersih look bad,” PKR MP for Batu Tian Chua, who was only released from detention at around 5am Sunday morning, told Malaysia Chronicle.

Bersih 3.0 an OUTSTANDING success

Bersih 3.0 is not the first and will not be the last of Malaysia’s never-ending roll out of political conspiracies and corruption debacles.

Certainly, this will be the worst time for Malaysians to lose faith. By gagging the opposition media, Umno-BN will be able to inflict its own propaganda on an unsuspecting public. Those portals that have so far been fairly neutral can be counted on to suddenly ‘activate’ and churn out deliberately false reports to discredit Bersih and Pakatan. It is much like ‘sleepers’ or agent ‘moles’ or Trojan horses activating themselves in the enemy camp  once the signal is given.

Lastly, lest we forget the good moments of Bersih 3.0 – it was certainly a magnificent victory for the people. We should celebrate our coming of age, while fighting for justice for those who were badly beaten up at the same time.

We should also chase after Najib and not rest until we settle the score with him for his ‘misery-guts’ act of trying to deny the people their happiness and rightful feelings of success and achievement by ordering the police crackdown and City Hall ban.

Not only does Dataran Merdeka not belong to City Hall, Malaysia does not belong to Najib or Umno. Once and for all, let’s make it clear – Malaysia belongs to its people.

No longer afraid – a real warning to the Umno-BN

Bersih 3.0 showed that Malaysians are no longer afraid of the establishment.

This is a major first step. The next step is to not be afraid to demand that ANY government of the day has the ability to rein the police and the agencies. If the Najib administration cannot, then it must go. The people must continue to show that they are the boss and Malaysia belongs to them.

That as many as 250,000 to 300,000 Malaysians would take the trouble to come out into the streets despite the police threats and court order is a real warning for the BN. The writing is on the wall cannot be ignored any more. Najib is flailing and he will have to go.

In the meantime, Malaysians must continue to support Bersih and Pakatan in the fight for justice for those injured, while not forgetting the war for free and fair polls.

More than ever, Malaysians must show they will not back down to such crass bullying.

Above all, Malaysians must NEVER bow down to a government and prime minister so callous they can feel no compunction in sacrificing the safety and well-being of their citizens just to cling to power.

To borrow from one of the most popular chants during the Bersih 3.0 rally -  HIDUP RAKYAT!

‘Rally Peaceful Until Protesters Were Provoked’

Posted: 29 Apr 2012 08:39 AM PDT

An international fact-finding mission on the Malaysian election also notes that the mainstream media is biased.

KUALA LUMPUR: An international fact-finding mission on election found that the Bersih 3.0 rally yesterday was peaceful until the police acted provocatively.

Speaking at a press conference to present a preliminary report on the rally here today, independent Senator Nick Xenophon from Australia said: "It was peaceful [until the protesters were provoked]."

He also criticised the one-sided report on the rally in the mainstream broadcast media.

"The mainstream media is biased and unfair. We saw more of Prime Minister Najib (Tun Razak) in Sabah on television than the largest political expression in Malaysia," said Xenophon.

Another member of the seven-men team, India Times editor MJ Akbar, said the participants were actually in a festive mood.

"The crowd had ample time to turn violent if they had wanted to. [But] there was a festive mood until the provocation happened," Akbar said.

Senator Hasil Bizenjo of Pakistan was surprised that transport services to Kuala Lumpur were crippled yesterday.

"In other countries transport is provided for people to attend a rally. Here some people told me that they had to walk 20km to attend the rally," Bizenjo said.

The other members of the team are writer Nasir Tamara of Indonesia, Clinton Fernandes of University New South Wales, Dean Amado Valdez of the Philippines and Juliane Schmucker from Germany.

Recalling a conversation the group had with Umno secretary-general, Tengku Adnan Mansor, Fernandes said:

"He [Tengku Adnan] stressed the importance of 'avoiding racial strife. He also said improvement on election is not needed because the people here are immature."

Fernandes also quoted Tengku Adnan as saying: "One of the problems with Indonesia is that there is too much freedom."

However, Akbar said that "democracy needs freedom from fear and freedom of assembly".

"It is unfortunate that some voices believe that this nation wants to exercise harmony without democracy," he said, adding that he believes Malaysia deserves democracy.

The preliminary report also highlighted the mission's concern over the integrity of the 240,000 election workers, and the lack of free and fair elections.

Bizenjo pointed out the weakness of Malaysia's democratic institutions.

"The Election Commission looks so backward… It needs to improve. Even Pakistan has moved to electronic voting," he said.

The members also declared their independence even though they were invited by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to witness the rally.

"We don't care who wins. I am not a Malaysian," Fernandes said.

Sidang Media Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim Bersama YB Azmin Ali

Posted: 29 Apr 2012 08:27 AM PDT

KEADILAN akan mengadakan sidang media esok, jam 11.30 pagi, hari Isnin, 30hb April 2012 di Ibu Pejabat Parti Keadilan Rakyat berkaitan perhimpunan aman BERSIH. Sidang media tersebut akan dihadiri YB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim dan YB Azmin Ali.

Malaysian Police Fire Tear Gas on Protesters

Posted: 29 Apr 2012 01:06 AM PDT

From Wall Street Journal

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Police fired tear gas and chemical-laced water at thousands of protesters demonstrating for cleaner elections, potentially undermining Prime Minister Najib Razak’s efforts to present himself as a political reformer with elections months away.

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Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Malaysian riot police fired water canons into protesters in Kuala Lumpur Saturday.

Riot police took action on Saturday when some of the tens of thousands of demonstrators began encroaching on the historic Merdeka Square in the center of downtown Kuala Lumpur, despite police and government warnings to keep away from the area. Some groups of demonstrators lingered in the area for hours, and at least 388 demonstrators were detained, police said. Rally organizers criticized the police response as unnecessary and disproportionate.

Clashes in Kuala Lumpur

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Reuters
A protester kicked a tear gas canister back to the police during clashes in Kuala Lumpur Saturday.

Last year, police broke up a similar rally with tear gas and water cannon, and briefly detained about 1,600 members of the Bersih activist group, whose name means “clean” in Malay. That earned Mr. Najib’s government international condemnation and prompted him to move forward on a series of political overhauls, including ending the Southeast Asian nation’s Internal Security Act, which allows for indefinite, warrantless detention.

Protest leaders earlier Saturday said they would march up to the heavily guarded perimeter of Merdeka, or Independence, Square, where Malaysia first hoisted its national flag after independence from Britain. There they held a sit-down protest in the surrounding streets, joined by opposition politicians including opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

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Shie-Lynn Lim/The Wall Street Journal
Gas masks worn by police.

Among other things, the yellow-clad Bersih supporters are demanding that the country’s electoral rolls be cleaned up to prevent fraudulent voting and that alleged biases within the country’s election agency be removed. In addition, they want international observers to monitor polls and also ensure that all political parties get similar access to government-controlled broadcasters and newspapers, which dominate the media in Malaysia. The protesters also want to enable Malaysians living overseas to be able to cast ballots. The next elections must be called by March 2013.

“Today is our day. No one can take it away from us,” Ambiga Sreenevasan, one of the co-founders of the Bersih group, told a crowd before beginning a march toward Merdeka Square. “Today we speak with a clear voice: We want clean elections.”

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal earlier, Ms. Sreenevasan said, “today we have reclaimed our public spaces.

“The atmosphere is simply amazing,” she said. “The camaraderie amongst everyone is unmistakable.”

Malaysia, a major global exporter of computer parts, energy and palm oil, still is a conservative country where many voters and political power brokers are fearful of large street protests despite the rapid growth of the Internet and a proliferation of independent news websites, which often are critical of the government.

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Reuters
A protester with a message taped over his mouth demonstrated in Kuala Lumpur Saturday.

While a parliamentary committee is considering changes to Malaysia’s election laws and the government has agreed already with some of Bersih’s proposals, authorities appear unhappy that the protesters wished to assemble in the historic heart of the city. Speaking in Kuching, Mr. Najib said only the square is an unsuitable venue for political protests. He said national and city authorities had offered alternative venues, including a nearby stadium.

“We have built this country. We have made sacrifices to bring Malaysia to where it is today. We must defend the country while at the same time allow them their basic right to assemble,” Mr. Najib said, according to state news agency Bernama. He also denied that Malaysia’s electoral system was rigged against the opposition.

In a statement, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the government respects people’s right to protest and added that he “would like to commend police for their professionalism and the restraint they have shown under difficult circumstances.”

There was a palpable tension throughout much of Malaysia’s commercial capital Saturday. Some businesses, especially around the busy central market, opted to pull down steel shutters. At Merdeka Square, police armed with tear gas had been preparing to repel protesters since cordoning off the area Friday morning.

When a group of protesters began to move toward Merdeka Square amid loud chants, police acted quickly, launching tear gas and firing water cannon, sending large groups of protesters running up city streets to avoid the acrid fumes from tear-gas canisters. Outside the Sogo department store, protesters overturned a police car, which allegedly had hit two protesters, while volleys of tear gas penetrated deep into the crowd.

“I was hit by tear gas. It was not very pleasant,” Sen. Nicholas Xenophon from Australia, who is leading an international fact-finding mission on electoral overhauls, told The Wall Street Journal. “There is an Arab Spring. This is the Malaysia Spring. There is an unstoppable desire for reform.”

Mr. Najib’s reformist credentials likely will be undermined by the police action, which march organizers described as disproportionate to the threat posed. Yet some political analysts said Saturday’s protest might not necessarily hurt him or the ruling National Front coalition in an election.

James Chin, a political science professor at the Malaysian campus of Australia’s Monash University, who attended the demonstration, said many protesters were looking for a confrontation and that this might play into Mr. Najib’s hands if he calls an early election. “The reforms will still be on,” Mr. Chin said. “But the core of the regime will remain intact.”

Police response During BERSIH 3.0 Rally Disproportionate And Excessive

Posted: 28 Apr 2012 10:58 PM PDT

The Malaysian Bar is appalled at the abuse of the legal process and grotesque use of force by the police in connection with the BERSIH 3.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, 28 April 2012.
 
The crowds that had gathered for the BERSIH 3.0 rally reflected a broad cross-section of Malaysian society, and were peaceful.  The police were initially restrained, although they did try to stop people from reaching various pre-announced meeting points.  However, the attitude of the police underwent a sea-change at 3:00 pm that day.  The reported breach of police barricades in some areas does not justify the police unleashing the full force of their arsenal upon crowds that were peaceful.  The police have shown in this incident that they do not have the maturity, discipline and restraint required of a professional force.  In this regard the Malaysian Bar strongly disagrees with the Minister of Home Affairs' assertion that the police acted professionally. 

The court order excluding members of the public from Dataran Merdeka is arguably defective in law due to a lack of specificity.  Given that the BERSIH 3.0 rally had been announced on 4 April 2012, there was no need to have obtained the order ex parte.  There had been ample opportunity for the relevant parties to be heard before deciding if such an order deserved to be issued.  In addition, the order was obtained with respect to a situation of the authorities' own making, by their unjustifiable denial of access to Dataran Merdeka.  It is important to bear in mind that the Minister of Home Affairs had previously announced that the BERSIH 3.0 rally was not a security threat.

Nonetheless, having obtained the exclusion order, the police proceeded to disrespect the order by unilaterally closing additional roads and restricting access to other areas not covered by its terms.  The terms of the order itself, the closing of the roads and the restriction in access gave rise to a tense situation that contributed to the unnecessary violence that occurred. 

As has been done with some other public assemblies in the past, the Malaysian Bar deployed lawyers and pupils-in-chambers to act as monitors during the rally, numbering approximately 80.  Our monitoring teams reported witnessing the use of an array of heavy-handed tactics by the police, including the indiscriminate discharging of multiple rounds of tear gas without any obvious provocation, and arbitrary use of water cannons.  Police fired tear gas directly at the crowd.  They also manoeuvred their firing pattern to box in the participants rather than allowing them to disperse quickly.  This is not action to disperse, but is instead designed to attack, a crowd.  When items were thrown at the police, the police stooped to return like for like. 

The Malaysian Bar does not countenance the belligerent conduct shown by a number of the participants.  However, we express deep and serious concern as to how the police responded.  The police displayed a lack of restraint and proportionality, reminiscent of their actions at the BERSIH 2.0 rally on 9 July 2011.  Instead of displaying action to calm the situation, they instead aggravated it and contributed to the escalation of the conflict.  Although organisers of public gatherings must bear some responsibility when things get out of hand due to their action or inaction, this does not and cannot excuse the response of the police.  

The monitoring teams also witnessed numerous acts of police brutality, such as assault of arrested persons.  Instead of merely apprehending suspects, the attitude of the police was punitive in nature.  The reported attacks by the police on members of the media, both local and international, and the confiscation and/or destruction of their photographs and video recordings, speaks to police action in covering up or preventing a full and accurate record of the BERSIH 3.0 rally and the responses of the police.
 
Regrettably, the police also showed a general lack of cooperation towards the Malaysian Bar's monitoring teams, and were hostile in their attitude and approach at times.  This is most unprofessional and unbecoming, and serves as an unhealthy development with negative connotations for the future.
 
The Malaysian Bar notes that yesterday's events have not occurred in isolation, but stem from the fundamental problems that gave rise to the BERSIH 3.0 rally in the first place, namely the ongoing and outstanding issues relating to the electoral roll, and the lack of confidence in its integrity and that of the electoral process in Malaysia.  
 
Those who look upon Dataran Merdeka as a symbol of freedom will view the exclusion from Dataran Merdeka as freedom denied.  The promise by the Government to respect democracy and human rights, and implement reforms, was tested yesterday.  The Government's response and actions during the BERSIH 3.0 rally provided an indication of whether the new reform legislation will be perverted and abused in its use and implementation, where the wide powers vested in the authorities call for measured, proportionate and mature exercise.  The events of 28 April 2012 do not bode well in this regard.
 
Transformation and real recognition of democratic rights come at a price, namely constant vigilance.  The cost of not transforming and not allowing Malaysians the proper exercise of our democratic rights is too high.  In Malaysia's march towards developed nation status by 2020, which is only eight years away, the constitutional right to clean, free and fair elections cannot and should not be sacrificed.  
 
  
Christopher Leong
Vice-President
Malaysian Bar

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