- #KL112 tanda suara rakyat tidak boleh diabai
- Pakatan Rakyat Takes a Stab at Umno’s ‘Merdeka’ Legacy
- Hundreds of Thousands in Malaysia Protest Against Government in Buildup to Elections
Posted: 12 Jan 2013 12:08 PM PST
SHAH ALAM – Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim berkata Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat (#KL112) yang diadakan hari ini menunjukkan mesej jelas bahawa kerajaan tidak boleh mengabaikan suara rakyat.
Katanya, hari ini seluruh rakyat bersatu hati dan bersatu suara dalam menuntut perubahan.
"#KL112 mungkin membawa pelbagai isu tetapi semuanya berkait antara satu sama lain, tetapi Malaysia akan menjadi lebih baik apabila suara ramai mulai didengari.
“Sama ada untuk mengubah pilihan raya, menyediakan pilihan raya yang bebas, menghentikan Lynas ataupun mempertahankan hak keluarga Felda.
“Kami menuntut pilihan raya yang adil dan bebas. Tidak ada sesiapa yang boleh curi undi kita. Kita harus bersatu untuk mempertahankan undi kita dan tidak akan membenarkan sesiapapun untuk menipu undi kita. Ubah pilihan raya sekarang,” katanya, yang juga Ketua Umum
Pakatan Rakyat, dalam satu kenyataan hari ini, menjelang Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat yang berlangsung di Stadium Merdeka mulai jam 2 petang tadi.
Tambahnya, generasi muda yang ada kini perlu dijamin masa depan mereka dan pendidikan percuma kepada semua anak Malaysia adalah tanggungjawab pemimpin, bukannya meletakkan hutang kepada golongan muda.
Beliau menambah, dalam mengejar kemajuan, perniagaan tidak boleh mengatasi isu alam sekitar, terutamanya membabitkan keselamatan rakyat Kuantan tidak boleh diabaikan.
"Perniagaan tidak boleh melebihi keselamatan alam sekitar, sebab itulah kita wajar melindungi keselamatan rakyat Kuantan. Katakan tidak kepada Lynas.
"Selain itu, peneroka dan keluarga mereka bukanlah barangan tidak komoditi yang akan didagangkan seperti yang dilihat dalam penyenaraian yang terpaksa dilalui oleh peneroka Felda dan kesan kewangan akibat penyenaraian itu kini terpaksa dihadapi hari ini.
"Hari ini kita wajar putuskan apa yang betul dan apa yang tidak kepada kumpulan kecil yang memakan yang lemah," kata beliau yang juga Ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh.
Sementara itu, beliau berkata, rakyat Malaysia di luar negara yang akan mengundi dalam pilihan raya akan datang diingatkan bahawa mereka adalah seorang individu yang bebas memberikan pendapat mereka mengenai apa yang di tanah air dan cabaran-cabaran yang
Sehubungan itu, katanya, sokongan mereka amat diperlukan terutamanya untuk kembali ke tanah air demi mencurah bakti dan jasa kepada Malaysia dengan sumber yang terhad dan untuk menyalurkan keyakinan kepada ahli keluarga di Malaysia bahawa perubahan adalah mungkin dan semakin hampir untuk berlaku.
Katanya lagi, semua disaran untuk terus mengemas kini Twitter masing-masing sepanjang hari untuk berkongsi pandangan sebagai usaha membina harapan dan mengembangkan tolenransi serta menenepikan pemimpin yang bersikap acuh tak acuh yang memerintah hari ini.
"Satu hari nanti, kebenaran akan muncul dan sinar cahaya akan bersinar lagi dalam kehidupan kita," katanya.
Posted: 12 Jan 2013 08:27 AM PST
Fifty-six years ago, Umno was etched into the history books as the party which helped free Malaysia from British colonialists, a feat which it has hitherto never stopped reminding Malaysians about.
The declaration of Independence was made by Umno’s second president Tunku Abdul Rahman at Stadium Merdeka, which grew even more famous over the years by playing host to premier entertainment, sporting and national events.
Today, the ageing stadium hosted yet another historical milestone. It was the site of the biggest ever rally organised by opposition parties, which no doubt helped set a new record for the 30,000 capacity stadium.
If it wasn’t enough to stage a massive anti-Umno and anti-BN rally at the venue which played a major role in Umno’s legacy, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim capped off the event by chanting “Merdeka” seven times, mimicking Tunku not only in frequency but in mannerism as well.
“Like how our forefathers cried out (Merdeka!), today we repeat that oath and this time, we will achieve genuine independence for the people,” he said.
In an attempt to redefine the term, each time Anwar said “Merdeka”, the crowd responded with “Rakyat”.
How will Umno react?
Pakatan Rakyat’s antics in Stadium Merdeka is unlikely to bode well for Umno diehards, who are likely to question the sudden and unexpected liberal approach.
Until today, any major rally with a hint of anti-Umno and anti-BN sentiments would have faced the full brunt of the law, with tear gas, batons and water cannons to boot.
Instead, the federal government went out of its way to make sure that the rally proceeded without incident, to the extent of having the police say that their aim was to have “zero casualties” during the event.
In essence, Pakatan came out looking like its support base is growing, despite the intensifying negative press about them coming from the government-controlled media organisations since the last general election.
Such media organisations are going to be hard-pressed to claim that 100,000 people were paid to attend the rally, whereas Pakatan supporters will claim they braved the heat and congestion, unlike BN’s less organic approach in drawing a crowd.
Looking beyond race
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s predecessors have never faced an opposition show of force on this scale before and his party will face a challenge to explain why opposition rally numbers are on the rise under his watch.
During the rally, Anwar, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng offered their theories, but it was mostly centred around BN’s race-based policies.
“We need to break from Umno and BN’s sentiments that only Malays can take care of Malays, only Chinese can take care of Chinese, only Indians and can care of Indians, only Ibans can take care of Ibans, and only Dayaks can take care of Dayaks.
“We want to prove we can take care of everyone regardless of race,” declared Lim.
Abdul Hadi also sought to reassure Malay supporters that despite the new politics being advocated, the fundamentals of the country will remain unchanged.
“PAS together with PKR and DAP have settled on the principles of constitutional monarchy, Islam as the national religion, Malay as the national language and that bumiputera rights would be defended,” he said.
Najib scores own goal?
Pakatan’s message was best reflected in Anwar’s call to give the opposition coalition’s formula a shot.
“Give us a chance because we are sensitive to the people’s voice, we are not deaf like BN,” he said.
Perhaps it was this “deafness” which may have also contributed to the rise of civil society movements – such as the oil royalty campaign, Himpunan Hijau movement and the Pengerang anti-oil refinery movement – whose supporters made up a significant portion of the participants at the rally today.
These groups have been growing in strength over the past four years after their pleas to the federal government fell on deaf ears.
Save for the Bersih coalition, representatives from every civil society movement that took to the stage explicitly urged Malaysians to bring in a new federal government.
The Najib administration may have avoided a crackdown to prevent a backlash such as in past rallies, but he is now faced with a new challenge of an emboldened Pakatan projecting its strength on Umno’s sacred turf.
Posted: 12 Jan 2013 04:56 AM PST
The protestors were clad in yellow, green and at least five other different colors, each representing a rights group advocating causes that ranging from clean electoral roll, environmental rights, fair royalty payments to oil-producing states to the abolishment of higher education student loan.
They held placards and flags bearing logos of rights groups and political parties.
Police put the number of turnout at 40,000.
The rally, the People's Uprising Assembly, represents an opportunity for the opposition to boost the morale of its supporters as it sought to build momentum towards the country's 13th general election.
Organizers of the rally drew cheers and applauses from the crowd when they called for supporters to overthrow the ruling coalition, National Front.
"I understand your rage. That is why the People's Alliance vow that we will not allow bribery and robbery against our beloved people… We plead to you to give us a chance, so that the people' s voices will become the voices of the rulers of this nation," opposition coalition People Alliance's leader, Anwar Ibrahim, addressed the crowd.
He promised to improve people's livelihood, reduce the cost of living such as lowering the price of petrol and providing free tertiary education by abolishing the study loans.
"This is the spirit of the people voicing out, we have to change the corrupted government to a fair one that fights for its citizen," a protestor who identified himself as Aizad told Xinhua.
"I have always seen archive footage of when the country's independence is declared here and I am feeling it now the true freedom," another protestor said.
"We feel proud listening to the comments by Anwar and other leaders and we hope that we can topple the government," he added.
Authorities have permitted the rally to be held at the stadium, where Malaysia's founding father declared the nation's independence in 1957, but blocked a few roads leading towards the stadium for safety concerns.
Protestors dispersed peacefully at 5 p.m. as police helped direct the traffic a stark contrast from the scenes of previous rallies including the most recent last April where clashes between police and protestors left numerous people injured and infrastructure damaged in the city.
Police had been come under fire then for assaulting journalists and destroying their equipment when covering the rally for clean electoral roll.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Myhyiddin Yassin had earlier rebuked Saturday's rally as having selfish agenda.
Prime Minister Najib Razak, meanwhile, had a political rally of his own to attend.
At a pro-Najib gathering organized by a National Front ally party near Kuala Lumpur, the premier had promised to improve the lives of ethnic minorities in the country if his administration stays in power.
Najib's popularity dropped to 63 percent from 65 percent last year, according to a report released by independent pollster Merdeka Center on Thursday.
The coming polls would be a cutthroat fight between the opposition and the governing coalition after the latter was dealt the worst blow in history by losing five states and a two-third parliamentary majority in the 2008 election.
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