Monday, June 27, 2011

BERSIH is Christian-sponsored?

I thought that the flavour of the week was going to be "Communism", that was following the arrests of 30 PSM members in Penang. Apparently, I was wrong. The bogeyman is still the Christians and Utusan as usual has not failed to disappoint me with their latest take.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — Utusan Malaysia stepped up its attacks on Bersih today by claiming that the group is being funded by foreign Christian organisations that have donated millions of ringgit to underwrite the rally planned for July 9.

After it demonised Bersih chief Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan yesterday as anti-Islam, the Umno-owned newspaper reported today that the group calling for electoral reforms was being funded by groups such as the Konrad Adenauer Foundation from Germany and the Canadian Allied Foundation.

The Konrad Adenauer Foundation is a German think-tank associated with the conservative Christian Democratic Union in Germany. It aims to further the “promotion of freedom and liberty, peace, and justice” through “furthering European unification, improving transatlantic relations and deepening development co-operation.

Little is known about the Canadian Allied Foundation named by the Utusan article.

In a separate editorial today, Utusan also said that information obtained from investigations into 31 Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) activists arrested yesterday proved that the July 9 march for electoral reform “is not just infiltrated with subversive elements but also supported by foreign funds.”

“If the organisers of Bersih sincerely want to demonstrate about elections, why do they need to ask for foreign help? Why the need for elements trying to revive communism?” the Malay daily wrote today.

Besides Bersih, other organisations like the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre (MSRC) have strong ties with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

The MSRC was formed by Abdul Razak Baginda, a close associate of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Abdul Razak was acquitted in 2008 of abetting in the murder of his Mongolian mistress Altantuya Shariibuu.

Utusan Malaysia reported today that organisations from 11 countries had donated millions of ringgit to Bersih to be used for the cost of the July 9 demonstration.

PAS has promised to bring in hundreds of thousands of supporters from across the country as Pakatan Rakyat (PR) gears up for a second such rally in recent years.

The first Bersih rally in 2007 saw up to 50,000 people take to the streets of Kuala Lumpur before they were dispersed by police armed with tear gas and water cannons.

The demonstration has been partly credited for Pakatan Rakyat’s record gains in Election 2008, where the opposition pact swept to power in five states and won 82 parliamentary seats.

However, counter rallies are being planned by both Perkasa and Umno Youth who have pledged to march despite the government insisting it will not issue any permits for gatherings in the city on July 9.

Police said yesterday they are probing an alleged attempt by some Bersih activists to revive communism and are investigating PSM members, including Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jayakumar, for “waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.”

Utusan Malaysia said today that this showed the organisers were co-operating with the opposition to spark chaos and smear the image of Malaysia.

“So we support whatever action the authorities take to block this illegal gathering, if the ISA needs to be used, then use it.

“Now is not the time for warning after warning because the arrest of the PSM activists is proof that national security is under systematic threat,” it said.

[Source: The MI]

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