They don't want to be Bersih (clean), so we give them Kotor(dirty).” That was one reaction to Gopeng MP Dr Lee Boon Chye this morning, when he returned to the Gunung Rapat wet market in Ipoh where he had been arrested for wearing a plain yellow T-shirt last week.
Along with Simpang Pulai assemblyperson Chan Ming Kai - who had also been arrested last week for the same reason - Lee and PKR Perak members found amusement on their walkabout, wearing shirts with the word Kotor emblazoned on it this time.
A spoof on the Bersih 2.0 T-shirt, it has 'X' instead of a tick, while the words bersihkan pilihanraya (clean up the elections) is replaced with 'BN' and '53 tahun' (53 years in power). Contacted today, Lee said even police personnel who approached them were tickled, although they did express concern that it might antagonise opposing groups like Perkasa and Umno Youth. Mostly, however, the 'campaign' launched today was received positively, with many even asking where they can get their hands on the T-shirt. “But we don't have plans to print more. This is a limited edition (shirt),” he said.
Lee, who has been wearing yellow every day and posting photos on his Facebook page since his arrest on June 30, said the Kotorcampaign is also to “allay public fears”. “We want to reassure the public that they have a right to wear whatever they want and that we are not doing anything wrong,” he said.
The 'campaign' is also to circumvent the ban on Bersih 2.0 paraphernalia and to highlight BN's 'dirty' practices. “It's not just the polls process, but the smear campaign which has been waged against opposition leaders like (PKR de factoleader) Anwar Ibrahim, (Penang Chief Minister) Lim Guan Eng, (Kelantan MB) Nik Abdul Aziz (Nik Mat) and (ousted Perak MB Mohammed) Nizar Jamaluddin.
“They don't want to have a debate on policy,” he said.
'Release PSM 6'
Bersih 2.0 yesterday decided to move its rally on Saturday off the streets of Kuala Lumpur and to accept the government's offer of a stadium. Still, the police have continued to crackdown on the movement. It is unclear whether it is now legal to wear or display Bersih 2.0 paraphernalia, which was declared 'illgeal' last week. Lee (left), who was arrested under Section 27 (5) of Police Act, said he has yet to hear from police about his charge. “We are urging that all Bersih-related charges be dropped and investigations halted. But more importantly, police should release the six people arrested under the Emergency Ordinance including Sungai Siput MP Dr D Jeyakumar,” he said. Jeyakumar and five others from Parti Sosialis Malaysia were arrested during their roadshow against BN, which they insist is unrelated to the Bersih 2.0 rally. More than 150 people have been arrested for activities related to Bersih since the crackdown began.