Friday, August 5, 2011

The spin of Bersih 2.0 by UMNO

I meant to touch on this subject a while ago but kept putting it off as other national issues started to take precedent.

As we all know by now, UMNO, it's agents and all pro-UMNO supporters, including the Sultanah of Johore have been saying that Bersih 2.0 was being influenced by the Arab spring uprising. If one was to study the chronology of events, one can easily deduce, with a tongue in the cheek, that the Arabs were actually the ones who were influenced by Bersih instead. Why do I say so? Let's look at the facts:

1. The first Bersih took off on November 10 2007 with a massive rally of 50,000 people.
2. Bersih 2.0 was launched on November 10 2010 at the MBPJ Civic Center, PJ. Until this moment, no one knew, even the Arabs themselves, that there was going to be civic unrest in the Middle East starting with Tunisia within the next two months.
3. The Arab spring uprising started in January 2011.
4. This was followed by the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 2011.

So as we can see, Bersih and Bersih 2.0 actually preceded the events in the Middle East. The momentum for the July 9 2011 rally came about as a result of the November 10 2010 launch.

The other differences are Bersih 2.0 wanted very much to involve politicians from both sides of the political divide but this was spurned by the BN leaders. The Arabs on the other hand, did not have such committee to plan their uprisings. They just happened at the spur of the moment and before anyone knew it, it became litted up like a phosphorous flame, out of despondency and desperation. Thus, the Arab uprisings could be seen about ending dictatorships and toppling corrupt leaders while Bersih 2.0 was about electoral reforms and this was repeated several times by the Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee.

So, in the end, how could our leaders equate Bersih 2.0 to the Middle East crisis? Unless UMNO is referring to the Arab leaders themselves, and that's where the similarities end.

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