Saturday, July 2, 2011

More electoral flaws

The Election Commission (EC), now facing calls for electoral reforms, has always been plagued with allegations that it has phantom voters on its electoral rolls.

Now, new evidence has emerged that there are phantom voters in the Permatang Pauh
constituency held by PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim.

A Pakatan Rakyat-friendly blogger, who has revealed the existence of these “ghost” voters, challenged the EC to rebut his claim.

The blogger, Perisik Rakyat, recently revealed that 60 “dubious” names have been registered under an address in Permatang Pauh, Penang.

The Kelantan-based blogger claimed that the 60 voters had registered under one address: No 1138, Kampung Bagan Serai, Permatang Pauh, Penang.

According to the blogger, of the 60 voters, 51 are Malays and the rest Indians.

The latest revelation comes on the heels of last Thursday’s statement by EC deputy chairman, Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, who said it was diffcult to fulfil Bersih’s eight demands for electoral reforms.

According to Wan Ahmad, cleaning up the electoral rolls, including removing the names of deceased voters, is unnecessary.

He also refuted allegations that voters were being moved to different constituencies without their knowledge.

The arrest contagion hits Sabah

The spate of Bersih-related arrests has now spread to Sabah and Sarawak. Seven PKR Youth members were arrested n Kota Kinabalu this morning after police received word that one of them had donned a Bersih 2.0 T-shirt.

The seven were having breakfast in a coffeeshop in Asia City at 10.40am when 60 to 70 policemen swooped down on them.

Three were wearing ordinary yellow sports T-shirts while the other three were clad in other coloured T-shirts. The seven were arrested and taken to the Karamunsing station to have their statements recorded.

PKR leader, Christina Liew, expressed astonishment over the arrests and pointed out that the group had gathered for breakfast, not for a ceramah or demonstration.

“It’s a very strange way of arresting people in a public place,” she said in a video posting on her blog. “This is a blatant abuse of power, total violation of human rights and an act of intimidation by the authorities. They have the right as citizens to gather for breakfast.”

When contacted by FMT, Liew said that the seven were still being questioned and that police have not decided whether they would be detained.

“They were not handcuffed and were allowed to call their lawyers,” she said. “I was also granted 10 minutes of private time with them at the station. We still don’t know what the exact charge is but I would be very surprised if they are detained. I fully expect them to be released within the next hour or so.”

Liew added that a 1Malaysia dinner was held in Kota Kinabalu just two nights ago which saw a gathering of hundreds of people. She wondered if that function had received a permit.

“We protest the arrest of the seven and view it as illegal,” she said. “But I hope that this incident will not make the public lose confidence in the credibility of the police to carry out their job.”

More than 120 people have been detained so far for wearing yellow T-shirts with the Bersih logo emblazoned across the front.

Opposition leaders, some of whom have been hauled up for questioning for backing Bersih’s planned rally, say the mass arrests is one of the harshest crackdowns in the country’s political history.

[Source: FMT]

Sabah singer, Atama, to lead rally


KOTA KINABALU: An outspoken local singer, Atama, is leading the Bersih campaign in Kota Kinabalu, come July 9.

Atama or Andrew Ambrose Mudi, who had earned the wrath of Barisan Nasional leaders before for his outspokenness, told a press conference here today that he and his friends Michael Liew and Chester Pang, had yesterday applied for a police permit for the peaceful assembly at the city’s Padang Merdeka here.

“We decided to apply for the permit, with complete documents such as the programme for that day and a list of the organising committee members,” he said.

Asked what would happen if the police deny them the permit, Atama, 36, said they would re-apply and “will cross the bridge when we come to it”.

Atama, who is a member of MCLM (Malaysian Civil Liberty Movement), said that he was leading the Bersih campaign as a civil movement.

“We are exercising our rights in accordance with the Federal Constitution,” he said.

“We have formed an ad hoc committee to get the various civil movements to come under one umbrella to support the Bersih rally in a disciplined and peaceful manner,” Atama said.

The Kadazandusun singer, speaking in fluent English, expects 500 to turn up for the march.

[Source: FMT]

BERSIH 2.0 - You'll never walk alone



Friday, July 1, 2011

BERSIH 2.0 - Dedicated to all Malaysians

Electoral flaw: 152 voters sharing two addresses

After the Election Commission (EC) attacked the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) as a Pakatan Rakyat stooge, more evidence has surfaced to show that the electoral roll is marred with flaws as the group's mega rally on July 9 approaches.

A blogger has exposed that two addresses in the state constituency of Seberang Jaya, Penang, are shared by 88 and 64 voters respectively.

The anti-BN blogger Anak Sungai Derhaka, published all the 152 names in a posting at today, together with their MyKad numbers.

NONEA Malaysiakini check of all the names using the EC's online electoral roll checking systemconfirmed the allegation.

The first address shared by 88 Malay and Indian voters is No 1155, Kampung Bagan Serai.

According to the results shown by the system, all of them registered at the same parliamentary and state seat, polling district and locality, which is Permatang Pauh, Seberang Jaya, Jalan Sembilang and Kg Bagan Serai (044/10/01/001).

Although their addresses vary in term of format such as “No 1155", “1155" or “1155, Kampung Bagan Serai”, they refer to the same address.

Seberang Jaya is one of the three state constituencies under the parliamentary constituency of Permatang Pauh which is held by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

The second address shared by 64 voters of Malay and Indian ethnicity is No 1138, Kampung Bagan Serai, in the same locality as the first address.

The blogger claimed the two addresses belong to two small wooden houses.

Purported photographs of the two houses were also published on the blog.

Explanation sought from EC

The posting, written in Malay titled “One address with 88 voters... what is the EC's explanation?”, is in response to EC deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar's attack on Bersih 2.0 yesterday.

NONE“He should first check the electoral roll updated in May. If he is serious about his responsibility, he should explain how this small house can accommodate 64 voters? And how another house located at the same area can accommodate 88 voters?” he asked.

Yesterday, Wan Ahmad labelled Bersih2.0 as aPakatan stoogeand alleged that the July 9 rally was merely to build momentum for Pakatan's bid for Putrajaya.

The opposition described the abnormal number of voters sharing same address as part of the 'phantom voters' phenomena.

Even PKR vice-president Azmin Ali's mother faced such a situation, where five Chinese and one Malay strangers had been registered to her house address.

However, the EC has always denied the existence of 'phantom voters' in the electoral roll and argued that those voters do exist but were wrongfully registered to that particular address.

Under the current election law, the EC has no power to 'correct' this problem unless the 'wrongfully registered' voters approach the commission to change their address.

[Source: Mkini]

OMG, we have been taken over by ALIENS!

Are our ruling politicians extra-terrestrial creatures?
Preposterous as it may seem but I am forced to examine this alarming possibility with all seriousness because of their unhuman-like behaviour over the planned Bersih 2.0 march on July 9.

Let us scrutinise the evidence.

First, these politicians talk strange.

They seem rational one moment and off their rocker the next.

They talk of economic transformation, establishing projects worth billions and billions of ringgit, making Malaysia a high-income country, fostering peace and harmony and moderation and people first programmes.

On and on. That's big brains at work, talking big stuff.

Then, one of these politicians (one known as Hisham) declared T-shirts bearing an advertisement of the Bersih march as illegal because the yet-to-happen march is deemed illegal.

Outlawing a garment?

The politicians' enforcement branch, the polis-ticians, seized the T-shirts and banners that carried similar wording. They were last seen searching painstakingly for cars, buses, anything that they believed could become tools to be used for the march. Even shoes.

The chief of the polis-ticians said the whole point was to prevent a disaster. He foresaw "tension, chaos, the destruction of property, injury and even loss of life" if the march went ahead.

Wow! Sounds like some character from Tom Cruise's futuristic "Minority Report".

Second, they look different.

Many of them appear obese, ugly and to have difficulty shutting their mouths (observe one of their storm-troopers known as Ibrahim). This has led me to speculate that they might be encountering complications adjusting to their human forms.

Finally, they lack the most fundamental human trait that separates humans from other life forms on Earth - the ability to reason.

These politicians' communications branch has ordered its official communicators not to mention the Bersih march or the date when it is to happen.

However, these communicators must still warn the people against demonstrating on the streets.

How that could be done is admittedly beyond the intelligence of humans.

So, therefore, the inevitable conclusion is that these politicians and their assistants must be aliens who come from an advanced civilisation and who have a far superior intelligence.

Good Lord! We have been taken over and are controlled by aliens! Aliens who do not understand or submit to basic human norms. Aliens who have powerful machines and the meanness and the means to create mayhem.

Aliens who may be out to plunder our resources, enslave our people, undermine our institutions, suborn our officials, corrupt our young, ruin our reproduction by making sex obscene.

What must we do? How are we to save ourselves from such pitiless creatures?

Could the solution lie in another Tom Cruise movie, "War of the Worlds", in which powerful aliens invaded Earth, blasting and squashing earthlings with their mean machines?

In the movie, Earth and its inhabitants were saved by the tiny, faceless and fearless fighters of our microscopic domain, members of Earth's low-level life forms that we misguided humans often strive mindlessly to ignore, suppress or destroy.

Will life imitate art and - this time for real - earthlings in Malaysia are saved by the small, the weak, the faceless but fearless members of our planet?

BERSIH 2.0 - Give Peace A Chance


June 29 : Come Together


A government must either lead, follow or get out of the way

UMNO-BN had every opportunity to lead the citizens but it did not. They have equal opportunity to follow the citizens but they refuse to. What will soon be left with UMNO-BN is that they will have to get out of the way going by the developments (or deterioration) to-date.

It is very clear that the men and women walking within the corridors of power under the UMNO-BN banner are not truthful to their bosses. They are not telling the captians what they share privately with their families and friends about the UMNO-BN bungles.

It is also very clear that the main stream media is equally aware that their papers and radio and televison media are fast becoming the laughing stock in the public domain as they have resigned in will to merely follow the 'perintah' or order of the government.

The Bersih 2.0 rally is indeed unearthing more truths with each passing day what was previously deemed as mere perceived misconceptions or opposition ploys.

Religious heads speak up for peaceful assembly

Who has not spoken in defense and support of the Bersih rally for 9 July? Almost every sane person has despite the government's lambasting.

The heads of religion from the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism who traditionally stay away from any controversy, have issued their statement in support of Bersih 2.0. They all uphold the Constitutional Rights to peaceful assembly. Surely these Heads of religion would have arrived at this conclusion that Bersih must not be curtailed only after much prayer, wisdom and without ulterior motives or vested interests. Least of all surely they do not harbor any ambition to take over PutraJaya.

The nation’s Human Rights Commission, SUHAKAM has also maintained that the government must allow the Bersih rally to proceed and see to the citizens’ safety and security. SUHAKAM by the way is well respected in the region and many of our neighboring representatives of human rights visit SUHAKAM to learn from them. Surely the captain of SUHAKAM should be commended for his impartial wisdom, knowledge and courage.

The courageous and learned law professor Aziz from the International Islamic University has also pointed out that there are no provisions whatsoever to ban the rally as the Bersih 2.0 march is not illegal. What is illegal is to deny and deprive the citizens their Constitutional Rights.

The learned, well respected Mufti the honorable Asri has also upheld that the Bersih 2.0 rally is consistent with the teachings of Islam. To deny the citizens to stand up for clean and fair elections is un-Islamic and against the very teachings as contained the Holy Quran.

Various learned and well respected individuals from civil society have also expressed their concerns against the government’s hard-line stand and rightfully point out without fear or favor that such vilifications against humanity’s call for societal rights and values in governance will jeopardize the entire nation.

Fighting its own citizens

Yet the government insists in barging a battering ram against the citizens. What started out as an allegation that the opposition political divide is going to conquer PutraJaya, was spun into a communist threat and insult to the Agung.

Later, it was made out to be a national security threat. And with that the raids, confiscations, arrests and detentions have ensued. Not yet done with their surreptitious assault on basic and fundamental human rights to peaceful assembly, intimidation and threats have been sprayed on a daily ration through the main stream media.

Along with that, not undone with the psy-war, media heads have been summoned and told not to whisper anything that harps ‘July 9’, ‘Bersih’ or even ‘yellow’.

The Home Minister’s blanket ban on yellow is making heads turn in disbelief. Within the banking halls the joke is, is management going to immediately give us a change in uniform as we now don yellow head scarves, yellow ties and black blazers with yellow trimmings?

Teasing war

Already the teasing war has begun with opposition law makers and MPs wearing yellow at their official sittings.

Another minister tried not to be undone and so attempted to teach the citizens the meaning of freedom and again the rakyat are shaking their heads in disbelief. Is this what it takes to be a law minister they enquire in the market place.

Hot on the heels the Prime Minister has threatened that the government can marshal three million to the streets. And everyone is laughing. The public are saying ‘yes he is right; with four million government servants all it takes is a memo from each minister to his or her respective ministry and you will have lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers and other government servants being bused with free umbrellas, nasi bungkus and sijil patriot plus some hardship allowance, all marching.’

In summary, the reality is UMNO/BN must understand that it has little choice given all the wrong mistakes this far. It either, leads, follows or simply gets out of the way.

And now that Datuk Ambiga has kept the last entry doorway still open, the PDRM should not bungle and force the ruling party through the exit door.

[Writer: J D Lovrenclear]

Thursday, June 30, 2011

BERSIH 2.0 - The rallying points

[Click image to enlarge]

Najib will be the ultimate loser in the coming General Election and will be ousted just like his predecessor, Tun Abdullah Badawi

The hype and exaggeration of the consequences of the Bersih Rally – civil commotion, financial losses in the RM billions, the takeover of the government, the revival of communism, etc. – is another symptom of an administration under siege and devoid of any creative response to what is otherwise a non-issue.

By Matthias Chang

There are four main factions in UMNO, three of which are determined to prevent the PM's faction from gaining an overwhelming upper-hand and a repetition of "Pak Lah's political theatrics" – when the family-in-laws included ruled supreme. This is so typical of "Malay politics". Can you imagine the wannabes waiting for 15 years or more to have a bite at the political cherry?

The era of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was an exception and only because he was a visionary and a pragmatic leader, and an act that is hard to follow. The trend for all future leaders will assuredly be one term, as there are just too many in the queue to be the next prime minister.

The Prime Minister is a seasoned politician, adept at surviving the back-stabbing and double-dealings inherent in all political power-grabs. So why is he reacting in such a high-handed manner to the Bersih challenge?

A heavy-handed reaction – threats of incarceration under the Internal Security Act, threats of unleashing sectarian / racial violence by the likes of Perkasa, the unnecessary posturing by UMNO Youth and its irrelevant leader, Khairy (off to join the Gaza Flotilla to get some brownie points where he has no credibility in advancing the just struggles of the Palestinians), the raid of Bersih's office and the confiscation of its materials etc., but no police action against UMNO Youth's disorderly conduct outside PKR's headquarters even when they threatened to burn down the building – indicates the administration's one track mentality in solving problems, not that the Bersih Rally is a problem.

The hype and exaggeration of the consequences of the Bersih Rally – civil commotion, financial losses in the RM billions, the takeover of the government, the revival of communism, etc. – is another symptom of an administration under siege and devoid of any creative response to what is otherwise a non-issue.

To declare that it is a crime and or illegal to wear any clothing in yellow bearing the logo "Bersih" is sheer stupidity. And the Home Minister is a lawyer by training! If such clampdown is to demonstrate the power of UMNO and nothing else, then the year long campaign that we are "1Malaysia" rings hollow and that the Barisan Nasional government has no faith in its policies especially its "Economic Transformation Programme" (ETP), the political crown jewel of Najib's administration.

If Barisan Nasional needs brute force to cow the people to vote for it, as opposed to using rational arguments and sound policies, it will be the end of the Barisan Nasional. The Barisan Nasional would be giving the Opposition a walk over in the next General Election.

The Election Commission is an independent agency. This is the mantra that the BN government never ceases to affirm.

Everyone is for a free and fair election.

The 2008 General Election is the best evidence that elections were conducted fairly, as the Opposition took over five state governments and reduced the BN two-thirds majority in Parliament, a historic achievement by the Opposition Coalition.

Bersih has assured the nation that the rally would be peaceful and its intention is to deliver a memorandum for a fair and clean election to the King.

We shall hold them to their word and promise.

How long would the Bersih Rally be, in the absence of any police action? At the most, one and half hours, and thereafter, they would have to disperse, again peacefully. End of the story. Nothing happens, no news worthy of a headline in the front page of the local mainstream media or for that matter the foreign media.

The police can agree to a pre-designated route to avoid creating traffic jams and unnecessary inconvenience to the public.

There is no need for the deployment of the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) or the military. What is needed is traffic police to assist the organizers.

This is all that is required.

Any leader associated with the Bersih Rally would lose credibility if they allow the rally to turn ugly or violent. In those circumstances, the security forces would have every justification to take stern action and they can be deployed quickly.

Let us not make a mountain out of a mole-hill!

My advice to the Prime Minister is simple. Be at the gate of the Agong's palace to stand in solidarity with the participants and show support for their civic-mindedness and assure all those peaceful participants that every effort will be made to ensure a fair and clean election as was the case in 2008 and all previous elections.

Why is there a need for Perkasa to have a counter-rally, when it is not even part of the Barisan Nasional? Whether BN likes it or not, Perkasa is perceived as being thuggish and provocative. It may have a role in serving a Malay agenda (rallying Malays to vote for UMNO), but it will not be able to deliver the Malay votes. It is a sad reflection of UMNO that it needs Perkasa, an external force to rally Malay voters and when its leader is not even a member of UMNO, but an "independent" Member of Parliament. This is really pathetic!

Why must UMNO Youth behave in a manner that is perceived as racial and repugnant?

Perkasa undermines the Barisan Nasional. It cannot deliver on its own merits and has no mass following, if UMNO members do not join its ranks.

I challenge Perkasa to deliver 50,000 members to march peacefully to the Agong's palace to assure the entire nation that they too are for fair and clean elections, not on the 9th July 2011 but on a separate occasion so that we can see for ourselves the true strength of Perkasa and whether it genuinely reflects the aspirations of the Malay community and the Barisan Nasional.

If Barisan Nasional wants to commit suicide and lose the next General Election, then follow Perkasa's sectarian bravado and Khairy's infantile opportunism.

If Barisan Nasional insists on adopting the sledge hammer approach to the Bersih Rally, they will lose the next election. The blowback will be intense and unforgiving. And if Najib is naïve and foolish enough to declare an emergency and launch another Operation Lalang, the Chinese and Indian voters will abandon Barisan Nasional in droves and whatever efforts thus far to win back their allegiance will go up in smoke. This is a given.

Remember also that as a Muslim country, we are also a target of the neo-cons' agenda. Those outside forces who are hell bent to destabilize Muslim countries are waiting for an excuse to subvert Malaysia.

The Bersih Rally is a non-issue and can be diffused quietly and without any fanfare.

I trust common sense will prevail.

Politics is not about first or second. It is about serving the people

At the Selayang Umno division meeting last Saturday, party head and premier Najib Abdul Razak declared that BN considers victory in a general election to be of paramount importance and that politics is all about victory.

He said, “In a general election, only becoming champion (winner) will have meaning for us...and we know that emerging as the runner-up means that we've lost in the election.”

NONENajib is wrong.

Politics is not to be treated as a game, where one wins and another loses. Only a flippant and crass person would consider politics in terms of 'champion and runner-up'.

If he is not already aware, politics is about serving the electorate.

So, how could a person who is supposed to lead 28 million people think like that?

We can overlook the fact that Najib was not elected into the top position but is he so obtuse that he is unaware that his decisions and policies affect people's lives?

For some Malaysians, his dictates may mean the fine line between poverty and subsistence; a healthy life or one wracked with ill-health; a future based on education or lost opportunities; a modern lifestyle or one mired in the past.

Politics is not a contest. However, we need only look at how some MPs abuse their position and our trust, to realise that they probably believe that politics is a productive pastime conducted at our expense.

When they travel, police outriders close the roads or stop the traffic so that they can travel through our usually clogged roads with ease.

When they go overseas, the public purse is raided when several hangers-on are included in the entourage, ostensibly as aides.

The national carrier bumps people off or downgrades passengers so that these so-called aides, who are not entitled to an upgrade, enjoy first-class treatment at the expense of the taxpayer and fare-paying passengers.

Our children fall prey to poor standards of teaching and some of our schools (especially mission schools) are literally falling apart. Many politicians send their offspring to the local international schools before dispatching them to schools in Europe, UK, Australia or th US prior to enrolment in the universities there. A two-tiered system exists.

A nation plundered

Najib announced that only Umno/BN has outshone the other political parties. He is right but perhaps not in the way he hopes we would think.

Umno/BN have plundered the nation by awarding contracts to their cronies. They have protected their own kind, who are guilty of money politics or other serious crimes such as rape, sexual assault on young girls and murder.

palace of justice istana kehakimanInstitutions like schools, universities, the police, the civil service and the judiciary have no vestige of their former glory, in the days just after Independence.

Najib stressed on information revolution and education as driving factors for change.

So why has he not put these to good use? Why are we reeling from the effects of discrimination, corruption, waste of public funds, cronyism, nepotism, abuse of power and hypocrisy?

Why is the nation wasting its time discussing a sex video when we should be discussing how to move our country forwards?

Do we need tacky soundbites to live our lives?

What is the use of education when we award contracts to a favoured few, when the use of public funds are not made transparent and accountability is not to be found in the BN vocabulary?

NONENajib encouraged BN politicians to go on walkabouts, much like himself, to meet people on the ground and to form 'alliances' with them.

Isn't Najib aware that when he engages with people he only sees a sanitised view? Far from learning the truth, he only sees what others want him to see.

For instance, in some areas, the roads leading to the places where he goes on a walkabout are cleared of vagrants, instant flower borders appear where weeds thrived before, and potholes
are repaired.

Drains are cleared of rubbish, roads are swept, electrical fixtures are repaired, some bits receive a lick of paint and the old, worn-out decrepit street is transformed, only because the PM is due for a walkabout.

Najib should instead perform spot-checks; only then will he see how things really are and which of his departments are working.

Initiative for electoral reform

Most of all, how can Najib hold his head up high and claim victory in the election when he knows only too well that victory for Umno and BN has been obtained through dishonest means?

azlanThat is the point of the Bersih rally; a demand by all Malaysians for clean, free and fair elections.

The eight-point reforms are for the good of all. It is not to benefit any one political party but it will ensure that politicians work hard to serve the public and to justify their status.

The public is shrewd enough to know that the Election Commission is impotent and ineffective in discharging its role as an independent adjudicator.

If anyone needs reform and education, it is Najib and his merry men in Umno/BN. They must not be allowed to win by the back-door method.

After 54 years of abdicating from its responsibilities, the rakyat is now taking the initiative to effect change and reform.

NONEBersih has wrong-footed Najib. He knows that if the people go on the streets on July 9 to support Ambiga Sreenevasan's call for electoral reform, he will be left with mud on his face.

Hence, the crackdown, arrests and ban. Perkasa and Umno Youth are mere smokescreens for the police to justify the use of violent tactics in the name of national security.

Who would have thought that Malaysia would be led by ruthless despots who want to reconfigure our country to suit themselves?

Without electoral reforms, any victory that BN may obtain will be as cheap and hollow as all the previous victories.

Has BN actually won any election fair and square over the past 54 years?

Please support yourself. Join the rally on July 9.

[Source: Mariam Mokhtar]

Opposition MPs wear yellow in Parliament

[Photos courtesy of Malaysiakini]

BERSIH 2.0 - Turn, Turn, Turn

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing


To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late

Another YELLOW song .... enjoy

Will we get to see one of these at our airports?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First time participant

Experts: BERSIH T-shirts NOT illegal

The Home Minister comes in for a lot of flak for pronouncing that the wearing of BERSIH T-shirts is against the law.

PETALING JAYA: Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein who said wearing yellow Bersih 2.0 T-shirts is illegal came under fire from lawyers and academics today who said he was “talking nonsense”.

Hishammuddin told the press this morning that the arrests of those wearing such T-shirts are justified as it is related to an illegal activity.

However, the experts said that he is wrong on both counts as neither the rally nor the T-shirt is illegal.

Professor Aziz Bari of Universiti Islam Antarabangsa asked which law Hishammuddin was referring to in declaring that T-shirts is illegal as there was none to his knowledge that supported the minister’s contention.

“It is too far-fetched and illogical,” he told FMT. “Since when is it an offence to wear a certain colour in public? The only provision that comes remotely close is acting indecently in public and I doubt that wearing a T-shirt is an offence. Hishammuddin is talking nonsense.”

Aziz added that Hishammuddin also needed to clarify under which law was the Bersih 2.0 rally planned for July 9 deemed an illegal gathering.

He pointed out that criminalising an activity is a parliamentary decision and not that of an individual minister or the police.

“There is no such thing as absolute power of the police,” he said. “In fact, it is illegal for the police to deny permits before the organisers submit an application. That would mean the police have pre-judged the rally, which is unfair.”

Barbaric manner

Fadiah Nadwa Fikri of Lawyers for Liberty rejected Hishammuddin’s statement outright, branding it an “abuse and misuse of power”.

“There is no such law prohibiting these T-shirts,” she said. “Furthermore, these T-shirts are not linked to an illegal activity because the Federal Constitution allows the right to peaceful assembly and the constitution is higher than any other law in this country.”

“Despite being elected into the United Nations Human Rights Council last year, Malaysia is still behaving in a barbaric manner.”

LoyarBuruk co-founder, Edmund Bon, meanwhile, pointed out that the law prohibited civilians only from wearing police and military uniform, while Article 10 of the Federal Constitution allows people the freedom to dress as they please.

“A rally is only considered illegal if it seeks to incite violence,” he added. “The intention of the Bersih rally is the complete opposite. Hishammuddin’s statement smacks of arrogance and is unacceptable.”

[Source: FMT]

I have been going out wearing my yellow T-shirt for the last few days and I guess I must have been lucky so far as I have not come across any of our men in blue. In fact, I will still continue to do so until July 9. Nonetheless, I hope all my friends out there will do the same. However, there are some things you can do to show solidarity :

1. Tie a yellow ribbon to your car antenna. If you are planning to get married in the next few days, have your friends do the same to their cars.

2. Have everyone in your family wear yellow, even if you going to the supermarket or the theater to see a show. It will be fun to see how they are going to arrest babies in yellow prams, wearing yellow diapers, yellow baby cap and yellow baby clothes playing with a yellow Tweety bird.

3. Carry yellow umbrellas.

4. Wear yellow slippers.

5. Have your laptop bags don with a yellow ribbon.

6. You might try reverse psychology. Instead of a yellow T-shirt, wear a pair of yellow pants or shorts.

The above are just some of my ideas. You can be as creative as you want to be. Just drive those PDRM fellas CRAAAAZY!!!