Monday, May 07, 2012
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has once again tried to shift the blame over the chaos created by the Police during the Bersih rally to the decision by the Bersih committee to reject the use of Stadium Merdeka as the alternative venue.
Aside from the fact that the venue was only offered to Bersih at the very last minute, there is absolutely not good reason provided by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for the rejection to use Dataran Merdeka.
As a result of the unreasonable rejection, the assembly participants were forced onto the streets and the police force had to be deployed to barricade and “secure” Dataran Merdeka perimeters. It became a most ridiculous and ironical situation where the Bersih rally was tacitly allowed on the streets, but they were not allowed to gather on the field!
The Prime Minister had made the mistake of denying Bersih the right to assemble in Stadium Merdeka during the Bersih 2.0 rally in July last year which resulted in chaos in the streets where the Police force had trapped the protestors and even attacked the Tung Shin hospital with tear gas and water cannons. He has once again made the same mistake of denying Bersih’s request to sit-in Dataran Merdeka which resulted in the unnecessary violence arising from the face-off between the Police, media and Bersih participants.
Dato’ Seri Najib Razak should look at himself in the mirror when he claimed that Bersih has breached the “principles and spirit of the Peaceful Assembly Act”. It was the Prime Minister himself which failed to understand and embrace the principles and spirit of the Act to allow greater democratic space for expression and assembly by Malaysians.
His actions and denials have proven that that the “political transformation programme” has been a complete failure and was only a cosmetic public relations exercise aimed to lift the Prime Minister’s image and credentials.