The Bersih organisers, Ambiga included are called to IPD to give statement while those who speak at the launch are expected to be called in later. Meanwhile there are 7 arrests from those who try to promote the Bersih Rally in KL and Johor.
Update: arrests around the country has reached 91, consisting 2 big contingents of PSM members from Johor(released) and Penang(still detained). More are expected to be arrested to make the public panic about a blanket crack down! But the over-reaction may also turn the public off and attract more participants to the July 9th rally.
24 June 2011
Arrests are attack on Freedom of Expression
Bersih 2.0 condemns the arrests of Khairul Anuar and seven others detained in Kluang, Johore.
Khairul Anuar was arrested at Uptown Shah Alam, where a Bersih 2.0 road show was planned at 10.00 p.m. today (24 June2011). The purpose is to raise awareness on the eight electoral demands of Bersih 2.0.
However, the organisers could not proceed with the road show due to heavy presence of the police, whom have cordoned off the whole area surrounding Uptown, disallowing any organisers and participants from accessing the facilities.
In Johore, seven other activists from Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) were arrested for leafleting Bersih 2.0 materials in Kluang. The OCPD alleged that the materials may be seditious. The seven who were arrested are:
- Letchimi Devi
Bersih 2.0 views the police arrests as an attack on the freedom of expression which is guaranteed under the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.
We would like to draw the police attention to the 8 immediate demands for BERSIH 2.0:
1. Clean the electoral roll, which is marred with irregularities such as deceased persons and multiple persons registered under a single address or non-existent addresses. In the longer term, BERSIH 2.0 also calls for the EC to implement an automated voter registration system upon eligibility to reduce irregularities.
2. Reform postal ballot, to ensure that all citizens of Malaysia, residing in or out of the country, are able to exercise their right to vote.
3. Use of indelible ink to reduce voter fraud.
4. Minimum 21 days campaign period to allow voters more time to gather information and deliberate on their choices. The first national elections in 1955 under the British Colonial Government had a campaign period of 42 days but the campaign period for 12th GE in 2008 was a mere 8 days.
5. Free and fair access to media, where all media agencies, especially state-funded media agencies such as Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM) and Bernama allocate proportionate and objective coverage for all potlical parties.
6. Strengthen public institutions to act independently and impartially in upholding the rule of law and democracy. Public institutions such as the Judiciary, Attorney-General, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC), Police and the EC must be reformed to uphold laws and protect human rights.
7. Stop corruption, and take serious action against ALL allegations of corruption, including vote buying.
8. Stop dirty politics, as citizens and voters are not interested in gutter politics; we are interested in policies that affect the nation.
The above 8 demands of Bersih 2.0 are urgent national issues which need to be addressed. These demands are part and parcel of a rakyat’s movement to bring about a better reformed electoral processes, laws and policies so that we can advance a democratic Malaysia for all.
Bersih 2.0, therefore, strongly demands that all 8 activists be released immediately. The police should facilitate the smooth running of all road shows related to electoral reforms and allow citizens to exercise their freedom of expression.
Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee
Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan, (Chairperson), Andrew Khoo, Arumugam K., Dr Farouk Musa, Haris Ibrahim, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Datuk Yeo Yang Poh, Zaid Kamaruddin, Subramaniam Pillay and Arul Prakkash.
Maria Chin Abdullah
Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor
13 Lorong 4/48E, 46050 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 603 77844977
Fax: 603 77844978