Najib has come under huge pressures after Bersih rally on July 9th. But he think that he can still make claims that all is well for the country’s elections-as though no one knows about how his party practically steal elections after elections! The whole system is rigged to ensure 1-party rule! 1 key to his `success’ is to put the EC under his own control-under the PM department! They appointed retiring civil servants who know nuts about elections and certainly lack the will and dignity to uphold free and fair election conducts. After doing all these he say he will leave it to the weak-knee EC to decided on the period of campaigning! He seems to think that the world lack intelligence to see through his `leave it to the department’ instructions! Since when has the EC been able to do anything without his approval????? Already of the 8 demands from Bersih the EC already claimed that 4 of them are out of their power! Compare this with EC of other democracies: the EC by international norms are the highest authority in the country when it comes to election matters-certainly they are not under the control of the incumbent party!
Najib defends clampdown on Bersih march
KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak was forced to defend the clampdown on Saturday’s Bersih rally when faced with reporters in London, saying that allowing the march to proceed would have resulted in protracted chaos in the country.
The New York Times reported that the prime minister told a small group of international reporters on Wednesday that “if we allow for street demonstrations, there’s no end to it, there will be another group that wants to demonstrate.”
“Public order is very important in Malaysia,” Najib (picture) said, adding that if protests are not controlled, “you will get a situation in which more and more of these street demonstrations will take place in Malaysia.”
The government has faced widespread criticism from the media, human rights groups and even the United States government following its outlawing of the July 9 march demanding free and fair elections.
Police fired tear gas and water cannons at tens of thousands of demonstrators who poured into the city last weekend and arrested nearly 1,700 as scores were injured and the husband of a PKR division leader died in the ensuing chaos.
The Najib administration has embarked on a damage control exercise, sending Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor to Indonesia to explain its actions to the regional giant and also sent a letter in response to the Wall Street Journal’s stinging tone against Putrajaya’s reaction to Bersih.
The electoral reform group had gone ahead with Saturday’s march despite the government ban and the lack of a police permit, insisting it had a constitutional right to voice its demands.
Bersih had initially accepted Najib’s offer to move its street rally to a stadium but negotiations broke down when the coalition of 62 NGOs insisted on the historic Stadium Merdeka despite being told by authorities to move its gathering outside of the capital.
“I was saddened by the fact that they didn’t accept the government’s offer. They still insisted on marching through the streets, because I think they wanted to get maximum publicity and secondly challenge authority in the hope that they can make this an issue,” the prime minister said in London.
He also defended the police, stating that they had used “minimum force, and there was no physical contact at all with the demonstrators,” saying that a maximum of 15,000 had turned up, contradicting both police and Bersih estimates of 6,000 and 50,000 respectively.
Najib’s defence came after the Bar Council released a report on Tuesday claiming that police used tear gas and water cannons “arbitrarily, indiscriminately and excessively” while the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia has announced that it will hold an inquiry into police conduct during the rally.
The prime minister also said on Wednesday that the government would clean up the electoral roll by implementing a biometric register of voter and “clarify” the postal ballot system.
However, despite stating that the government is committed to clean and fair elections, he passed the buck to the Election Commission on extending the period for election campaigning.