The reasons are simple: safety and property can best be ensured by having the best party in charge of the government. With an incompetent or corrupt government the safety and property of citizens would be put at great risk, whether there is rally or not. The best government can only be chosen from free and fair elections. Without any seriousness to address the weaknesses of election system in Malaysia what the ruling party BN/UMNO try to do is to perpetuate their power through electoral competition on non-level playing field!Banning rallies then become a tool to suppress citizens’ questioning the unfair elections-nothing more or less about it. It is a surer way to put the safety and property of the citizens under jeopardy!
Bersih suppression for public good, says Najib
KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 — Still training his sights on Bersih, Datuk Seri Najib Razak today justified his administration’s response to the July 9 rally by saying it was the government’s duty to safeguard public property and interests.
Making specific reference to May 13, 1969, the prime minister wrote on his blog at 1malaysia.com.my that the country held on to a “delicate balance [that] needs to be protected and preserved at all times.”
“Recent events that unfolded in Kuala Lumpur put us through an important test. Our decision as government was to protect the interests and property of the larger community that depend on Kuala Lumpur for their livelihood,” Najib continued.
His administration’s handling of the Bersih rally has left a blemish on Najib’s image as a moderate Muslim leader, with global media delivering harsh criticism over the suppression of the electoral reform movement.
Speaking after his return from an eight-day tour of Europe on Friday, Najib also claimed the Bersih movement was a veiled attempt to topple his administration through street demonstrations akin to those that are now claiming Middle Eastern despots.
“It’s not so much about electoral reform. They want to show us as though we’re like the Arab Spring governments in the Middle East,” he said.
Bersih claimed that 50,000 people showed up for its rally despite efforts to prevent the gathering from taking place. Police said there were 6,000.
The protest turned chaotic when police fired tear gas and water cannons at demonstrators, resulting in nearly 1,700 arrests, scores injured and the death of former military man Baharuddin Ahmad, 59.
The government has promised to investigate allegations of police brutality while the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will hold a separate public inquiry into police conduct during the rally.