MOCS’ `Walk for democracy’ is only 5 days to go and the organiser is negotiating with the police-who take advantage to impose various conditions on the organiser. And despite that they may still deny a permit to MOCS. The freedom to assembly and to speak has been choked by the police, whether in West or East Malaysia. The only counter is if masses of people defy the police’s misguided regime protection actions. They should be protecting the people-not the regime. The regime should protect themselves politically-eg by not indulging in corrupt practices in massive scales!
Update 1: Meanwhile PKR has officially distanced itself from MOCS’ rally. Their statement is here.
Update 2: see attachment for police denial of conditional approval for the rally
MoCS rally: Police demands met, Siah to meet CP
A MoCS press release
KUCHING: The Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) said today that it has fulfilled the requirements of the police to hold its ‘Walk for Democracy and Reform’ on August 13 in the state capital.
“We remain hopeful for a police permit. We have listened to the police’s advice and had agreed to and fulfilled their two conditions,” MoCS leader Francis Paul SIah said in a statement.
According to Siah, the police would only allow a stationary rally with no march or procession and that the application for the permit must be made through a registered organization.
“We have agreed that we would only station ourselves at the Museum Ground near the Cenotaph where we would hold a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the fallen heroes of Sarawak.
There will only be five speakers, including two former deputy education ministers, Datuk Salleh Jafaruddin and Datuk Bujang Ulis. Multi-religious prayer sessions will also be conducted and participants will also sing patriotic songs.
On the second condition, Siah revealed that the MoCS Organisation has been registered and was now licensed to operate legally.
Siah said he would pay a courtesy call on the new Sarawak Commissioner of Police (CP), Datuk Mortadza Nazarene (right in photo), on Wednesday and also to hear what he has to say.
“While we have heeded the advice from the police, I hope they would also listen to our voices. We have assured them that the event will be peaceful. We must believe and trust in the strength and discipline of Sarawakians that we are a mature and non-violent citizenry,” he said.
“We expect the police to be professional and they have to act within the law too. Hopefully, they would not take instructions blindly from political leaders in Sarawak,” Siah added.
The MoCS leader revealed that the 10-point declaration which will be unveiled on Aug 13 will be the movement’s blue-print for democratic reforms in Sarawak.
“The state must move forward. Because of bad politics and corrupt leaders, we remain stagnant. Many Sarawakians only know of poverty, a low standard of living, a sub-standard education and a poor health system. Many have lamented that their only mean to survive in Sarawak is to strike a lottery. And this is not a joke!” said Siah.
The August 13 event was originally planned as an anti-Taib Mahmud rally but the organizers have wisely decided to tone it down to a ‘Walk for Democracy and Reform’ in order to appear less confrontational and more civil during the holy month of Ramadan.
“Although the original scope of Aug 13 has somewhat changed, the objectives remain,” Siah insisted.
The MoCS leader said the number of participants at the event, dubbed the Red Rally, was not important.
“Achieving our long-term objectives for Sarawaik is paramount. We do not coerce or pay people to attend. They will have to come of their own free will,” he explained.
Saying that the theme of the event is ‘We Love Sarawak’, Siah said it would be unimaginable for anyone not to support good governance and democratic reform.
“We organise this because we love Sarawak. MoCS is bigger than bickering. We will stay focused on the big picture and the big picture is to engage our fellow citizens into building a state that has fallen behind over many years of loose and carefree management into a prosperous one for future generations.
“We also want politicians to realize that getting elected marks the beginning of their journey to serve Sarawak, not to serve themselves. Serving the people and state is their sacred duty”, he stressed.
Siah said that Sarawakians are also known to be more reserved and timid than their fellow citizens in the peninsula ‘but they must now dare to stand up for their rights and be counted”.
The Red Rally on Aug 13 will be an awakening for Sarawakians that it is actually people’s power which decides and charts the destiny of their nation and not a few powerful politicians, he said
“The people of Sarawak must come out now and publicly declare, ‘No, we are not afraid anymore and we will no longer be cowed by the politics of fear and intimidation.’
“This is also one important objective of Aug 13,” Siah said.
Released by: The MoCS secretariate, Kuching
Update 2: police’s response to MOCS’ rally-denial of conditional approval
Police Deny Allowing Anti-Taib Rally With Conditions
KUCHING, Aug 8 (Bernama) — Police have denied allowing Movement for Change Sarawak to hold a rally for “democracy and reforms” this Saturday.
Kuching OCPD ACP Mun Kock Keong said that police have not approved any permit with or without conditions.
MoCS leader Francis Siah claimed today that police had imposed two conditions for holding the rally and his organisation had agreed to fulfil them.
In a statement posted on the MoCS website, Siah said that police would allow a stationary rally with no march or procession and that the application for the permit must be made through a registered organisation.
However, Mun told Bernama:”We never set any condition and we are still reviewing their permit application.”
Siah said the rally had been planned as an anti-Taib demonstration, but the organisers would tone it down to a “walk for democracy and reforms” to appear less confrontational and be more civil during Ramadan.”
Critics of the proposed rally include Parti Pesake Bumiputera Bersatu youth leaders who asked Siah to call it off out of respect for the month of Ramadan and the Chief Minister.