Saturday, November 10, 2007

BERSIH Gathering is Street Democracy Challenges Country’s Law – PM Abdullah; Excuses – Improper, Irrelevant, Outdated; Traffic congestion

UPDATE Note: Nov 11 07, 9.40am
Check back for More updates (pics & Video) in the next two post, coming in an other hr or two
also transcript of ZAM's rebuttal (radio interview) to
Al Jazeera's accusation of "force use on Participants"
ABOVE & BELOW: Anwar, Khlaid, Lim K S, Hadi & others waiting patiently to submit the Memo at the Palace grounds
= == == = == == = == == = == == = == == = == =
ABOVE & BELOW: The FRU van came asking the crowd to disappear= = == = == == = == = == == = == = =
ABOVE:Then the water Canon was released and BELOW: the chemically laced one

= == = = == = == = = = ===

ABOVE: Pas President spotted with his supporters & BELOW with DAP Sec Gen Lim Guan Eng
The latest reports indicate Bersih rally has successfully presented an electoral reform memo to the King. An estimated crowd of over 20,000 marched to Istana Negara
ABOVE: Bersih Participants finally marched to the Istana
BELOW: On the way back

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ABOVE & BELOW: Graphic Accounts from Malaysiakini

UPDATE: Live images of Dataran Merdeka

ABOVE: at 4.41pm
= == = == == = == = == = =
BELOW: Image at 4.17 pm (Malaysian Time) and ABOVE at 4.25pm (more FRU & Police Trucks were seen on the bottom left. Dataran Merdeka is Empty. All were prevented from entering. The participants congregated at different locations and circumvented the police and then congregate near the Istana and march on.

for the latest view Go H E R E to see for yourself any changes, refresh page and image changes
= = == == = = == = = == = == = =
ABOVE & BELOW: Blockage into Dataran Jalan Raja

= == = == = == =BELOW: Satellite Image of Surrounding areas & roads
UPDATE: from Reuters

Protestors came from all over the country.

By Jalil Hamid

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Police in the Malaysian capital used water cannon on Saturday to disperse crowds gathering for a banned opposition rally demanding changes to the electoral system, witnesses said. Police had effectively shut down the city centre to try and foil the rally, with hundreds of policemen, including riot police equipped with shields and batons, standing guard at Kuala Lumpur's landmark Merdeka (Freedom) Square. "Police sprayed water cannons twice to disperse a crowd of about 500 protesters chanting slogans," said a Reuters witness who watched the incident outside a mosque guarded by about 50 riot police, while helicopters hovered overhead. The crowds were among the tens of thousands of people who had planned to gather in the capital's city square in one of Malaysia's biggest anti-government rallies since 1998. At another mosque nearby, a second group of around 500 protesters, mostly teenagers in yellow T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan "Bersih", or "Clean" in Malay, marched in heavy rain towards the city's colonial-era railway station.

The demonstrators chanted "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest) and carried banners reading "Save Malaysia" and "Abolish postal voting". Police had mounted roadblocks along the main roads to the city centre and erected barricades nearby, checking on cars and turning away protesters, witnesses said.

"We will not hesitate to take action against those who defied our orders," state news agency Bernama quoted Kuala Lumpur police chief Zul Hasnan Najib as saying. The police had refused to grant a permit for the rally. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who oversees the police, said on Friday the government would not tolerate street demonstrations. "They are challenging the patience of the people who want the country to be peaceful and stable. That is what they are challenging, not me," he told a meeting of his ruling party. Opposition parties and rights groups have vowed to defy the police ban on the rally, which is expected to be led by opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim. It could be one of Malaysia's biggest demonstrations since unprecedented anti-government protests in 1998 that led to Anwar's arrest and jailing. The protest is being organized by Bersih, a loose coalition of 26 opposition parties and non-governmental organizations demanding reforms in the electoral process that they say heavily favors Abdullah's ruling coalition. Abdullah, who won a record victory in a 2004 election, is widely expected to call snap polls in early 2008. In September, police opened fire to disperse rioters at a Bersih rally in the northeastern state of Terengganu, seriously injuring two people.Saturday's rally was due to culminate in a march to the nearby National Palace to present a written appeal to the King calling for electoral reform, Anwar's Keadilan party said. "Our appeals to the government for reforms of the electoral system have fallen on deaf ears and as such it has abdicated its responsibility to safeguard the democratic institutions of the nation," Anwar told reporters on Thursday.

(Additional reporting by Jahabar Sadiq; Writing by Clarence Fernandez; Editing by Alex Richardson)

= = == = =Original post Below
This is the life you are facing and living in Malaysia. You have chosen to be born here. You make and create your own reality - wherever you go.

"My Life is Mine, and I Form It"

Tell yourself this often. Create your own life with your beliefs as an artist uses colour. You are given the gift of the gods and there are no limitations to the self except to those you believe in.

Do not place the words of the Prime Minister & the Police higher than the feelings of your own being for self-understanding and growth and answers to overall life situations and the injustices you see around you.
There is nothing more stimulating, more worthy of actualization, than the desire to change the world for the better. That is indeed each person's mission. When you fulfill your own abilities, when you express your personal idealism through acting it out to the best of your ability in your daily life, then you are changing the world for the better.
Use your creative abilities with understanding abandon, honor yourself and move through the godliness of your being.
Trust no person who tells you that you are evil or guilty by reason of your nature or your physical existence. Trust no one who leads you away from the reality of yourself.

Come to the Bersih Gathering
There is nothing within you to fear. The purpose behind all life lessons is learning how to overcome our fears, for doing so is the only way that we can let go and move on with our evolution as conscious beings.

All consciousness has within it the deep abiding impetus to use its abilities FULLY, to expand its capacities, to venture joy­fully beyond the seeming barriers of its own experience. The very consciousnesses within the smallest molecules cry out against any ideas of limitation. They yearn toward new forms and experiences (and this Bersih Gathering may never come again). Even atoms, then, constantly seek to join in new organizations of structure and meaning. They do this "instinctively

Malaysiakini latest On
PM vows to crack down on Bersih rally
and backed by ON Pak Lah: "There's never been peaceful gatherings"

“The police have said no, yet they still want to proceed. In that case, surely something bad is going to happen,” warned Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi”

November 09, 2007 21:44 PM

Saturday's Illegal Assembly Challenges Country's Laws – Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said initiators of tomorrow's illegal assembly here are actually challenging the nation's laws rather than the government or its leadership. Abdullah, who is also Internal Security Minister, said he was saddened by the attitude of the organisers who claimed that they were hosting the assembly under the guise of democracy whilst their actions constituted a blatant disregard for the law that could only lead to chaos and hardship for the people. He said the group was also challenging the people who wanted to see continued peace, security and stability in the country.

"The police have informed me about the planned gathering, that no permit has been issued. But based on reports that I'm hearing from various sources, the organisers are going ahead with their plans," said Abdullah, who is also Umno president, in his winding-up speech at the conclusion of the Umno General Assembly here today. Abdullah ticked off the group for their stubbornness, saying that they were indulging in "street democracy" and not genuine democracy practised by the people who respected the rule of law and cherished their rights to participate in elections. "I'm saddened (by this turn of events). Do they want to challenge the government and the leadership? They're actually brushing the law aside.

They're challenging the law as well as the people who want to see peace, security and stability prevail in the country. "That's what they're challenging, not me, but I never refuse a challenge," he said to applause from Umno delegates who packed the Merdeka Hall at the Putra World Trade Centre. The prime minister said he and the Barisan Nasional (BN) government were not afraid to face the general election and that it would be held when the time was right. The assembly organisers, who identified themselves as "Bersih" or "Clean", planned to hold the gathering at the Merdeka Square purportedly to ask the government to hold a fair and transparent election. Abdullah expressed concern that such a gathering could trigger chaos as seen in Terengganu recently when hundreds of people believed to be opposition party supporters rioted after being told to disperse from an illegal gathering in Batu Burok.

"Usually, when the police say no but people still want to proceed (with their plans), something bad is bound to happen. Look at what happened in Terengganu recently, you're aware of it and so do I. So there's no need for me to remind you again (of the incident). "It was an unacceptable episode, an uncivilised incident. It was not our way, not the Malaysian way. It wasn't how democracy is practised in Malaysia. We're totally against street democracy. It's not the way to institute changes," he said. Abdullah said that police would have to act against those who break the law and this may lead to chaotic scenes, with the police having to shoulder the blame in the end. "When the police ask them to stop, untoward incidents may occur. They'll run helter skelter, budging into shops and so on. Things can happen... they'll become angry with the police, (saying that) the police are to blame and (in the process) arouse people's anger towards policemen. "But they are the ones who (usually) trigger such incidents, not the police," said Abdullah. The prime minister said that those who wanted to introduce changes in the country should do so through the proper channel, namely the electoral process.

"But what kind of changes are they talking about? Let's wait for the election, we’ll see who'll emerge victorious. What's there to be scared about?" he said. Abdullah said if it was true that previous elections had been unfair and controlled by the government, then the opposition parties would not have won a single seat, but this was not the case. He said those who questioned the fairness of the Election Commission (EC) should realise that the opposition parties too had won seats in previous elections. "They have won many times in Kelantan as well as in Terengganu and Sabah. They're capable of winning. If we control everything, their chances of winning may be slim," said Abdullah. The prime minister said that BN's electoral fortunes showed that Umno and the ruling government coalition believed that it was the people who should decide who were to be their leaders. "The people of Kelantan have rejected us (BN) for so many years. What are we to do? We respect the outcome of elections.

The same Election Commission has been conducting our elections all this time," he said. Abdullah said Umno and the BN respected the people's decision but the opposition parties had the tendency to blame the EC when they felt that their chances of winning were slim. The prime minister said Umno and the BN were always prepared to face elections and had never made excuses not to hold election. He asked the people to reject those who championed street democracy by not attending tomorrow's planned gathering. Abdullah later told a press conference that police would know what to do should the organisers proceed with the planned illegal gathering tomorrow. "Of course, if there's a clash, people will not be very happy. That's the thing that we're trying to avoid. That's why we say if you want to have a gathering, get a police permit [but it would be issued]," he added. He also said that Malaysia should not be likened to Myanmar as any crackdown on demonstrations here would not be that extreme. To a question, Abdullah said the people were free to say things about him. "There're so many `mosquito' newspapers, there are other publications, books, and I never stop them (from writing about me)," he said. Meanwhile, Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the movement would expose those behind the gathering to enable the people to know individuals who were out to create chaos in the country.

= == = = == = == = == using propaganda spin, quoting people
November 09, 2007 20:32 PM
Many Believe Assembly Not Proper
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 (Bernama) -- Many cityfolks, especially businessmen, hope that the assembly planned for tomorrow by the group "Bersih" will not be held as it could have a negative impact. Several of them interviewed today said they were concerned because it could cause traffic congestion and disrupt public order. Federal Territory Bumiputera Traders Association president Rosli Sulaiman said the illegal assembly could cause losses to the business community. "We need peace. We do not want a repetition of the `reformasi' movement which had caused losses to traders," he said. Taxi Drivers and Operators Association of Malaysia deputy president Mohd Syahril Abdul Aziz said the assembly was not relevant because elections had been held many times before without problems.

He said the fear that the election would not be conducted fairly was merely a speculation by the opposition. He asked taxi drivers not to involve themselves in the assembly. A restaurant operator at Jalan Tun H.S. Lee here, R. Suresh, 48, said he was unaware that the assembly would be held but was certain it would not result in anything beneficial. He said it was not necessary to hold an assembly because conditions in Malaysia had improved greatly. "Our leaders have developed the country enormously. I advise the people not to involve themselves in the assembly," he said. A local social activist, Tan Kim Wong, (who is he? anyone heard of him? an imaginary name} also said that the assembly should not be held because it could result in riots. "Problems should be voiced through the proper channels," he said and asked the opposition parties to abort the assembly. A retiree, Yassin Kasim, said dissatisfaction should be voiced through the proper channel and not by holding assemblies which could trigger riots as happened before. IT company Cosmo Infolink Sdn Bhd Chairman, Tunku Azmil Tunku Abdul Razak said assemblies or demonstrations were not the best way to voice an opinion. "The method is outdated ... It is not the proper way and it is not our culture," he added.

= == = == == = Background & aims

BERSIH’s campaign for electoral reform is endorsed by 66 NGOs and 5 political parties. Our immediate demands are:
1. The use of indelible ink
2. A cleanup of the electoral roll
3. The abolition of domestic postal voting
4. Fair access to the media

Guidelines for the Gathering:
1. Participants are encouraged to wear
YELLOW (clothing, headband, armband, ribbon, etc).
2. This is a PEACEFUL gathering so please do not bring anything which, if deemed to pose a danger to other participants, can be confiscated by our security personnel.
3. Participants are NOT ENCOURAGED to drive directly to the venue. The underground carpark at
Putra Place is closed. Park your car elsehwere and walk to the venue or take public transport such as the LRT.
4. Please DO NOT LITTER at the venue. Take all your rubbish with you.
5. Please BEHAVE PROPERLY at all times.
6. Participants are encouraged to bring placards with the words: “Clean & Fair Elections Now”, “Restore Our Rights”, “Save Malaysia”, “Fair Access to Media”, Clean up Electoral Roll”, “Abolish Postal Voting” in all languages.

= == = == = =

A few updates :
Merdeka Square is cordoned off or blocked tomorrow, participants are asked to gather at the following areas pending further instructions :

* SOGO Shopping Complex
* Masjid Jamek, KL
* National Mosque
* Central Market


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Silly boastful PM! Take bersih.

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might as well post the link
Umno Youth protest at Asean Ministerial meeting

01. See how the governemnt practice
double standards
02. See how very discipline and very
peaceful BERSIH protest is.

Let all Malaysian see the comparisons.

12:40 AM  

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