Press Release – Dataran violence will stain government hands, says Global Bersih

26 April 2012

Global Bersih statement

ANY violence at any Bersih 3.0 Duduk Bantah event in Malaysia will ultimately stain the Barisan Nasional-led government and Malaysia’s federal police, Global Bersih says.

Hapless citizens in Malaysia standing for nothing more than fair and free elections have received no support from either PutraJaya, or a police force whose job it is to ensure the safety of Malaysians, irrespective of race, creed, religion or political affiliation.

Such a travesty of justice and fair play has been perpetrated on Malaysia even as citizens overseas prepare to gather in 72 cities and 29 countries with the full approval and support of governments worldwide and their police forces.

Prime Minister Najib Razak, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar simply must publicly declare that they support Malaysians working to bequeath the country with an electoral system that delivers fair and free elections.

If they do not, the PM, his Home Minister and the highest police officer in the land are together telling the country that they do not support the movement’s cause.

Their collective failure to act on behalf of Malaysians who want a properly administered electoral process, before, during and after the vote, is akin to telling the country that they simply cannot countenance the result of an election that is conducted fairly and freely and which would stand up to full and independent scrutiny.

KL mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail’s statement that Bersih 3.0 organisers will be responsible for any ensuing chaos on Saturday is the action of a senior official who has totally shunned his responsibility to the city and its residents.

Bersih 3.0 has never countenanced or promoted violence and, in fact, the tension that has built as Malaysia approaches another fateful milestone on a long and dangerous road to full democracy has only been fomented by government officials and their supporters.

Global Bersih believes that giving full approval for Duduk Bantah Bersih 3.0 is the most important responsibility facing the government today, especially in the face of violent attacks on Malaysian students at Dataran Merdeka and other disturbing incidents of violence and thuggery against peaceful, law-abiding citizens, many of which have not been properly investigated by police.

The Malaysian government and police must guarantee the safety of citizens attending Duduk Bantah events this Saturday, and they must act now to prevent other groups from attacking, intimidating or otherwise harassing the organisers and their fellow Malaysians.

Malaysia’s government risks being seen across the world as one that has publicly declared its opposition to fair and free elections if it does not throw its weight behind the people’s right to stage Duduk Bantah 3.0.

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