When parliament ignores the constitution by amending constitutions
that even parliament is not allowed to, like restrictions on peaceful
assembly, and policemen blatantly enforce laws that are against the
constitutions, supported by the judges. Election commission that
OPENLY allows frauds.
What is there left for democracy? It is just a show of face. You may
think you have just been imprisoned by demonstrating, but you are
already imprisoned in your homes and spirit, all these while.
There is only one golden rule in negotiating. You don't negotiate with
black mailers. If you break this rule, you should be certain of the
Zaid urges Ambiga to reconsider rally
Stephanie Sta Maria
| July 4, 2011
The Kita president believes that the Bersih rally could backfire on
itself and its supporters.
PETALING JAYA: Kita party president Zaid Ibrahim has appealed to
Bersih 2.0 chairman S Ambiga to reconsider the July 9 rally so as not
to destroy the country's last chance for peaceful change of
In an open letter to Ambiga today, Zaid commended her as a "woman of
exemplary courage and integrity" but expressed grave concern over the
consequences that the rally would have on her and Bersih supporters.
He reminded Ambiga that the authorities had warned they would go all
out to stop the march and that the Emergency Ordinance (EO) had
already been used on six Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members.
"I believe they will detain many more," Zaid said. "I believe they
will inflict the severest of punishments on those who defy the order."
"They may even declare an emergency and all that entails with such a
move. There will be no general election then, let alone a free and
fair one. Why give them the excuse to do this?
Zaid pointed out that while Ambiga had originally planned this event
as a peaceful protest against the weaknesses of the electoral system,
the rally has since taken on a life of its own.
"You are caught in a situation not of your own making," he
sympathised. "But for you not to recognise these political
considerations would be a mistake."
Last week Zaid had urged all parties to seek a middle ground and
advised Bersih not to defy police orders. He had also described the
coalition's reluctance to hold talks with authorities as a form of
His statement earned him accusations of being a "coward" and
"turncoat" but he has sought to clarify his standpoint.
"The government today is uncertain of its own popularity," he began.
"If Bersih is successful in attracting huge crowds on July 9, the
government is worried they might lose the next election."
"They also know what mischief (opposition leader) Anwar Ibrahim is
capable of creating. Anwar is in dire straits and they believe he is
capable of creating trouble."
"Look at what he did to the (first prime minister) Tunku (Abdul
Rahman) by fomenting trouble in Baling in the early 1970's, and the
street march against (former premier) Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) after
Anwar was charged in 1998. You can't blame the authorities for
believing that history may repeat itself."
A step back to move forward
Zaid stressed that he agreed to the fundamental right of holding a
peaceful march and that Bersih's eight demands required consideration
for free and fair elections.
However he also pointed out that the current shortcomings of the
electoral process hasn't prevented the opposition from faring well in
the past general elections.
"It may be flawed, but it's still the best hope we have for a peaceful
change of government," he said. "Do not destroy this last chance.
Democracy is tenuous and fragile in our country."
"If we are too robust in pursuing our "democratic rights", if we are
even prepared to take on the police in the streets, then soon we would
have to take on the military. We may lose it all. I urge you to
Zaid quoted former president and prime minister of Vietnam, Ho Chi
Minh, that it is wise to take a step back if we can ultimately move
"He was right," Zaid said. "To abandon the rally will be a step back,
but at least we will see another day and can still embrace that small
hope of democracy and free elections surviving in our country."