It is a deliberate plan to tarnish the image of Bersih 3.0
Bersih 3.0 is a huge runaway success. It attracted headline media coverage in the international media but as we all know the local media controlled by UMNO BN downplayed the whole event as though some unruly youths are out to create trouble. Malaysian media which is domesticated for the past 54 years reports only the UMNO/BN agenda in the Bersih peaceful sit-in protest. The presence of about 250000 people was down played to 25000 people just as 60000 people present for Bersih 2.0 were downplayed as 6000 people. In fact Bersih rally had already started a few days before the actual gathering on 28/4. It was not reported in mainstream media. Well that is Malaysian police and media. The media fear is internalized and cannot be freed under the present conditions. The recent printing press and publication act amendment did not bring about more press freedom. The changes are cosmetic and superficial to appease the general public. It was a public relations exercise.
The UMNO BN government has strategically planned to tarnish the reputation and image of Bersih 3.0 even before 28/4. There was no unruly behavior and untoward incident from Bersih 1.0 and 2.0. The guards helping Bersih to control crowd did a good job despite the huge turnout. Bersih supporters are mindful of not creating any inconveniences and obstacles to the general public. They were constantly reminded to give way and walk in lines. With so much reminders to follow the rules and be civic minded, the breaking of car windscreens and overturning a car is something unusual. It calls for an unbiased and transparent investigation from an independent body to inform the general public the truth of the matter.
In the local news media coverage the same night and the next day the DPM and home affairs minister straight way started accusing Bersih organizing committee and Datuk Ambiga for the unruly behavior of Bersih 3.0. Eye witnesses say that it is agent provocateurs who staged the unruly jumping on and later overturning the car. The car was rammed onto the protestors and UMNO BN places the blame immediately on Bersih 3.0 rally. The UMNO BN government repeatedly highlighting this episode of Bersih 3.0 over and over with analysis and details added to it. It is a preplanned act of UMNO BN government to smear and sabotage the increasing acceptance of Bersih’s call for electoral reforms in peoples’ heart and mind.
Police must uphold their credibility and dignity and must be seen impartial. There are eye witnesses to proof that police themselves acted as agent provocateurs. Government will come and go but the police must be seen neutral and act in the interest of people and the nation. Reputation of police as law enforcement officers is sacrosanct to maintaining law and order. Police must not allow themselves to be used as tool by UMNO BN to perpetuate UMNO rule through devious means. There is more than enough evidence that the electoral system is corrupted and skewed towards one side. Election commission must be reformed and transformed before the GE 13 is called. What’s wrong in holding peaceful rally when all legal avenues look hopeless?
Senator S. Ramakrishnan