According to an ex-PKR official, Bersih 1 rally had proved to be a “wheel of fortune” for PKR and the party transformed from rags to riches
Athi Shankar, FMT
BUTTERWORTH: A former PKR official, who was once involved in organising party demonstrations, has alleged that the idea of Bersih was mooted by Anwar Ibrahim way back in 2007.
Syamsul Hidayat Mohd Sharif, PKR’s ex-Youth information chief, claimed said Bersih was not an independent, non-political movement championing free, fair and clean elections.
He said Anwar, the party’s de facto leader, mooted the idea to revive his waning 1998 ‘reformasi’ call, bolster PKR’s finances and fuel public hostility against the Barisan Nasional government.
“Truth is Bersih was never independent. It’s a political movement to vilify BN.
“Bersih is Anwar’s baby and he uses (S) Ambiga as a shield,” said Syamsul, who recently joined Umno.
Speaking at a political gathering in Raja Uda here last night, he further mocked Bersih claims that it is purely seeking electoral reform under the current leadership of Ambiga.
“Anwar first wanted to hold the Bersih 1 mammoth rally in Nov 2007 to stir up opposition against the government prior to the last general election.
“He mooted the idea to cry for electoral reforms after receiving inside information that (then premier) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would hold the 12th general election in early 2008.
“Anwar wanted to clone his reformasi rallies of 1998,” said Syamsul.
He said Anwar was convinced the Bersih rally would be an effective political vehicle given the success of previous ’refomasi’ rallies in galvanising Malay voters against Umno and BN, and in toppling the Terengganu state government in the 1999 general election.
Bersih, a windfall for PKR?
He said Anwar also needed to ‘recharge batteries’ of his weary party members.
“Hence he organised the Bersih rally to capture public imagination by accusing the nation’s electoral process was dirty,” said Syamsul.