Bersih rally revealed lots of truth

By Jeswant Kaur, FMT

The rakyat who turned up for the Bersih 2.0 rally yesterday were no criminals. Yet, the police and the Federal Reserve Unit officers treated them as such, kicking and punching some of the supporters of the rally.

An eyewitness shared an incident where a young man in his 20s was pounced upon by no less than 10 policemen who wrestled him down, twisting his arm.

The ambience that day was one of fright and intimidation with the police going berserk in preventing the huge crowd from walking up to the rally venue, the historical Stadium Merdeka.

Everywhere, the environment was polluted with tear gas and water cannon which the cops splashed with gay abandon at the crowd to force them to disperse. But all these failed to scare the people.

Indeed, conundrum would best describe the July 9 scenario in the city centre of Kuala Lumpur. The palpable chaotic situation was certainly not the people’s doing. The rakyat had turned up in good faith to support the Bersih 2.0 ‘Walk for Democracy’. The event was messed up by none other than the police.

Bersih 2.0 in respecting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin’s call to maintain peace and harmony agreed to keep away from the streets and take the rally indoor, to Stadium Merdeka. But no thanks to the lies and manipulation by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, the Bersih 2.0 organisers were refused all access to the stadium.

The police meanwhile at the 11th hour offered to issue Bersih 2.0 a permit for the rally provided it was held outside Kuala Lumpur. Why did Najib and his ‘boys’ stab Bersih 2.0 in the back, an act typically reserved for the cowards?

It is not the Bersih 2.0 coalition but the Barisan Nasional government under Najib and the police who are to be blamed for the chaos that shrouded Kuala Lumpur for over eight hours on July 9.

From the streets to a closed environment – Bersih 2.0 was cooperating with the call to stay away from the roads. In fact, Ambiga even asked the police to map out the routes for it to walk on July 9 but the thuggie-styled police refused to cooperate.

Was Bersih 2.0 asking for much by requesting that the police cooperate with it? Why did Najib turn the entire rally into a topsy-turvy affair and get the Bersih 2.0 key players including chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan arrested?

Had Ambiga harboured malicious intentions, she could have ambushed the government and sprung  a surprise by bringing her supporters to the streets to rally.

However, for all intent and purposes, the ‘Walk for Democracy’ was paved with good intentions, that of wanting to raise public awareness and call for a reform of the electoral system.

Stop blaming Bersih 2.0


The mainstream media went to town reporting how businesses in the city centre were paralysed because of the rally. Motorists stuck in traffic jams were quick to blame Bersih 2.0 for the endless hours of delay they had to endure.

The truth is Bersih 2.0 is not to blame. The truth also is that the entire scenario was scarred by the police, when it blocked all entry points to Kuala Lumpur.

How could Najib forget that all Bersih 2.0 wanted was to walk in solidarity and hand over their memorandum for reforms to the electoral system Yang di-Pertuan Agong?