Pakatan keeps Bersih torch burning in Selangor


By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, July 25 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders have refuted the police version of events that they had not used excessive force when clamping down on Bersih 2.0’s July 9 rally and reminded supporters that their struggles were far from over.

At the launch of the Selangor government’s “Selangorku” logo at Stadium Malawati here, the leaders took turns to explain to the audience the events that transpired on July 9, drawing focus to the death of one rally participant and purported incidences of police brutality.
Several prominent personalities from the coalition’s top leadership were invited to headline the event, including PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. Notably missing from the function, however, were heads of government departments and federal agencies.

“This is a historical night for Selangor,” said Selangor state executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar. “A new logo is launched for Selangor. But at the same time, this is also a function to inform you on the latest developments in the country.

“This information is important because we have heard many tales . . . there are those in the federal government who have spoken about Bersih; the police have spoken about Bersih; and so we, as state administrators, must also explain about Bersih,” he said.

A video on the July 9 rally was aired, showing several clips of apparent cases of police brutality, which the authorities had denied. Some in the crowd jeered and booed in response.

Abdul Hadi thanked those who took part in the rally, describing the revolt as “intriguing”.

“Not one policeman was injured, not one policeman died,” he said. “The ones who were injured were the people; the one death came from the people. This shows that the people are well-mannered and this struggle of ours, this struggle for change, is for the good of the people and not to destroy the nation.”

He said that a “true democracy” granted citizens the role of judges in their own country, saying that to achieve this, the election process must be free and fair.

“In modern nations, the media is free to report on the behaviours of their leaders, to report on the statements made by all leaders during elections.

“So that during the election, the rakyat can become fair judges. But how could they be fair in their judgement if the election process itself is riddled with discrepancies . . . when the media is biased, when voter registration process is unclean? This is happening here in our country,” he said.

Agreeing with him, Wan Azizah expounded on Bersih 2.0’s demands for electoral reform and said that voters could only make informed decisions through a free and fair election process.