Come to Bersih rallies as citizens, not politicians

Describing it as a big joke, MoCS leader Francis Siah disputes the accusation that Bersih is linked to political parties.

(Free Malaysia Today) – KUCHING: The Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) has urged politicians keen to partake in future Bersih rallies to attend as concerned citizens and leave their political agendas at home.

MoCS leader Francis Paul Siah said that leaders of political parties must acknowledge and respect Bersih rallies as initiatives of civil society.

“While their support and participation are welcomed, politicians must let Bersih leaders take charge for the rally is their event and they are the legitimate organisers.

“Failure to accord Bersih that recognition will make it difficult to dispel the notion that the Bersih rallies have been hijacked by political parties as had happened with Bersih 3.0 on April 28,” Siah pointed out.

Recalling events before April 28, Siah said he represented MoCS at the Bersih 3.0 meeting on April 19 where it was endorsed that only Bersih co-chairpersons S Ambiga and Samad Said were to be the speakers at the rally. No politicians were supposed to speak.

MoCS is one of the 84 NGOs which endorses Bersih’s demands for free and fair elections.

“Security and medical issues were also discussed in detail at the meeting chaired by Ambiga. Everything was meticulously planned for a peaceful assembly. All those present were in high spirits.

“Then came the DBKL order against the use of Dataran Merdeka and Bersih held an emergency meeting on April 23.

“Although I was absent at this meeting, I sent an email to Ambiga stating MoCS’ stand of sticking to Dataran Merdeka as the venue for Bersih 3.0. I believe that was the consensus at that meeting,” he said.

Contrary to accusations and allegations that Bersih was taking instructions from certain Pakatan Rakyat leaders, Siah stressed that has to be the biggest joke of all.

“Ambiga, Samad Said, (Bersih steering committee member) Wong Chin Huat and others are people of integrity and substance who hold no allegiance to any political party at all.

“Likewise, MoCS is not aligned to any political party. We are independent and on the side of justice. MoCS is with Bersih because it is a civil society movement with a non-political leadership,” he added.