Open letter by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 1st July 2011:
Cabinet should end the “madness” unleashed in past week
The Prime Minister,
Cabinet should end the “madness” unleashed in past week with police required to arrest those wearing the Bersih 2.0 T-shirt, yellow virtually becoming a colour of crime and “Bersih” a dirty word
I am writing this short Open Letter to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and all Ministers to ask the Cabinet at its meeting this morning to end the “madness” unleashed in the past week with the police required to act unlawfully to arrest those wearing the Bersih 2.0 T-shirt, yellow virtually becoming a colour of crime and “Bersih” a dirty word.
The statements firstly by the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Ismail Omar warning that lives might be lost despite firm assurances and commitment by Bersih 2.0 organisers and supporters of a peaceful and orderly rally while ignoring the inflammatory incitements and provocations of UMNO Youth and Perkasa and secondly by the Deputy Election Commission Chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar castigating Berish as stooges and “catspaw” of Pakatan Rakyat have raised serious questions in Malaysia and internationally that the two national institutions of the police and the Election Commission could be independent, impartial and professional in dealing with Bersih 2.0 call for free, fair and clean elections in Malaysia.
This is the last opportunity for the Cabinet to end the “madness” where the police are required to act unlawfully to arrest those wearing the Berish 2.0 T-shirt as well as other related Bersih 2.0 paraphernalia,virtually criminalising yellow as a colour as well as rendering “Bersih” as a dirty word.
The slogan used at the beginning of the Mahathir premiership, which went on for 22 long years, was “Berish, Cekap, Amanah”. How low Malaysia has sunk that exactly 30 years later, the word “Bersih” is justification to trigger police repressions!
Malaysians and the world are watching. Let not July 9 come to symbolise the degeneration of the Prime Minister’s Government Transformation Programme into a repressive regime even worse than the worst of the Mahathir administration with Operation Lalang as its notorious trademark.
Bersih Chairman Datuk S. Ambiga has undertaken “to do everything we can to make sure it is peaceful”, inviting the police to suggest the route for Bersih 2.0 and “we will follow their directions”.
The police should extract similar pledges of peaceful and orderly rallies from the Umno Youth and Perkasa counter-protests firmly holding their organisers to their commitments.
Let us show the world that Malaysia is capable of holding peaceful and orderly assemblies and rallies without creating any law-and-order problem to demonstrate that under the Prime Minister’s GTP, Malaysian democracy has come of age as other developed democracies.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor