Media comment by Lim Kit Siang after attending the Sarbaini inquest at the Criminal Magistrate's Court, Duta Court Complex, Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 4th July 2011 at 4pm:
Pakatan Rakyat leadership council emergency meeting on Wednesday on Bersih 2.0 rally and current national political situation
The Pakatan Rakyat leadership council will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday on the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally for free, fair and clean elections and the current national political situation.
The PR leadership council will discuss the wise and commendable counsel of the Yang di Pertuan Agong. I am most impressed by the advice of the King particularly when he said:
"I also urge the government to carry out everything that is entrusted to it by the people in a just and wise manner, and it is important that I, as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, do not want to see this country with a plural society in a situation where there is animosity among them or a section of the people being enemies with the government, on whatever grounds.”
The Bersih 2.0 plan to have a peaceful rally on July 9 calling for free, fair and clean elections, which has the support of Malaysians transcending race, religion, class, gender and age, would be a celebration of the growing democratic spirit and culture in Malaysia and the best illustration of the 1Malaysia slogan of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The Bersih 2.0 rally is never meant to be a threat to any race, religion, class, gender or age and a “just and wise” government would never have allowed the situation to degenerate and descend into a national hysteria with the Home Minister and the Police fighting imaginary enemies and non-issues, like the revival of communism, the creation of a Christian Malaysia or funding and subversion by foreign powers.
Up to now some 200 arrests had been made based on the most implausible and unjustifiable grounds, like wearing Bersih 2.0 T-shirts and even for sporting yellow T-shirts.
The Yang di Pertuan Agong's advice is most timely and appropriate to end this bout of “madness” which the nation and all the major protagonists have reason to be very ashamed about.
It is not Bersih 2.0 which threaten breach of peace but organisations like Perkasa and Umno Youth – yet it is Bersih 2.0 which is the target of the massive crackdown in the past week while Perkasa and Umno Youth enjoy immunity and impunity for their most incendiary, inflammatory and seditious threats and provocations.
It is sad and tragic that one of the greatest casualties of the recent “madness” is public confidence in the independence, integrity, professionalism of the Police as impartial guardians of law and order – as the ordinary police rank-and-file had been forced to implement orders which every ordinary policeman knows is wrong and unjust, like arresting people for wearing Bersih 2.0 T shirts or even worse, for wearing yellow T shirts!
Is it possible for the Home Minister and the Police to convince Malaysians that they are “just and wise” to act even-handedly, especially acting against the recent culprits responsible for engineering “animosity” among Malaysians?
Reason and good sense must return and prevail!
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor