Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 23rd August 2011:
BN govt should state what are the 8 demands of Bersih 2.0 which could be implemented before Parliament meets on Oct 3
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz pressed most of the right buttons about public demands about electoral reforms when he announced without naming Bersih 2.0 that the parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms will base its framework on Bersih 2.0's eight-point demands, viz:
But on the most vital issue of a firm and unequivocal government commitment that the electoral reforms will be implemented before Parliament is dissolved to make way for the 13th general election, Nazri could offer no assurance except to say lamely: "That is not my problem...I don't know when the election will be held."
This has brought back to the fore the question about the relevance and usefulness of the parliamentary select committee, whether it is a genuine, sincere and serious government change of heart on electoral reforms or whether it is a mere political ploy to stonewall electoral reforms for the next general elections.
Without naming Bersih 2.0, Nazri said the Election Commission has been tasked with drawing up a framework for the parliamentary select committee based on the eight demands of Bersih 2.0 to be sent to the cabinet on Sept. 7.
This follows the meeting convened by Nazri with representatives from Parliament, the Attorney-General's Chambers and the Election Commission.
It does not escape notice that the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Election Commission attended the meeting in person and agreed to draft the framework for the parliamentary select committee based on the eight demands of Bersih 2.0 when in the past few months they had been in the forefront not only disagreeing but attacking the bona fides of both Bersih 2.0 and these eight demands.
What is the credibility that the parliamentary select committee is not a political ploy but represent a sincere, serious and genuine change of heart of the Barisan Nasional government on electoral reforms if Bersih 2.0 continues to be banned as an illegal and anti-national organization, its Chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan defamed as "enemy of Islam" and its leaders and activists smeared as "front for foreign powers" out to create chaos, racial riot, violence backed by Christian Jewish and communists and other imaginary anti-national elements?
There are three steps the Cabinet can take at its meeting tomorrow to demonstrate that there is a sincere, serious and genuine change of heart on electoral reforms and that the parliamentary select committee is no political ploy, viz:
As time is of the essence considering the imminence of the next general election, it is of vital and paramount importance that the Election Commission and BN Government should clarify what are the Eight Demands of the Bersih 2.0 which could and could not be immediately implemented even before Parliament meets on Oct. 3.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor