Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Don’t ignore Bersih 2.0, Anwar tells BN

KUCHING: PKR de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has advised Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders not to ignore Bersih 2.0’s walk for democracy.

“It is unreasonable for the Barisan Nasional government to continue saying that Bersih 2.0 is illegal.

“They are over-reacting to the rally and it is a mockery,” he told reporters after addressing a dialogue here Saturday night.

As far as Bersih was concerned, the Permatang Pauh MP said “it is a neutral term.”

Anwar was quick to add: “They (Barisan Nasional) should not fool themselves.”

During the dialogue, he blasted BN leaders and their enforcement squads, saying “these people have no regard forthe laws of the country.”

He was referring to the clampdown of Bersih 2.0 rally in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre July 9 when tear gas canisters and water cannons were fired and over 1,400 protesters detained.

“It does not matter whether you are a YB, a worker, an ustaz, all of us as citizens have our rights and actions have to be taken according to the laws.

“The world is now aware of Malaysia and what Bersih rally is about.

“The entire world asks (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib (Tun Razak) why we cannot have fair elections,” he said.

Citing a recent report by UK daily The Guardian, Anwar said: “The English newspaper headlined ‘Malaysia’s Najib must abandon the Mubarak model’.”

The opposition leader did not spare Election Commission (EC or SPR) from this matter.

“SPR sometimes behaves like a chairperson of an Umno branch,” he quipped.

Anwar pointed out that BN’s reactions to Bersih 2.0 rally showed “low character” for it also went all out to control the mainstream media.

“We must not remain silent but speak up for ourselves.

“It is corruption and inflation that we are fighting. We do it for our children and generations to come,” he said.

The former deputy prime minister said he had been invited by universities in Berlin and London to deliver talks on politics and religion, adding next month he would be expected in a university in Cairo to give a similar seminar.

“Universities in Europe have been asking me to give talks in their universities and soon I will be in Cairo for the same task but not Malaysian universities.

“Maybe the standard of Malaysian universities is too high that I don’t meet,” he said.

Recalling the July 9 rally, Anwar said he would have been hit by a tear gas canister if not for a bodyguard who blocked the attack, resulting in the bodyguard sustaining injuries to his
cheekbones which now required a second surgery.

“Najib made fun of me in the papers, saying that I was putting up an act.

“Well, I went in and out of the prison and there is no need for him to be ‘sombong’ (arrogant).

“I guarantee he cannot even last a week in prison.”

Anwar stressed that Bersih 2.0’s objective was to ensure that Malaysian elections would be carried out in a free and fair manner.

“We want to put a stop to unfair elections.

“Why must Barisan Nasional be so defensive on this matter?

“No government should deny the freedom and rights of the people enshrined in the Federal Constitution,” he said.

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