Monday, July 11, 2011


On July 9th, many Sarawakians had travelled to Kuala Lumpur to be a part of the BERSIH 2.0 rally, which called for sweeping electoral reforms. The objective was clear. Many of the people who participated were flag waving, God-fearing, patriotic citizens who wanted nothing more than a peaceful expression of their frustration of the status quo.

I was personally present at the rally and I was glad to be part of the rakyat’s voice. The rally was peaceful and our security men and marshals were splendid in crowd control. Despite being shot at with water cannons and tear gas canisters, the rakyat remained non-violent. I am proud that I had a taste of tear gas myself.

It was amazing to see that various races, age groups, and religious backgrounds were well represented at the rally. Sarawakians were also well represented. Everyone I spoke with said they had come for one main reason – to show solidarity and unity as the rakyat for free and fair elections. It was even more amazing to see the rakyat helping one another after the water cannons and tear gas attacks.

Unfortunate for some, they were arrested by the police for simply being there. Included were Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA) members Matek Anak Gram, Niloh Anak Ason, Willie Kajan and Malaysian Election Observers network (MEO –NET) member Doris Lawai.

In Sarawak, Krian assemblyman Ali Biju, native customary rights lawyer Paul Raja and and Iban land activist Kelvin Kilo were among those detained, alongside 15 others on the same day.

PKR Sarawak strongly condemns these arrests and the arrest of many of our fellow Malaysians in West Malaysia which were arbitrarily executed, unconstitutional and a gross contradiction of the universal right by every human being to the freedom of expression.

PKR Sarawak recognises that the rakyat is no more afraid to stand up for their rights, even in Sarawak, and we honour these brave men and women who took risks to have their voices heard.

PKR Sarawak will continue to champion the rights of all Sarawakians, and will not let the sacrifices demonstrated on 9th July by these brave men and women go to naught and be in vain.

Baru Bian, N70 Ba’ Kelalan

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