Thursday, July 14, 2011

'Yellow' Saturday for S'wakians to share Bersih experiences, Anwar to attend

Written by Dana Kay, Malaysia Chronicle

Due to the large number of people, even strangers, who called to ask about the Bersih rally, PKR Sarawak is organsing a “Yellow Saturday” to share the experience of the July 9 mammoth march with all Sarawakians.

He has invited all members of the public to join PKR at the Grand Continental Hotel this Saturday and of course, the must all don yellow. A road show would also be held throughout the State in towns like Miri, Sibu and Bintulu.

At a press conference, See Chee How said Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim would be in Sarawak this Saturday accompanied by Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian and the six Sarawakians who had been arrested during the rally for free and fair elections.

Anwar, who is also the PKR de-facto head, was among the Pakatan Rakyat leaders targeted by the police. They fired a tear gas canister directly at him instead of into the air as is the convention. This resulted in Anwar hitting his head on the road as he tried to dodge the canister. Prime Minister Najib Razak's BN government has been widely condemned for its "excessive" crackdown on the citizens march.

Those who had taken part in the walk would also be invited to give their experiences, said See, who is also the Batu Lintang assemblyman.

Led by Baru and See, a team of about 100 from Sarawak had turned up in KL last Saturday. After the rally, See said they were surprised by the large turnout of Sarawakians working in the peninsula, who also turned up for the march, also called Walk for Democracy.

This showed that people in Sarawak were no longer afraid of Barisan Nasional and were ready to take part in a peaceful movement to exercise their rights calling for political and institutional reforms.

“It is our duty to share our experiences of what we saw. The government and the police gave a different version but we are ready to show the video clips taken and photos taken for the public to judge themselves,” See told the press conference.

Decades of struggle starting to bear fruit

The Bersih 'sharing' would start from 7pm to 9.30pm and See urged those are attending to not only wear yellow that Saturday but on every Saturday as well as recommeded by the Bersih committee.

“Don’t worry, the Bersih rally is over, so we are back to the time where wearing yellow is no longer illegal. There is no reason for the police to arrest anyone,” See quipped.

See said the fight for reform began long before July 9 although that date is a landmark signifying that decades of activism was finally starting to bear fruit.

To See, a long-time human rights activist, the battle for a better Malaysia will continue even when Bersih 2.0 fades in the people's memory as PKR Sarawak is determined to push for electoral reform. It was an uphill battle especially with the biased reporting of the BN-controlled state media, he added.

To him, the process for reform will continue and there is a need for Sarawakians to change their mindset and begin to speak up and reclaim their rights as owners of the nation.

“Sarawakians tend to have an inherent fear of demonstration and rally and they must see that the Bersih rally is all about peaceful rally. This should be the right time to open their eyes to fight against suppression and oppression,” he said.

See also slammed the Election Commission for allowing itself to be used as a tool by the present government.

On the August 13 rally planned by the Movement for Change in Sarawak, See said PKR has not received any details on the event. He said the rally should focus more on democracy and reform for Sarawak, rather than be against just one man - Chief Minister Taib Mahmud.

“Election is over and Chief Minister Taib Mahmud has the mandate, fair or not, we respect that decision,” said the PKR leader.

- Malaysia Chronicle

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