FACE TO FACE - Ambiga: Angry rakyat need rally outlet
PETALING JAYA (June 19): The slew of rallies conducted by various NGOs such as Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM), Suara Rakyat 505, Anything But Umno (ABU) and Pakatan Rakyat in general are seen as a healthy outlet for dissatisfied citizens to express their unhappiness over the 13th general election results.
Bersih co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, who spoke to fz.com in an exclusive interview on Face to Face, said that these voters needed an outlet to express themselves rather than letting it simmer under the surface.
"For me, it was important to have those rallies... because it allows people to express their unhappiness. You cannot run away from the fact that a large percentage, going by the popular vote, of the population in this country or the voters of this country are very unhappy with the results.
"You need to have an outlet for this. So, the one good thing, the positive thing about the rally is that there is an outlet for the people who can express their views about the outcome. It is a good thing to have. I am all for freedom of expression and all for the freedom of assembly."
Although there were certain quarters who believe that the opposition is going overboard with the numerous rallies, Ambiga is of the opinion that it is up to the people to decide if and when they think there have been too many gatherings.
"They (Pakatan Rakyat) will find out it's one too many when people don't turn up. But when people keep turning up, it shows you that it's not one (rally) too many. So you and I may not turn up because we may be tired but there may be others who are still ready to come.
"It's up to them. If they lose the perception war because they've had one too many, they will find out. As long as people want to go, you can't come to a judgement call that it is one too many," she said.
She also stood firm over her prediction that GE13 was the dirtiest the nation has ever faced, citing the various political violence and smear campaigns as examples of dirty politicking.
However, the Election Commission (EC) had one saving grace in the fact that the whole operation during the elections ran smoothly, although she remained adamant in questioning the commission's integrity.
"So, while the process is smooth and carries on, the core of it has a problem because you have electoral roll that has a problem. And all the other many issues that we have raised in the past about postal votes and so on and so forth.
"That's where the integrity of the elections really is a problem," she said.