Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bersih joins anti-TPPA protest, vows bigger crowd than Bersih 4

 Geraldine Tong

Bersih will join the protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

The chairperson of the electoral reform movement, Maria Chin Abdullah, vowed that the turnout would be bigger than Bersih 4, which saw tens of thousands taking to the streets last August.

"Bersih 2 supports the anti-TPPA protest and urges all supporters of the Bersih 1, 2, 3 and 4 rallies to join us at Dataran Merdeka on Saturday.

"Malaysians must fight against any attempt, foreign or domestic, to challenge the sovereign right of the rakyat to determine our future," Maria said.

"This will be a much bigger crowd (than Bersih 4)," she later added.

The anti-TPPA protest, organised by NGO coalition Bantah TPPA, has already garnered support from opposition parties such as PAS and PSM, which are mobilising their members to take part.

"We welcome the support from Bersih," Bantah TPPA deputy chairperson Azlan Awang told a press conference in Petaling Jaya today.

Among those in attendance, other than Bersih officials, were representatives from National Human Rights Society (Hakam), Tenaganita and Institute Rakyat.

Azlan (photo) said the coalition is hoping for a massive turnout at the three-hour protest, which will commence at 2pm.

He also revealed they have given the police notice of the protest 10 days in advance, as required by the Peaceful Assembly Act.

He said the organisers met with Dang Wangi district police chief Zainol Samah twice, and promised there would be no march.

"The police are mindful of events that might lead to undesirable situations, so we will cooperate with them," he added.

'Refrain from marching to Dataran'

Therefore, Azlan advised any group that planned to march to the protest site at Dataran Merdeka to refrain from doing so.

Meanwhile, Bantah TPPA is still trying to obtain permission from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to use Dataran Merdeka for its protest.

However, Azlan said, the organisers have planned activities during the protest, such as speeches from prominent political figures and NGO leaders.

The TPPA is a multinational free trade agreement in which the United States is a main proponent.

Apart from Malaysia, other countries involved in its secretive negotiations included Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Mexico and Canada.

Critics fear that the TPPA would wipe out local businesses, as well as threaten Malaysia’s sovereignty due to a clause allowing foreign corporations to sue the government for actions that result in loss of profits.

Parliament will debate on whether or not to sign the pact during a special two-day session of the Dewan Rakyat on Jan 26 and 27.



Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/327421#ixzz3xg8jTcPG


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