Friday, April 27, 2012

Bersih 3.0: Looks like history will repeat itself

Looks like the Barisan Nasional government has not learnt any lesson from the previous Bersih 2.0 rally for free and fair elections.

Yesteday, KL mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail said in a statement that Dataran Merdeka, the venue of the Bersih 3.0 sit-in protest for free and fair elections, will be closed for 48 hours beginning from 6am Friday.

He said the restriction will be enforced based on Local Government Dataran Merdeka Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur By-Laws 1992 and Section 65 of the Local Government Act 1976 and the restriction will be lifted at 6am on Sunday morning, the Malaysian Insider reported.

The move against the electoral reforms movement is seen as a sign that the hawks in Putrajaya have won the day despite their confidence that the rally has no traction, the Malaysian Insider reported.

DBKL has already barricaded the historic square in the capital city and the police have taken a hands-off approach towards the latest rally with DBKL taking the lead role as it runs the square.

The City Hall officials have just evicted a group of activists calling themselves Occupy Dataran this week two weeks after they set up a daily camp there, the Malaysian Insider reported.

And Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has made veiled threats by saying the police are duty-bound to ensure public order and that this is not threatened by any party.

He said this in commenting on the possibility of the organisers of the planned rally at Dataran Merdeka this Saturday being adamant about proceeding with it, Free Malaysia Today reported.

“We have already compromised and offered alternative venues to them…but if they choose to be stubborn, it will be up to the police (to take the necessary action),” he said.

Judging from the response to Bersih 2.0 and the mood of the people, especially the urban folks, you can expect the average Malaysian not to give a damn to the City Hall officials, the police or the Barisan Nasional government.

The BN government must realise that Malaysians are not stupid or gullible or scared anymore. They don't even seem to be afraid of being hit by jets of chemical-laced water from water cannons or even being fired at with tear gas canisters.

The BN goverment must realise that things must be really wrong and Malaysians must be really fed-up when usually meek folks stand up for their rights despite road blocks, lockdowns, water cannons and tear gas. Times are certainly a-changing.

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