Live updates – Bersih 5


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  1. Is Anuar Musa now in Special Banch now that he has screwed up Kelantan FA even with hugh sponsorship from Dr Vida? Else how could he possibly accuse Maria Chin to be aided by CIA?

    Umno is now using CIA as a new bogeyman to scare the malays, as the old bogeyman Communist can no longer work after Najib’s Beijing trip?

  2. Anwar Ibrahim condemned the arrest of “respected civil society leader” Maria:

    “This blatant abuse of Sosma poses a danger to the freedom and security of all Malaysians. From my own personal experience I know how terrible an ordeal Maria faces. During my own detention under the ISA in Batu Cantonment, where I believe Maria is also being detained,”

    He added that he was subjected to sleep deprivation, irregular and disorienting interrogations, as well as poor food and sanitation. Anwar said Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi must be held accountable for Maria’s detention.

  3. Where are we heading?
    Laws that can be warped to satisfy or protect the wicked, the corrupt, the power seekers.
    Religious laws which can lead to primitive societal punishment which are but the privileged preaching & hypocritical tendency of some bigots with unparalleled appetite for mental-masochism deriving from societal punishment in the name of The Almighty.
    Tanah Air Cinta Ku – we have a choice to be Bersih & not Middle-Eastern.

    • If God really wants Malaysia to implement hudud, then it will not need Umno to assist PAS. Umno ministers now very good in Talking Kok!

    • Women, don’t get raped under Middle Eastern rule of law.
      Otherwise, you may be thrown into jail + sentenced should you lodge a criminal report!..

  4. As reported on Forbes:

    Malaysia has officially banned the demonstrations, apparently to squelch discussion of the scandal. The PM has fortified his power between protests by firing skeptical ministers and what Oh describes as “distribution of largess” to constituencies that matter.

    One that matters is the general public.

    “A bit of fire has gone out from under them,” says Song Seng Wun, an economist in the private banking unit of CIMB in Singapore. Despite slowing economic growth due to falling oil prices, he says, “the administration has been able to continually provide sufficient opportunities for job creation and income growth, so people are able to put food on the table and roofs over their heads.”

    But food and shelter may not cut it. “I would expect to see more protests ahead, and indeed, protests against Maria Chin’s detention in particular are now in progress,” says Meredith Weiss, associate political science professor with The State University of New York at Albany. “Mobilizational energy will near inevitably swing toward elections, though, once those are more clearly imminent.”

  5. Obama’s one-liner on Swiss funds sets tongues wagging
    At exactly the 46th (45:53) minute into his speech, Obama clearly said:
    “We all have responsibilities… every nation, respecting the dignity and the worth of its citizens and America can’t do it all for everybody else.

    “There are limits to our reach in other countries if they are determined to oppress the people, not provide good education, (pause) or siphon off development funds into Swiss bank accounts because their leaders are corrupt…”

    For full speech:

  6. In my alma mater, Penang Free School.
    If you had done something wrong like being late & the class teacher asked why?
    And your answer was “Cannot say. It’s sub judice”.
    You would get a good tight slap left & right on the spot!

  7. Watch this ‘prophetic’ Petronas TV ad “Boat Race” in year 2000 between red and yellow teams:

    Very interesting ending to the race.

  8. The world knows that Maria did not walk with grenades and mortars

    An open letter to the wife of Malaysia’s prime minister

    The Najib Abdul Razak government of the day, through its seemingly iron-fist reactions, is earning increasing condemnation from citizens in Malaysia and the growing voices of conscience around the globe.

    The continuous detention of Bersih chief Maria Chin Abdullah under mysterious circumstances raises serious concerns and condemnations, going by the outpouring in the online and social media.

    Why must a woman and mother, who was willing to reclaim a greater nation for all citizens through peaceful inspiration be dehumanised under solitary confinement?

    Why must a woman with no political affiliation or political ambition, be tormented in a cell that has no windows, whereas the whole world saw past and present leaders in the country stand up and walk in support of her singular hope and vision for a better nation that could be a beacon for change to the world of corrupt regimes?

    Why must all the powers that be, including allegely religious and piety-peddling leaders in Malaysia, remain mum over this cruelty being meted out to one woman under the horrendous Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) law?

    Why must, one woman be victimized when over a hundred thousand citizens poured out onto the streets of Kuala Lumpur peacefully and without any dangerous threat to a nation’s security with hopes for a better nation and a better leadership?

    This is not the way to silence let alone treat a social icon of civil justice. This is not the path to travel if governments desire to earn the goodwill and admiration of their citizens.

    In this ‘New Age’ where truth, transparency, justice and honor is being showcased instantly and persistently through the social media, Najib is making a grave and compounding mistake for which he cannot now let his institutions to lump it all on the head of one woman and mother.

    Even Islamic State (IS) terrorists are given access to justice and humane treatment. Even prisoners of terrorism are given more respect (as seen in American detention centres).

    Hopefully Rosmah Mansor, who never fails to present to us her compassion, love and care for women, will step forward in the best interest for all concerned Malaysian women and in response to the pleas from all mothers to ensure that this is not the way to treat Maria.

    Prayerfully, Rosmah will live up to her sound preaching that a woman must stand by her man and tell her husband, the prime minister, that ill-advise and evil intention are not the way forward for a nation that aspires to be a ‘high-income nation’ and relentlessly canvases for foreign investment and making Malaysia a ‘second home’.

    • A good assessment of Bersih 5 by Dr. Khoo Ying Hooi, Senior Lecturer at the Department of International and Strategic Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya:

      While the latest rally went off peacefully, that should not overshadow an ongoing crackdown.

      The much-anticipated Bersih 5 rally in Malaysia has finally concluded in a relatively peaceful manner, despite some minor incidents in the evening of November 19 amidst a downpour. Bersih 5 is intended to pressure the government toward a new, reformed Malaysia through institutional changes to the country’s flawed governance system ahead of the 14th General Election, due by 2018. The rally highlighted five demands: clean elections, clean government, strengthened parliamentary democracy, the right to dissent, and empowerment for Sabah and Sarawak under the tagline “Satukan Tenaga – Malaysia Baru” (“Stand United – New Malaysia”).

      As investigations on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal continue, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s administration has become increasingly repressive and authoritarian. While Saturday’s rally was overall considered as peaceful – due to the heavy police presence in cordoned-off Kuala Lumpur to prevent a potential clash between the Bersih yellow shirts and Red Shirts – it is not an indication that state repression has decreased.

      A day before Bersih 5, there was a series of heavy-handed attempts to intimidate activists and opposition leaders. Fears of clashes between Bersih and Red Shirts were real after the latter threatened to target Bersih supporters. It was a dramatic Bersih eve, with more than a dozen from the Red Shirts and the Bersih group arrested. The pre-rally arrests had the result of causing more fear for potential protesters that intended to participate in the Bersih 5 rally the next day. Many are also angry that Bersih co-chair Maria Chin Abdullah is being held under the country’s anti-terror law, Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act 2012, which allows preemptive detention for up to 28 days.

      There were also social attempts to dissuade protesters. Religious authorities told Muslims ahead of the Bersih 5 rally that staging demonstrations would invite foreign intervention and run contrary to Islamic laws. In the Friday sermon prepared for mosques nationwide, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) highlighted the Islamic way of changing leaders’ faults through advice, prayers, and assisting leaders in virtuous matters.

      A day after the rally, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that more individuals would be arrested. Arguing that the law must be respected, he is reported as saying that a list of individuals involved in the Bersih 5 and Red Shirt rallies have been identified, but the names will not be disclosed.

      On the rally day itself, there was a strong police presence on standby, with Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) trucks and lots of barricades. Approximately 7,000 policemen were on duty to ensure security and public order. Water cannon trucks were also deployed. Traffic at 58 roads in seven areas in the city was diverted starting at 7 am on the morning of the rally itself to keep the two rival groups from meeting. he rally organizers’ original plans to convene in Dataran Merdeka for the finale was halted by police as various barricades were erected along main roads leading to the square. Eventually, the organizers made eleventh hour plans to convene the crowd in Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC), and the rally was allowed to proceed as planned with no interruption from the police. Former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad turned up unannounced just after 2 pm in Bangsar; this marked his second time participating in a Bersih rally.

      According to estimates from the police, there were about 15,000 protesters from Bersih group and 2,500 from the Red Shirts. The online portal Malaysiakini estimated that more than 40,000 protesters marched in the rally organized by Bersih. Malaysiakini estimated the number of Red Shirts who also took to the streets at around 4,000. As the protesters were not allowed to converge at meeting points before they decided to gather at KLCC later in the day, it is difficult to estimate the exact number who turned out.

      However, turnout figures are no longer a direct reflection of the support received by Bersih in view of the repressive situation, which does not encourage people to come out and protest without feeling fearful. While some have suggested that political fatigue is setting in among Malaysians, dimming enthusiasm for political rallies, it is equally important to understand that Malaysia does not have an enabling environment for peaceful citizen action.

      What could explain the pre-Bersih crackdown this time around is the real fear the government itself has toward citizen action. The much-predicted clash between the red and yellow shirts did not happen, due to the heavy road closures by the police. The police managed to prevent the two groups from clashing; however, in blocking off roads they also impinged on the right of protesters to march peacefully. Although the police were even-handed in their treatment of both groups, the heavy road closures were unnecessary.

      While some argue that repression is hinders popular mobilization, due to the added costs associated with mobilizing, others insist that repression potentially increases grievances – which could lead to more united collective action.

      This is Bersih’s fifth rally and this year marks the movement’s 10th anniversary. While many have argued Bersih has achieved little in demanding the government make meaningful reforms, one interesting trend that has emerged is that how state repression influences Malaysians’ ability to challenge the government. Although state repression limits protests, over time it has also facilitated the continuing growth of civil society in the country, which then led to the crippling of the government’s political legitimacy.

      Najib argued that it is unlawful for any party to try to unseat a democratically elected government via street protests, saying that the people should wait until the next election to choose their government via ballot box. But the crucial issue remains: toppling a democratically elected government and reforming the election process are interlinked issues.

  9. My mum treated inhumanely, claims Maria’s son

    PETALING JAYA: Maria Chin Abdullah’s eldest son has lodged a police report over the alleged conditions in which the Bersih 2.0 chairman is currently being detained.

    Azumin Mohamad Yunus, 23, claimed his mother was being kept in solitary confinement in an unknown location while suffering from hypertension, high blood pressure and osteoarthritis.

    “She needs to take her medication to keep her condition under control. She had a check-up scheduled at Universiti Malaya Medical Centre on Sunday for her osteoarthritis.

    “She was not able to make it to the appointment because she was arrested,” he said in his police report.

    Speaking to reporters at the Petaling Jaya police headquarters on Monday, Azumin claimed his biggest concern was that Maria would be taken away before her children would be able to see her.

    “She’s basically in solitary confinement. The lights are on the whole time. She can’t tell the time of the day. Her sleep is messed up because of that. She only received two sets of clothing and sleeps on a wooden floor,” he claimed.

    “Her own family members don’t know where she is being detained. We don’t even know when we will see her or what is happening to her now. Maybe Sunday is the last time we will ever see her, we wouldn’t know. That’s what scares us the most,” said a visibly emotional Azumin.

    Azumin said Maria seemed strong-willed when the family met her on Sunday at the Dang Wangi police headquarters despite looking tired.

    “We are just heartbroken right now. She is fighting for fair and clean elections. But she is rewarded by going to prison. Why is my mother being treated like a terrorist? She hasn’t done anything wrong,” he said.

    Also present at the police headquarters with Azumin were his aunt Cynthia Chin, lawyers N. Surendan, Melissa Sasidaran and Eric Paulsen.

    Several Opposition politicians and Bersih supporters also showed up in solidarity with Maria.

    Maria was detained on Friday in a pre-Bersih 5.0 swoop by police on several Opposition leaders and activists and is now held under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) at an undisclosed location.

      • You may not be @ Bersih 5.
        So, easy to discriminate all Polis en mass.
        Hope you meet a kind Polis man in your distress situation & tell him no thanks.
        Try that.

      • So, you are expecting chaos & riots @ Bersih 5?
        Go wish that to Maria, can or not?..

  10. Maria Chin, now in solitary confinement, allowed family visit

    May Allah give her the strength & spirit to outlast the 28 days of solitary confinement.
    It was a peaceful Bersih 5, TQ to all law enforcement & purple shirts.
    Had there been a clash (so to blame the Polis & FRU), Sosma against Maria would have been legitimised & her lawyers will have a hard time to fight for her case.
    Nothing is so simple as Bersih 5.

    • Home Minister cannot explain / do not want to be responsible for SOSMA against Maria.
      What is this Minister pushing responsibility to others – an “operational matter” that should be directed at the attorney-general (AG) and the inspector-general of police (IGP).
      It shows one thing: Laws are not accountable by any Minister who holds a portfolio without responsibility!
      Then why spoke of mass arrest after Bersih 5? On whose behalf? Speaking of Irresponsibility Minister.

  11. Anil, what would have happened to you had they cornered / pouched you walking alone?
    Esp. where there’s no friendly Polis men around?
    They brought sticks (hidden as flag poles) & cangkul & were prepared for the worst until these weapons were confiscated by Polis.
    Men who had no real experience of 513 riots can (always) talk b… & rubbish those who have done their duty as law enforcement.
    Not every Polis man is corrupt or evil like what men with no experience like to lump them together as evil.

    • I really felt there were some good officers among them who were sympathetic to our aspirations for cleaner governance. I didnt detect a hostile attitude towards the Bersih protesters this time.

  12. Some of us may not be aware that we are already Yellow from the inside. Read:
    Perspectives on Bersih 5 from the fringe

    COMMENT Dr Mahathir Mohamad is not wrong to label ministers in the likes of Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak as “half-past-six” when he could only utter conclusions without first going through his grey matter about Bersih 5 turnout being lower compared to Bersih 4.

    According to Salleh, Bersih has seen the turnout drop by nearly 97 percent.

    I wonder where he learnt his mathematics. And, he simply blamed it on Dr Mahathir for the low turnout.

    I wonder if he meant that people like me who did not turn up at Bersih 5. Having attended two Bersih events in the past did not make me feel any more lethargic to go for Bersih 5.

    In fact, when friends and relatives were asking me whether I was going to Bersih 5, I kept quiet, until the event was over. The reason is because I did not want my absence to demoralise anyone from going for Bersih 5.

    Now that most of the people I knew went for Bersih 5, I will write my perspectives from the fringe. My absence this time was due to a promise that I made to my son two years ago to bring him to a father-and-son bonding camp which coincided with the date when Bersih’s Maria Chin Abdullah announced.

    One thing I was happy that I was able to do was to tell my son during our trip back on the train that Daddy had foregone the Bersih rally just to spend to fulfil a promise made to him. Updating myself with the latest news for the day, I explained to him what Bersih 5 was about – his future!

    I showed him pictures of many of my friends including senior lawyers and people from different backgrounds coming together as one nation, as one people to demand for all five points raised by Bersih 5.

    I told him of an uncle and his wife, probably in their 70s, who checked into a budget hotel in Kuala Lumpur just to be able to join Bersih 5.

    He was excited the moment he saw some yellow-clad Bersih supporters on the train back to Ipoh. We showed our thumbs-up to these people. Although we did not know each other, we received the thumbs-up from them.

    This is Bersih’s culture for the awareness of Salleh, in case he does not know.

    More yellow on the inside

    While taking a cab to the campsite, I chatted with an old pakcik taxi driver.

    “Pakcik tak pergi Bersih 5?” I asked. (Uncle, you are not going to Bersih 5?)

    He answered in the negative, saying that he does not like the idea of going on demonstrations. But before I could proceed, he started telling me about RM2.6 billion and a RM2 million diamond ring.

    “He thinks that people are stupid!” he remarked. “Tell me which Arab prince would give Najib (Abdul Razak) RM2.6 billion? And that wife of his telling us that she had saved the money from young to buy the diamond ring! How ridiculous can she be?”

    I did not have to do much talking. That pakcik is a supporter of Dr Mahathir and he is now bashing Prime Minister Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor. I told myself, “Not bad for someone from a rural town in Perak.”

    Then, came the issue of the Goods and Services Taxes (GST) and the subsidy cuts which have caused prices to go up.

    And he immediately quoted the number of taxi permits to be issued for the whole country, and compared it to the number of taxis in the Klang Valley alone.

    That was just one man yellow on the inside now. Surprisingly, the moment I mentioned about Bersih 5 during the camp, conversations were struck with a number of fathers like me.

    Interestingly, it is not only people from the Klang Valley who are yellow at heart. Although these people were not present at Bersih 5, they were also yellow on the inside.

    Wearing yellow with Bersih 5 is one way of making a statement. I noticed that even Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown did not wear yellow when she turned up at the Bersih 5 rally in United Kingdom.

    A chef and his wife, for example, also said enough is enough when we talked about the 1MDB scandal. They were yellow all the way.

    We also talked about the East Coast Rail Link project worth RM55 billion which is clearly a soft loan, and the yellow chef and his wife also agreed that the loan would be paid by future generations of Malaysians. I wonder what the repercussions are!

    Who else does not know who Malaysian Official No 1 (MO1) is? After all, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan had spelt out his name to an international audience.

  13. To have a better future, go down to streets is not enough; there are millions of qualified Malaysian youngsters still yet to register themself as voters. Therefore, if you really care about our country and future generations, you are urged to register yourself soonest possible, so that very soon, you can use your Rakyat power to make a change!!!!

    • You should be thankful to the law enforcement for no loss of lives @ Bersih 5!
      Bersih 5 euphoria is over, be more concerned for Maria, Ronnie Liu & others still in lock up.

    • If you are so supportive, dare to add ‘supports Bersih 5’ to your commenter name here?
      I encourage all commenters to do so in

  14. Dr M and Anwar Ibrahim have reconciled.

    Free Anwar Ibrahim and let him be the
    Prime Minister of all Malaysians !

  15. Pegawai-pegawai PDRM + FRU, Terima Kasih.
    Well done for keeping the peace & safety of Bersih 5 today.
    To all Malaysians @ Bersih 5, Cheers Kopi-O kau kau.
    Ada Bersih 6?

    • Why thank polis?
      It should have approved Berlin 5 and asked Red Shirt to protest on another date. Then it will be peaceful, right?

      • You think they wanna give you a holiday (sight-seeing) site for Bersih 5?
        Peaceful like Perdana Botanical Garden?
        You are still an innocent idiot playing child’s game in politics.
        Maybe you never lived during 513 blood bath or see with your own eyes.
        Talk is cheap, Renato!

      • Better live political reality than risk others’ lives, again.
        Surely, you never lived during 513.
        Can’t blame you reckless without the experience of reality until it’s too late.

    • TQ for keeping the peace in situ (KL). Donkoi!
      Otherwise, it could have been another 513!
      Read the sentence b4 you bark like an idiot!
      Maybe you don’t treasure lives of those brave Bersih 5 supporters in situ (KL).
      Go back & think had they been your family members or friends over there like brave Anil.
      Think carefully before you bark like an idiot!

  16. The following is a letter written by the children of Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah, after her arrest.

    It is the eve of the Bersih rally. We are sure that everybody is preparing for the rally, for what seems to be the next step to achieving a free and fair election for Malaysia.

    It was around 6pm, we were at home preparing dinner when we received a call from a family friend asking if we were okay and if we heard about the news.

    Confused about what was going on, we asked her what happened.

    She explained to us that our mother has been arrested and was brought to a police station for further processing.

    Within the next hour we were at the police station and as we arrived we had to wait for one of our mother’s lawyers to bring us in to see our mother.

    While we were in the processing room, our mother explained to us that she was being charged for destabilising the government.

    Both Mandeep Singh and our mother were reassuring us that everything is going to be fine in a calm and collective state.

    We hope that the charges would be dropped and that she would be released soon.

    After everything that has transpired, it is disappointing that people who fight for a fair and clean election have been branded as a threat to the country.

    Is this the type of country that we Malaysians want to live in, where corruption runs amok, elections are rigged and innocents are placed behind bars?

    When we were younger, we did not understand what our parents were fighting for or why our father was protesting strongly against the Internal Security Act.

    He is gone now. We are old enough to understand the importance and sacrifice of the work that people like them do.

    People like our parents, who are willing to speak up against corruption do not do it for their own sake, but for the sake of the future generations.

    As we are writing this, we as Malaysians, are hours away from an opportunity to voice out to make a change in Malaysia.

    It is why it is so important for us, as Malaysians, to show that we will not tolerate the injustice that government officials have got away with.

    We implore to our fellow Malaysians that are attending the rally, or are watching it at home, to listen to the speakers and to understand what Bersih is trying to achieve.

    We hope that the rally will be peaceful and to see you there.

    Azumin, Aziman, Azemi.

  17. Cheers Kopi-O kau kau to Bersih 5, Maria Chin Abdullah, Mandeep Singh & all supporters now in KL.
    TQ Anil.
    May God intervene.


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