Forward    Feedback    


Wrong for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to give the impression that only the BN government can monopolize the King and Malaysians who disagree with BN or seeks fair and clean elections have no access to the King


Press Statement

by Lim Guan Eng



(Petaling Jaya, Monday): The mass Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) gathering on 10.11.2007 is a civil society movement with a single agenda of seeking clean and fair elections that comprises NGOs and political parties. No single organization controls Bersih. For BN to link Bersih to any political party is untrue, unfair and a desperate attempt at diverting attention that this call for free and clean elections is supported by the mass majority of Malaysians as demonstrated by the huge turnout of more than 50,000 people on November 10. BN appears to be shell-shocked at such a huge turnout and the failure of heavy police presence and harsh tactics to prevent the peaceful rally from proceeding.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has attempted to continue such spin-doctoring by claiming that this is an attempt by the opposition to trap the King and drag royalty into opposition politics. Abdullah is wrong for attempting to give the impression that only the BN government can monopolize the King and that Malaysians who either disagree with BN or seeks fair and clean elections have no access to the King.

The King is above politics and the symbol of our parliamentary democracy that protects and guarantees the political and civil liberties of Malaysians, as well as our socio-economic rights enshrined in our Federal Constitution. Any citizen can petition to the King and no one group can “monopolize” access to the King.

Unlike Abdullah, this mature understanding of His Majesty’s role in the Federal Constitution and that Bersih’s call for free and clean elections is no political gimmick as claimed by BN are the reasons why the King agreed to accept the petition from civil society. For this reason the Prime Minister should not try to drag the King into politics by appearing to deny the rakyat from even sending petitions to the King.

DAP regrets Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) for defending the behavior of police for making arrests and reacting only when they were challenged physically during the protest. Human Rights Commissioner Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam has clearly got his facts wrong when he said the police only moved in when the crowd got rowdy. No Malaysian gathering peacefully and unarmed would be so stupid as to challenge police armed with batons, tear gas, water cannons and even firearms.

Subramaniam has insulted his own intelligence by pinning the blame on peaceful demonstrators and failed to note that if they were indeed violent towards the police, police would not have released the 245 arrested immediately on the same day. Some of the demonstrators even came with their children, and no parent is stupid to put their safety of their children in danger by challenging the police.

Suhakam vice-chairman Tan Sri Simon Sipaun had struck the right note when he said that he received complaints that when Barisan Nasional holds a demonstration, no action is taken. It is such double-standards and transgressions of basic human rights to freedom of expression and assembly that Suhakam must address instead of defending the authorities’ action in curbing such fundamental human liberties. If that is the attitude of Suhakam, then they should stop the pretence about promoting human rights but concede that they are actually trying to justify why Malaysia does not deserve fundamental human liberties.


* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP

Your e-mail:

Your name: 

Your friend's e-mail: 

Your friend's name: