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Media Statement by Ngeh Koo Ham in Ipoh on Tuesday, 17th August 2010:

Perakians are mourning. Do not force us to celebrate. If forced to fly the flag, can we fly half mast?

I refer to the statement by the Mayor of Ipoh, Datuk Roshidi Hashim that shops that do not fly the national flag on National (Independence) Day, or the state flag on the Sultan's birthday will risk their licences withdrawn.

Perakians are mourning as they can no longer choose their own government just like colonial days. Democracy is dead in Perak. Hundreds of police surround and take hold of the Perak State Assembly building whenever the Assembly sits. The legitimate speaker, Mr.V.Sivakumar was forcibly removed by the police from the State Assembly on the bidding of BN. The police broke laws with impunity because they carry out their actions according to BN's instructions. Perak in virtually a police state. State Assembly is no longer a place to debate and discuss the affairs of the state. Elected representatives are no longer allowed to speak freely. Annual Budget is approved within 20 minutes and State Assembly is over within a day. For Perakian and Malaysians who symphatise with us, there is nothing to celebrate on this 31st August our national independence day.

Allow Perakians to mourn for this may be soothing to their souls. Allow them to wear black coloured shirts or even fly black coloured flags on 31st August, if that will help to alleviate the injustice that they are subjected to.

Has the Mayor of Ipoh been directed by BN Government of Perak to enforce the above said ruling? It sounds like imperial masters of the past forcing patriotism on the conquered subjects. It is like the Japanese who conquered the then Malaya and using force on the people of Malaya to host the Japanese flag and swear allegiance to the Imperial Japanese Government.

If the BN government and the Mayor of Ipoh insist that shop owners must fly the flags, may I ask if they are allowed to fly half mast?

* Ngeh Koo Ham, DAP Deputy Secretary General & MP for Beruas



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