29 FEBRUARY 2012
Political Violence Threatens Elections in Malaysia
Bersih 2.0 urges Prime Minister Najib Razak to immediately stop the serial political violence inflicted on opposition politicians and civil society activists by thugs reportedly related to UMNO and Perkasa, while police often just looked on and no one has been charged so far.
Bersih 2.0 warns that such impunity on political violence, if continues, leaves no room for clean elections in Malaysia. If political activisms are met with physical assaults even before elections, could the safety of opposition leaders and campaigners be guaranteed comes the next election?
Bersih 2.0 wants Najib to order immediate investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the two latest incidents of political assault on February 26.
At Speakers’ Corner, George Town, Pulau Pinang, a group of thugs identified to be UMNO Youth and Perkasa members attacked the anti-Lynas protesters and eventually had two reporters injured. Most shockingly, the police personnel looked on and did not do anything. Later, the Chief Police Officer (CPO) of Pulau Pinang Ayub Yaakob blamed it on the organisers for not informing the police of their event.
At Felda Lepar Hilir 1, Gambang, Pahang, YB Nurul Izzah Anwar, PKR MP for Lembah Pantai, was assaulted by a Asrullah Affendi Abdullah, an assistant of UMNO Lepar state assemblyperson Mohd Shohaimi Jusoh.
These two are not isolated cases. Forums by student activists and the Anything But UMNO (ABU) Movement had experienced similar attacks and no one has yet been charged in court.
If PM Najib Razak refused to take action to end such political violence, to have the assailants prosecuted and to punish those police personnels who shirked their responsibility, Malaysia may be pushed to the edge of chaos and unrest by electoral violence.
In this alarming development, BERSIH 2.0 calls upon Malaysians and international community to establish a Election Observation Mission to mitigate such threat.
Salam BERSIH 2.0
Steering Committee, Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0)
The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0 comprises:
Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan (Co-Chairperson), Datuk A. Samad Said (Co-Chairperson), Ahmad Shukri Abdul Razab, Andrew Khoo, Arul Prakkash, Arumugam K., Dr Farouk Musa, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Subramaniam Pillay, Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Dato’ Yeo Yang Poh and Zaid Kamaruddin.