The Violence Must Stop

Bersih 2.0 Thursday April 18th, 2013 0

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Press Statement, 18 April 2013

The Violence Must Stop

BERSIH 2.0 expresses serious concern over the continued incidences of violence in the run-up to the 13th General Election. The most serious of these incidents involved a man who was reportedly stabbed and assaulted by a group of men whilst putting up flags for his party in Terengganu. According to media reports, not only was the man severely injured, those who attempted to assist him were also threatened with violence.

We acknowledge and commend the swift action of the Terengganu police in finding and arresting the assailants. We call on the Kuala Lumpur police to follow their example and act on the numerous police reports made in Lembah Pantai by Nurul Izzah Anwar, the incumbent MP, and Parti Keadilan Rakyat workers alleging ongoing violence and threats in the constituency. In a case reported by the media on 13 April, a PKR campaign worker was allegedly threatened with a machete.

BERSIH 2.0 reminds the police that it is the responsibility of the police force to ensure the safety of all Malaysians, including supporters and politicians of both side of the political divide at all times. We are further disappointed that rather than making sure that police action against violence and violations of the law is consistently commendable throughout the country, the police is instead resorting to scare tactics. Of particular disappointment is the arrest and questioning of Lee Lan and three other individuals in Bidor, Perak, simply for raising awareness on the issues surrounding the death of her brother, Teoh Beng Hock.

Caretaker governments continue to flagrantly abuse government resources to campaign for political parties. Institutions such as the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, which functions independently regardless of the political party in power, should not be used to bolster an election campaign, as it has been by Raja Nong Chik in the Lembah Pantai constituency. Millions of taxpayers’ money have been poured into schemes and allocations since the dissolution of Parliament, in what appears to be transparent efforts to sweeten the image of political parties contesting in the elections. We question the reported spending of RM73 million by the Prime Minister’s Office in advertisements and public relations exercises.

We acknowledge that the Selangor government has responded to our previous statement and sought to explain their position. There is a need to clarify when decisions were made on actions undertaken after the dissolution of Parliament or a State Assembly. However, while we acknowledge that this is considered to be a grey area in Malaysia, caretaker governments must be more prudent. Decisions taken before dissolution can be announced and carried out by civil servants, instead of the incumbent elected representative.

BERSIH 2.0 reminds all participants of the 13th General Election to hold themselves to the highest standard of behaviour. We urge all Malaysians to report any incidents of political violence and electoral misconduct to the authorities immediately, and to work with the police on these issues. A copy of police reports made can also be forwarded to BERSIH 2.0 for our monitoring.

Thank you.

Special Committee on Code of Conduct

On behalf of the Steering Committee of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0 (BERSIH 2.0)

The Special Committee comprises:

Irene Fernandez

Zaid Kamaruddin

Yap Swee Seng

Jerald Joseph

Liza Bong

Anne Lasimbang

Dr Farouk Musa

Incidences Observed Since 11 April 2013

Political Violence

5 April – An UMNO leader has allegedly slapped a man who visited his office at Putrajaya.

11 April – A party worker was attacked and stabbed by a group of man while hanging party flags at Felda Neran, Terengganu.

11 April – The police made a statement that among 108 reports they received nationwide ahead of polling day relates to incidents involving the burning of party flags and scuffles among political supporters.

13 April – Burned party flags belonging to PAS and PKR was reported to be seen in Sg. Petani.

13 April – As reported by Nurul Izzah, a campaign worker was threatened with a machete amidst the ongoing violence and threats at areas under her constituency including Lembah Pantai and Bangsar.

15 April – A PAS operation centre PAS UPU Felcra Nasarudin, Perak was alledley burnt in the wee hours of the morning.

15 April – Two men were reported to be assaulted and seriously injured while putting up political party flags along Jalan Perak in Georgetown, Penang.

16 April – It was reported that a hawker in Penang was attacked and beaten by a group of men when he attempted to remove 1Malaysia flags which was put up within his house compound.

Other violations with regards to the Code of Conduct for Participants of the 13th General Election and Caretaker Government Guidelines

April – The use of the 1Malaysia logo, a government transformation program and initiative, on Barisan National party flags and campaign advertisements for the coalition. These flags have been reported to be seen in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor among others.

13 April – It was announced that the federal government has allocate RM2.25 million to beautify Sabah’s first housing settlement, Taman Perumahan Keramat under the rental and resettlement programme. The announcement was made by Plantation Industries and Commodities minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.

13 April – Dato’ Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim announced a contribution from the federal government of RM200,000 to build a branch of Petekma  (Pertubuhan Teksi Malaysia) in Langkawi and also gave RM25,000 as an administrative contribution for this year.

14 April – Caretaker Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak announced RM3.84m allocation for several Sikhs organisations during the 2013 Vaisakhi celebration at the Petaling Jaya Gurdwara.

15 April – Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin made an announcement of RM2 million grant from the government channelled via Dewan Bahasa Pustaka for local writers at a writers get together held at Kuala Lumpur.

15 April – Dato’ Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim announced a RM5 million allocation to FINAS in collaboration with the Malaysian Communications And Multimedia Commission (MCMC) at Cyberjaya.

15 April – Sabah State Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism director Noor Alam Khan announced that the federal government has allocated RM100 million to Sabah for implementation of the price standardisation programme in rural areas and islands in the state.

15 April – Two online news portals Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider as well as an online channel KiniTV was denied access from covering caretaker Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak’s announcement of the BN’s general election candidates.

16 April – It was reported that caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and caretaker Education held a meeting in Johor with selected teachers from the Chinese schools where mock cheques amounting to RM14.3 million was also given out.

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