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Bersih 2.0 – a BN screw up

 | August 3, 2011

PSM's Dr Michael D Jeyakumar fails to understand why the government turned the issue into a political fiasco.

BUTTERWORTH: Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) leader Dr Michael D Jeyakumar today slammed the federal government for blatant mismanagement of the Bersih 2.0 rally.

The Sungai Siput MP said he could not understand why the Umno-led Putrajaya administration turned the issue into a political fiasco.

He called on Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail to drop the charges against the 30 PSM leaders and members, including him, for allegedly being in possession of 600 photocopies of Bersih pamphlets and subversive documents.

Jeyakumar, who was charged at the Sessions Court here today, said the government’s mismanagement severely damaged the country’s reputation both internationally and domestically.

“More people have got upset with the government’s wrong handling of the Bersih rally. We should not have been detained or charged either. The charges should be dropped,” he told reporters.

Jeyakumar and 29 others from PSM face charges under the Societies Act pertaining to the Bersih 2.0 pamphlets and the Internal Security Act for the subversive documents.

Of them, 24 were charged last month.

The six charged today were released last Friday, after being held for 28 days without trial under the draconian Emergency Ordinance 1969.

Constructive dialogues

Jeyakumar said the government could have engaged Bersih 2.0 in constructive dialogues to find amicable solutions to the issues pertaining to free and fair elections.

He added that even Barisan Nasional leaders would want a free and fair electoral process.

If only the BN government had moved together with Bersih 2.0 to conduct free and fair elections, he believes that Pakatan Rakyat would have been forced to take the backseat.

He insisted that the government should have allowed PSM to carry out its nationwide “Udahlah Bersaralah” political campaign.

“PSM would not have influenced many people with its campaign. But the police crackdown on us has given PSM positive publicity and influenced people to look into our campaign as well,” he said.

Jeyakumar said he could not comprehend the government’s hard line stand on Bersih 2.0 when it should have learnt from the mishandling of demonstrations such as the Bersih 1.0 and Hindraf rallies in 2007.

“Only the government can answer this,” he said.

Also read:

EO6 charged with having subversive documents


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