A coalition of NGOs is calling on Malaysians to turn up at the court next week to express their support for Bersih.
This is what a coalition of NGOs hopes to see when the High Court hears electoral watchdog Bersih’s challenge against the home minister’s decision to declare it an unlawful outfit.
On July 1 last year, Hishammuddin Hussein claimed that Bersih was allegedly “being used for purposes prejudicial to the interest of the security of Malaysia and public order”.
The minister’s order was issued eight days before the mammoth Bersih 2.0 rally, which drew tens of thousands to the city streets.
Speaking to FMT, WargaAman secretary-general S Barathidasan called on Malaysians of all races to congregate at the court next Tuesday morning to express their support for Bersih and its leaders.
Calling it a show of solidarity, he said Malaysians must send a strong message once again to the authorities that Bersih represented their voice.
“It is imperative that we show our support for [Bersih co-chairperson] S Ambiga and the other leaders. These people are not criminals but those fighting for our rights.
“Bersih is only demanding for clean, free and fair elections. How can this be prejudicial to national security? Perhaps it is a threat to Barisan Nasional’s security,” he added.
Barathidasan pointed out that Bersih leaders, especially Ambiga, had endured much harassment and intimidation as a result of standing up for Malaysians.
“So by turning up at the court, Malaysians will be able to express our gratitude and let the Bersih leaders know that the hardships they face are not in vain,” he added.
Noting that it was a working day, Barathidasan said those who could take time off should participate in the gathering.
WargaAman also urged Malaysians to spread the message via social networking site Facebook, emails and mobile phone text messages.
“Come next Tuesday, we hope that the court will look like a yellow sea,” he stressed.
“This will once again remind the government that Bersih is an organisation by the people and for the people. It represents the voice of all Malaysians,” he added.
On April 28 this year, Bersih held another rally, which was on a larger scale than the previous one.
Both the 2.0 and 3.0 rallies dealt a severe blow to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s administration, which later accused the opposition and the organiser of attempting to recreate an Arab spring here.
Subsquently, Ambiga became the target of criticisms and numerous protests. Recently, she was also notified via email of a death threat against her.
The goverment and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had also resorted to separate legal actions to claim compensation from Bersih for the damages incurred during the last rally.
Meanwhile, Bersih steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah expressed gratitude to WargaAman for continuing to back the movement.
“We thank them for their support. We will wait for the court’s decision [to determine the next course of action],” she told FMT.