PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah, shocked by a government threat to blacklist Bersih sponsors, has demanded to know Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s reasons for making the threat.
Rahman, who supervises the Economic Planning Unit and Public-Private Partnership Unit, said companies seeking government contracts would be scrutinised to see if they were helping to fund Bersih.
Chin said it was a shocking decision as Bersih, a reform coalition of varous groups, was formed to fight corruption, and for good governance and free and fair elections.
“What issue does he have against Bersih? Is it anti-corruption, or clean and fair elections? He is intimidating companies (by threatening to blacklist them),” she said.
Abdul Rahman, who is a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, had said the time to be soft and tolerant has ended, in agreeing with the Awang Selamat column in Mingguan Malaysia calling for action against businesses which support Bersih.
Chin said Rahman had no right to dictate which company could fund Bersih, as it was a “free market and it comes under the freedom of association.”
Rahman did not have the right to discriminate against the business communities. “We are not selling firearms. We are just fighting for clean elections and we are against corruption,” she said.
Chin pointed out that Bersih had often invited politicians from both sides to join their rallies and convoy.
Bersih plans to hold a street rally on Nov 19 in Kuala Lumpur to demand the resignation of prime minister Najib Razak and to call for political reforms.