The government has declared a truce with the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0), agreeing to allow its rally to be held in a stadium.
"I understand Bersih wants to have a meeting with the government on having the rally in a stadium (and) we are ready to meet them," Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said today.
However, he said the organisers must agree to several conditions.
"(They must) go peacefully, assemble peacefully and leave peacefully," said Najib.
Earlier today,three members of Bersih 2.0 were granted an audience by the Agong, during which they agreed to hold the rally in a stadium as a compromise to the original idea of a street rally.However, no details of the venue and date were immediately available. - Malaysiakini, 5/7/2011, PM gives nod to rally in stadium
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Immediately release all arrested & withdraw charges in connection with the movement for free and fair elections
And now, as a show of good faith, the Prime Minister Najib and the BN government must immediately release all those arrested and detained in connection with BERSIH 2.0, the movement for free and fair elections.
Will the charges all be dropped? Will those being detained under Detention Without Trial laws be immediately and unconditionally released?
The government must do this by reason of what has happened after the meeting with the Yang Di Pertuan Agung, and also following the government's offer to allow the BERSIH 2.0 rally to proceed in a Stadium, which was accepted by BERSIH.
The Home Minister's declaration that BERSIH 2.0 is unlawful seems absurd now, and must be immediately revoked.
Note also that it is our Prime Minister, that made the proposal to BERSIH 2.0, and they have accepted it, i.e. to have the rally at a Stadium. It is absurd to still say that the coalition is 'unlawful' and the T-shirts and other campaign material is still 'subversive'.
In my opinion, the continued detention and charges in court will be contrary to very intention of the Yang Di Pertuan Agung, our Prime Minister Najib Razak and the government. All materials seized must also be returned now - possibly to be used in the peaceful assembly at the Stadium.
To be fair, PERKASA must also be given a different Stadium venue for their peaceful rally to express their views and opinions on free and fair elections.
To be fair, similar provisions must also be given to the UMNO Youth for their event.
Surely, both PERKASA and UMNO Youth should also receive equal treatment and accorded the opportunity to express themselves on the issue of free and fair elections. If they now decide, that they do not want to do so in a closed Stadium, then their very intention for wanting also to have a 'peaceful assembly' at the same time becomes a question.
Many will now say that all they wanted was to just prevent the exercise of BERSIH 2.0's right to a peaceful assembly and freedom of expression/speech.
PERKASA and UMNO Youth must also proceed and have their own events, and prove me wrong - showing that they had something to say about the issue of free and fair elections, and was not merely interested in disrupting the BERSIH event.
We will all also look at the number of persons that attend the PERKASA and the UMNO Youth event to access whether they really do have the support of ordinary Malaysians - or whether it was just a small number. Or maybe, they will not have the event because they really do not have much support.
A peaceful assembly in a Stadium would surely attract a much smaller number - because for many it would have been to lobby for more support from other ordinary Malaysians - who are sitting on the fence now. In a stadium, this audience will not be there & it may be more just people of the same stand coming together.
Will the event be covered by RTM, TV, Radio and mainstream media so that the points expressed can and will be communicated to all Malaysians for their consideration - and maybe ultimately their decision, i.e. to support all, to support some, to reject all, to reject some or to still remain indifferent and take no position.