World is taking stock of Najib's inability to handle Bersih
The Home Minister of Malaysia’s outright ban on the wearing of anything yellow – be it a T-shirt, shoes, pants or skirts, headband, or whatsoever, is imparting shockwaves down the spine of caring, concerned citizens.
The Home Minister’s announcement and the immediate police action that went into over-drive with premises raided, will be ringing alarm bells all over the world for certain.
The learned professor from the International Islamic University in Malaysia has in all honesty and with courage pointed out that there is no law in the country to effect such a ban. And that the highest law of a democratic nation - the Constitution of Malaysia is being compromised.
The authorities are claiming that this mother of all bans on wearing anything yellow and suggesting ‘Bersih 2.0’ is being invoked for “national security”. Simultaneously more threats are being pumped out of the government’s nozzle – i.e. the police, the various pro-UMNO and BN agentries and from the corriodors of vested interests.
Arrests have already started and more are expected. Those under detention are claimed to be abused with absolute disregard for human dignity and basic rights as provided for under the law.
Bullying, rowdiness and vandalism against those supporting the rally for a fair, clean and just election is seen to be on the rise and unabated while some are even condoned with absolution.
The media is being encouraged and protected to spew wild, fiery and seditious allegations with impunity.
Parliamentary immunity is compromised. Parliamentary sessions are also being bulldozed through with utter disregard for democracy and respect for the august house.
Now, all these are certainly more threatening to national security than the Bersih 2.0 rally. But how come the equation does not tally? How long more does the government of the day want to fight this induced war on its citizenry?
World is taking stock
Indeed it is becoming crystal clear - by any accounts you use to validate the incidents talking shape in the country, that democracy has been finally quarantined with the ban on the yellow color.
Truly, bitter as it may be, the truth is when the citizens are denied of a free and peaceful assembly, the Constitutional rights have been hung. When the most supreme law of a nation – the Constitution, is not kept to the letter, democracy has been compromised.
The world is taking stock of the current Malaysian PM’s inability to deal with this development that is already deep into a crisis mode through the government’s own doing. In fact, with the latest announcement by the highest authority of law enforcement – the Home Minister, Malaysia has virtually entered a crisis stage and no less.
The leaders in the region are also very concerned with the way the government is reacting on a daily basis. It is not an understatement to say that many of these democratic leaders are distancing themselves from Malaysia.
Civil society organizations in the region and the world are also zooming their lens on Malaysia. Painful as it may be to the ears and egos of power, the government has failed to tackle the cause and concern in a mature, transparent and respectful manner from the beginning without compromising democracy.
It appears that going by the series of actions forced upon the rakyat in the interest of “national security”, the Malaysian government has provided an impetus for the citizens to now join the ranks of the worldwide community of civil society protesting against perceived or real tyranny, regimes, and police state brutality.
The ‘American Dream’ for true democracy and civil liberties that is sweeping the globe today has finally been invited by the kind courtesy of the Malaysian government, i.e. the Home Minister, with this ‘yellow T-shirt and anything yellow’ blanket ban.
- J. D. Lovrenciear is a reader and contributor to Malaysia Chronicle