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Saturday, July 30, 2011

PAS to screen, distribute 200,000 Bersih DVDs

PAS worries that the focus on the rally itself was diverting attention away from Bersih’s purpose. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — PAS members will air Bersih videos and distribute some 200,000 DVDs on the rally in their respective villages this Hari Raya, hoping to counter police claims that no violence had been used against protestors.

The move is part of the Islamist party’s “balik kampung” programme, which will run throughout the Ramadan fasting month until Hari Raya, and is aimed at helping PAS garner more support ahead of the coming polls.

PAS information chief Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man told The Malaysian Insider that the party was concerned that villagers have been unable to access the exact information on what transpired on July 9 and is determined to correct the version issued by the police.

“This whole thing has been manipulated by many parties so we need the people to know the true chronology of events... mainly, why Bersih was held and what are their demands,” he said.

He added that, at present, so much focus has been given to the rally itself that people have forgotten Bersih’s original purpose, which is to fight for electoral reforms.

The DVDs that PAS will produce, he said, would be a mash-up of events and pictures leading up to July 9, including Bersih’s first rally in 2007.

“We will show the chronology... from the first rally then to the second and we will show clips and pictures of what happened during the last one.

“People must understand that Bersih is not about the rally alone but about the struggle to correct the election process in Malaysia,” he said.

But Tuan Ibrahim denied that the videos were meant to “provoke” hatred from the publicagainst the administration, insisting that its sole purpose is to “inform”.

“We have not decided on the total amount yet but it will be not less than 200,000. We will also distribute leaflets on the event so that people can read them and understand the issue better.

“But this is no to provoke... this is only to inform,” he said.

PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar told The Malaysian Insider that apart from distributing the DVDs and leaflets, PAS members have also been encouraged to air the Bersih rally videos during their Hari Raya activities.

“We have asked our members to play the videos everywhere during (Hari) Raya. Many of our supporters and members will balik kampung for the celebration and we want them to screen these recordings at home to their relatives, during functions, during open houses, during dinners.... we want to show the people how aggressive the police were and how basic human rights were denied,” he said.

Mahfuz added that many rural folk have already requested to view the recordings as some do not have access to the Internet or the alternative media.

“But be reminded that this effort is not to create a hatred for the police. On the contrary, we want to show how the police force has been used by the government as pawns in their political games,” he said.

The Pokok Sena MP also said that the move may help the party gain more support and increases its membership.

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