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Friday, June 29, 2012

Say sorry, Bersih tells Najib

Najib's unwillingness to act against the MPs means 'BN is a habitually violent party', said the electoral reform watchdog.
PETALING JAYA: Electoral reform watchdog Bersih wants Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to apologise over a remark by a Barisan Nasional MP that its co-chairperson S Ambiga should be hanged for treason.
Sri Gading MP Mohamad Aziz said in Parliament on Tuesday night that Ambiga should be tried and hanged for treason for organising the Bersih 3.0 rally.
“We call on Najib to apologise over the call by two Umno MPs to have Bersih co-chairperson tried and hanged,” Bersih 2.0 steering committee said in a statement.
Besides Mohamad, Lenggong MP Shamsul Anuar Nasarah also supported the suggestion to hang Ambiga for the “treasonous” act of organising the April 28 Bersih rally for free and fair elections.
The statement noted that Najib and BN chief whip Nazri Aziz were keeping quiet about taking disciplinary action against the duo, adding this meant “BN is a habitually violent party”.
The steering committee said Najib’s inaction and the “witch-hunt campaign against Bersih 2.0 leaders” had given the impression that Najib is a “false democrat”.
The term “false democrat” was coined by Canadian journalist Mark MacKinnon on Sunday in an article entitled “A Roster of the Modern Democrats” published in The Globe and Mail.
Yesterday, BN secretary-general and Putrajaya MP Tengku Adnan Mansor said Mohamad’s statement was his personal opinion and did not reflect the ruling coalition’s stand.
But the Bersih committee rejected Adnan’s statement, saying:
“No self-respecting prime minister would… expect to disown his coalition’s responsibility with an excuse that it was the personal opinion [of the MP].”
Mohamad also later retracted his remark in the Dewan Rakyat when instructed to do so by Deputy Speaker Wan Junaidi Jaffar.
“… if the statement I made had hurt my Indian friends, the MIC or PPP. If it hurts my colleagues in BN, and affects our spirit of understanding, then I retract what I said…” he said.
But the committee brushed off Mohamad’s retraction, saying “it shows his thinly veiled arrogance despite the nationwide outcry [against his remark]”.
“Mohamad did not even bother to apologise to Ambiga, Bersih and 250,000 Malaysians who went to the street on April 28 for electoral reform.
“And Shamsul did not even withdraw his support for Mohamad’s statement.”

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