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Friday, August 28, 2015

Home Ministry bans yellow clothing, ‘Bersih 4’ words

A screengrab of the government gazette banning yellow clothing, as well as clothes with the words 'Bersih 4,' and also printed material connected to the rally that is set to take place tomorrow and Sunday in Kuala Lumpur and other cities. – August 28, 2015.A screengrab of the government gazette banning yellow clothing, as well as clothes with the words 'Bersih 4,' and also printed material connected to the rally that is set to take place tomorrow and Sunday in Kuala Lumpur and other cities. – August 28, 2015.Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has banned the use of yellow with the words Bersih 4 in whatever form ahead of the rally in three Malaysian cities tomorrow.
A government gazette signed by the minister yesterday and which came into effect today states that the order was made under the Printing, Presses and Publications Act 1984.
The Printing Presses and Publications (Control of Undesirable Publications) (No. 22) Order 2015 lists as "absolutely prohibited throughout Malaysia" the following items:
A copy of the order in a Federal Government Gazette is available online. It was dated August 27 and comes into force today.
The order states that the "printing, importation, production, reproduction, publishing, sale, issue, circulation, distribution, or possession" of these items are "likely prejudicial to public order," as well as to security and national interest.
News of the order began circulating this evening, some 12 hours ahead of the rally which kicks off in the capital city at 2pm tomorrow.
In an immediate response, Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah told those bent on using the tees to proceed if they wished to do so.
"For those who have already made up their minds, carry on wearing your #Bersih4 t-shirts tomorrow. If you want to be cheeky, try adding a point zero after the number 4 on your t-shirt," she said.
She said those who are "anxious" or first-timers could wear any other attire, adding that they could wave the Malaysian flag to celebrate Merdeka which falls on Monday.
Bersih 2.0 steering committee member New Sin Yew said the order had effectively made millions of Malaysians criminal.

He said it was made with bad faith and should be challenged in court.

"It is clear that it is made to disrupt and prevent the people from exercising their freedom of expression," he told The Malaysian Insider.

New, who is a lawyer, said the order flies in the face of reason and common sense.

"There is a word for this, xanthophobia, fear of the colour yellow. Zahid has become xanthophobic," he said.

New urged the public to come to the rally without any fear because the order was unreasonable.
The rally organiser, electoral reform group Bersih 2.0, this week sold at least 35,000 rally t-shirts and received RM2 million in public donations – a response it described as overwhelming and unprecedented.
The rally's demands this time are for institutional reform, the right to protest, a corruption-free and clean government and political system, and measures to save the economy.
This is the fourth Bersih rally since the first in 2007, and is held at a time when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is under pressure to account for an alleged financial scandal involving Finance Ministry-owned 1Malaysia Development Bhd, as well as a RM2.6 billion political donation that went into his personal bank accounts.
Participants of the rally in Kuala Lumpur are planning to meet at five locations across the city before converging on the streets around Dataran Merdeka, where they plan to stage an overnight camp-out.
Police have declared the rally illegal, but lawyers say there is no law to stop people from gathering peacefully.
- TMI

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