Sunday 26 June 2011

Utusan demonises Ambiga ahead of Bersih rally

June 26, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 — Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia continued its attacks against Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan today with its weekend edition portraying her as anti-Malay and anti-Islam.

The Mingguan Malaysia lead story today read “Siapa sebenarnya Ambiga? (Who is the real Ambiga?” and featured pro-Umno political analysts like Perkasa member Datuk Paduka Prof Dr Ramlah Adam and Prof Datuk Dr Zainal Kling.

The article quoted the analysts as warning Malays against supporting the Bersih rally, and accused Ambiga of having a track record of “angering Muslims and Malays.”

The Malay paper pointed out that the former Bar Council president had defended apostate Lina Joy and opposed Syariah laws banning apostasy among Muslims. Utusan also said that as Bar Council president Ambiga had accepted a memorandum on the formation of an inter-faith commission, which made 14 demands which “questioned” the position of Islam.

“As a lawyer, Ambiga knows better than most that an assembly without a permit is illegal. I don’t understand why she is planning to go ahead with it despite protests from various groups,” Ramlah  was quoted as saying.
UPSI academic Zainal Kling charged that the Bersih rally was political in nature, and that the organisers were pro-Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

“They (Bersih organisers) should demonstrate as a political party rather than an NGO. Then people will know what their real objectives are,” he said.

A death threat has been issued against Ambiga earlier this week for planning the July 9 rally to fight for free and fair elections. She has stressed however that the rally will carry on as planned.

The first rally in 2007 saw up to 50,000 people take to the capital’s street before they were dispersed by police armed with tear gas and water cannons.

Malay rights group Perkasa has also threatened a counter rally if Bersih continues with its plans while Umno Youth said it will hold a rally in support of the Election Commission, which is the subject of Bersih’s demands.
PAS has asked for one million members to take to the streets on July 9 to support Bersih, which has also organised rallies in several cities across the world.

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