Monday 18 July 2011

Protesters greet Najib with 'Yellow Submarine' song

The final protest last Friday during Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's visit to London saw more than 50 Malaysians and foreigners wearing yellow, with the Beatles song 'Yellow Submarine' played to highlight the use of violence in the clampdown on protesters a week earlier.

NONEHeld in front of the Intercontinental Hotel, London, the protesters were carrying banners which read “Yes to tourism, no to torture” and placards with the words “Free our leaders now”, “Stop detention without trial”, “No trade with brutal Malaysia regime” and shouting slogans like “Shame, shame, shame on you, Najib”.

Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor, along with Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman, were on hand to attend a dinner at the hotel.

The protests, from 7pm to 8pm on June 15, have managed to attract many people to support its cause, said PKR Youth leader Ginie Lim.

NONEOut of the four top-gun officials, only Anifah (right) had met and engaged in a 15-minute dialogue with the protesters, while the other VIPs went straight into the hotel.

Anifah was asked over the detention without trial of the six Parti Sosialis Malaysia leaders who are currently being held under the Emergency Ordinance (EO), about which the London demonstrators expressed their concern.

Anifah noted their concern but also expressed concern with the safety of the people and also businesses in the vicinity and urged the protesters in London to understand.

Defending the authorities hard-line action, Anifah said, “The police action is justified as Malaysia has diverse races, and if there is chaos it may lead to racial riots. We do not want to take the risk despite some claiming that the people have matured.”

“You do not know what happened, you were not there,” said the foreign minister.

Asked as to when the six held under EO will be released, Anifah told them to ask Hishammuddin.

Those present in the protest included Amnesty International representative Josef Roy, human rights activist John Liu and Bersih steering committee member and lawyer Andrew Khoo.

It was reported that Najib's first official visit to Britain as prime minister was greeted by protesters in yellow condemning the high-handed crackdown on the Bersih 2.0 rally last Saturday demanding electoral reform.

Meeting Cameron and the Queen

Protests greeted Najib as he arrived at Mansion House and also Downing street in meeting his British counterpart David Cameron at his official residence.

najib visit united kingdom 150711 najib meet with queen elizabethNajib (left) and Rosmah also paid a courtesy call on Queen Elizabeth II (right).

Khoo commended the protesters for turning up and supporting Bersih's call for clean and fair elections.

He told the gathering that the Malaysian Human Rights Commission will hold an inquiry over what had happened on July 9, and he said they will continue in any way they can for electoral reform.

“We want a complete review of the entire system or the entire process of election and correct the misinformation put up by the government,” he said.

“Anifah had said you don't know what happened, but Najib had in Jakarta said the era the government knows best is over and we have to consult civil society. That is what he (Najib) is saying outside (the country) but when he comes back home he (Najib) is hardly a moderate,” he said.

Using Najib's speech to Umno leaders a day after the July 9 rally as an example, Khoo said the politician behaved in an “un-prime ministerial” fashion, the opposite of what he preached outside the country.

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