Friday 23 September 2011

Bersih: Undilah ban contradicts Najib’s reforms

September 23, 2011
PETALING JAYA, Sept 23 — Bersih said today the ban on a video promoting the right to vote flies in the face of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s push for greater democracy.

The electoral reforms movement called for the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to allow the Undilah public service announcement to be aired by local broadcasters as it posed no threat to the public.

“It’s sad that a video like that can be seen as threatening. If that is considered sensitive, what kind of democracy and political liberalisation is the prime minister talking about?

“It looks like he is doing one thing while his government is doing something else,” steering committee member Subramaniam Pillay told a press conference this morning.

The Malaysian Insider reported this morning that the MCMC directed local broadcasters not to use the video because it contains opposition figures and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s speech about Malaysia having problems.

“What is wrong with asking people to vote? Even the 1 Malaysia campaign asks people to vote,” added another steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah.

Najib had announced on September 15 a raft of reforms that included repealing the Internal Security Act and ending the requirement for printing and publishing permits to be renewed annually.

The prime minister said in his Malaysia Day address that the reforms were necessary as the public has matured and should be given more freedom.

Subramaniam also said today that the ban was made more alarming as “the video is not even partisan.”
Apart from Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh, the video also features other Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders such as Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong and Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abd Rashid Shirlin.

Opposition figures include Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad and Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

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