Friday 6 April 2012

Bersih 3.0: Nazri is 'ignorant and arrogant'

A former federal minister today slammed de facto law minister Nazri Abdul Aziz over his response to the planned Bersih 3.0, calling it indicative of the ignorance and arrogance of the Barisan Nasional.
“Nazri’s statement that the planned Bersih rally is illegal, and that the selected venue is not gazetted as a permissible place for public gathering is another example of the BN’s failure to deal with problems in a sensible way.

NONE“It smacks of the same ignorance and arrogance of not wanting to do the right thing,” said Zaid Ibrahim (left), who is also Kita president.

Zaid also refuted Nazri’s claim that Dataran Merdeka is not a place where public assemblies can be held.
"The venue is not one that is expressly excluded under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2011, so the minister and the police should just cooperate and allow the gathering at Dataran Merdeka or anywhere else to take place without much fuss," reasoned the former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
Zaid added that while he will not comment for now on the merits of Pakatan Rakyat expressing support for the planned gathering, he can see how Pakatan's action can help build momentum for their upcoming general election campaign.
However, he said Pakatan’s involvement in Bersih 3.0 was triggering such neanderthal response from BN ministers.

“The government however is unable to react in a proper way to events involving the opposition because their ministers - many of whom come from the Mahathir regime - are not properly trained to do so.”

The BN leaders, Zaid alleged, live by the motto that power and might is right, and see the opposition, the NGOs and the Bar Council as “anti-government”.

This is why their default reactions are always marked by suppression and antagonism, he said.

“They are not keen to engage and properly discuss issues with the opposition. Hostility and force might have done the trick 25 years ago, but not now,” he added.

Zaid said that if the ruling coalition was really sincere with its professed reforms then “they should accept the rights of the rakyat to assemble freely and express valid dissent”.

“They eyes of the world are fixed on Malaysia and it bodes ill of our repute if more violence were to follow,” he added.

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