Tuesday, 15 May 2012

RTM documentary demonises Bersih 3.0

The state-owned TV1 aired a 30-minute documentary on Sunday night on the Bersih 3.0 rally, designed to reinforce claims that the rally was part of a conspiracy which included a coup d'├ętat attempt.

Entitled Bersih 3.0 itu kotor (Bersih 3.0 is dirty), the documentary relies heavily on images of protestors hurling abuse and projectiles at the police, and the breach of the Dataran Merdeka cordon.

Early into the footage, Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan is shown pledging that the demonstrators will respect a court order barring entry into Dataran Merdeka.

This is immediately followed by visuals of the breach, damage to public and police property, and protestors taunting passing police vehicles the night before the rally.

NONEStressing that there was a "non-engagement" policy before the breach, the narrator asks why the organiser had turned down offers to hold the rally in a closed environment and had chosen downtown Kuala Lumpur instead.

"Maybe they purposely wanted to attract the attention of the foreign media," says the narrator.

Political analyst Ibrahim Sualman says it would appear that the demonstrators had struck first to trigger the police reaction.

This allowed video evidence to be captured and prepared for the foreign press, he claims in the footage.

"What do you call this (behaviour)? There is an enemy within," says Ibrahim, alluding to the claim that the protestors are traitors.

The footage provides visuals of the anti-National Higher Education Fund movement, which had begun protesting two weeks before the rally, including attempts to occupy Dataran Merdeka.

"One incident after another took place, as though an action plan had been laid out, that was planned well beforehand," says the narrator.

Heavy emphasis is placed on violence behaviour of some protestors toward the police and a media practitioner.

One scene shows a police personnel allegedly being attacked inside an ambulance, while several scenes show police vehicles being pelted with projectiles.

Al Hijrah videographer Mohamad Azri Salleh relates how he was beaten up by protestors while trying to save a police personnel.

Azri, who received nine stiches on his head, says: "At the time, I asked myself whether I was dreaming. I didn't think that such things can happen in Malaysia.”

Anwar targetted

Ultimately, the documentary attempts to guide viewers into scrutinising the conduct of PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim during the rally and his purported attempt to use Bersih 3.0 to  “seize power”.

NONEAnwar is repeatedly featured, with part of the footage devoted to his infamous hand signal to PKR deputy president Azmin Ali seconds before the barricade was breached.

"Maybe this visual will give the proper perspective," says the narrator before asking where the “leaders and icons” had disappeared when chaos erupted.

Azmin is shown giving a speech before the breach, in which he announces that the protestors will "enter" Dataran Merdeka.

"When our numbers become big, we will charge (rempuh) at them. Agree?" asks Azmin, to which the crowd replies "Yes!".

 NONEThe documentary also features an interview with former police chief Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor (left), who expresses his belief that Marxist elements were spotted at the rally.

"What we are facing is a mass movement. This term is used by Marxists at one time. Marxism spawned communism and socialism,” he says.

"Obviously, what happened during the rally was an attempt to seize power, which violates the federal constitution.”

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