Friday 24 August 2012

Low turnout not an issue, says Janji Demokrasi

The home minister’s expected low turnout at the Janji Demokrasi gathering would not be an issue, said the working committee’s spokesperson Hishamuddin Rais. 

“I really appreciate the Home Affairs Minister (Hishammuddin Hussein), who has the ability to become a bomoh and Pak Nujum(witchdoctor and fortune teller), like a seer who can see the future.

“That is good. That is really good. For us it not a question of how big is the crowd or how small is the crowd. It is people coming that night wearing yellow, that’s all,” he said. 

He said this when approached by reporters to comment on the minister’s statement that the turnout would be low because the violence during Bersih 3.0 would turn off many would-be participants.
Hishammuddin Hussein was at the time asked to comment about the Kuala Lumpur Petty Traders Association’s move to take “aggressive action” if the Janji Bersih gathering takes place. 

Janji Bersih is Janji Demokrasi’s former name, changed partly to show that it is not part of the Bersih coalition.

Supported by 47 NGOs, it plans to join the Merdeka eve celebrations at Dataran Merdeka wearing yellow to remind the government of unfulfilled promises of electoral reform. Its name is also a play on the government’s ‘Janji Ditepati’ (Promises Fulfilled) theme for the National Day celebrations. 

NONEDuring a press conference earlier, Warga Aman chairperson Raja Retinam (right) also announced that the event would also be held at countdowns in Malacca, Johor, and Perak, beginning from 10pm until the end of the countdown. 

“The goal is that in conjunction with the celebrations for the 55th National Day, we wish to remind the rulers that our democracy is crumbling. It has been eroded many times. We wish to return it to the original democracy, as stated in the constitution,” he said. 

Members of the working committee were also asked whether they were facing problems in the run-up to the event next week. 

“So far, so good, touch wood. We are not facing any trouble,” Hishamuddin Rais replied, adding that the activities should not be threatened because all that would be done is to wear yellow, and national laureate A Samad Said is also expected to recite a poem. 

“We forbid anyone from bringing placards, banners, or shout slogans. We have agreed on this. This is only to celebrate the Merdeka eve together (with members of the public). Clear?” he said.

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