Press Statement by DAP Secretary-General and MP for Bagan Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on 27.4.2012
With a politically-motivated Elections Commission (EC), Malaysians face the dirtiest general elections in history. As all other efforts to clean up the electoral process has failed, civil society has no other choice but to group under Bersih to involve all Malaysians to press for clean elections in the Bersih sit in protest tomorrow.
I am therefore compelled to publicly chastise Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz’s irresponsible remarks opposing Bersih’s right to assemble peacefully and conduct a sit-in protest at Dataran Merdeka at 2pm 28.4.2012 to press for clean, free, fair and independent elections. Tunku’s remarks is not the DAP stand but his own personal view. Senator Tunku is alone amongst the entire DAP Central Executive Committee in his stand on Bersih 3.0 at Dataran Merdeka.
Tunku has not notified the party leadership that he would be making his position publicly. By making his stand public, Tunku has contradicted the principle of collective leadership and decision-making where whilst one can disagree, but as leaders we all have to abide by the majority decision made by the party leadership.
This has placed the party in an embarrassing position of being criticized by our own Senator for fully endorsing Bersih’s sit-in protest as an exercise of a basic human right of peaceful assembly.
By opposing Bersih when so many Malaysians are working hard to effect change for a clean electoral process, Tunku has undermined their efforts and given a gift to BN and the tainted EC.
I have conveyed to Tunku Aziz the party’s rebuke and the unhappiness of almost all DAP members at the public expression of his personel views against Bersih’s sit-in protest. I have also impressed upon him that whilst DAP allow differences of opinion within the party, publicly opposing a policy decision taken by the party in the manner Tunku has conducted himself does more harm than good.
For the electorally abuses by a politically inclined EC, where its top officials were UMNO members that has allowed itself to be used as a tool by BN, DAP fully supports and will mobilize its members for the Bersih sit-in protest for clean elections on 2pm 28 April 2012 nation-wide. DAP urges all Malaysians to join the Bersih rallies nation-wide, especially at Dataran Merdeka.
DAP strongly condemns the actions and warnings by the government, especially Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur, to ban this peaceful sit-in protest by instilling fear of untoward incidents. The use of fear tactics only betrays the real character of the BN government as dictatorial and tyrannical. As American President Thomas Jefferson said,
When a government fears the people, there is liberty;
When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.
The time has come to ensure a bright and clean future for our children free from fear. Only a clean election process untainted by abuses committed by the EC can give birth to clean leaders that give hope to all Malaysians.
- Lim Guan Eng