BN should stop destroying Malaysia’s financial reputation with irresponsible statements like freezing the assets of those deemed risky to the nation’s security because they participate in Bersih rallies calling for clean and fair elections as well as receive funding from non-profit foreign NGOs. Bersih had clarified that money the group received from two US organisations — the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Open Society Institute (OSI) — were for other projects unrelated to the July 9 march.
DAP strongly condemns Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Awang Adek Hussin’s irresponsible statement that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) can freeze the assets of those believed to be participating in activities if the police recommend so. Such actions are detrimental to Malaysia’s efforts to establish itself as a safe haven for capital and investments.
Datuk Awang is the same person who announced that the Federal government had approved sports betting licenses in time for the 2010 World Cup. BN was embarrassed and forced to withdraw the sports betting licenses after the Penang state government announced the ban on sports betting, thereby destroying UMNO’s arguments that of gambling is part of Chinese culture.
If assets can be frozen just for participating in a peaceful assembly or for receiving funds from non-profit foreign NGOs, then many innocent Malaysians and organisations will be unfairly victimised. Using this as a political weapon against opponents of BN would be a gross abuse of the provisions within the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act allowed for the central bank to not only bar access to such funds but also trace both deposits and withdrawals of the offending accounts.
Would others involved in “illegal assemblies” like UMNO Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin have their assets frozen? Why then were these provisions not applied against those suspected of corruption of accumulating extraordinary wealth beyond their means? For instance no such action was taken against those suspected of secretly taking out RM 888 billion in illicit money over a 9 year period.
BN government only has itself to blame for the negative image overseas, portrayed by the international news media for its harsh crackdown on the peaceful protest Bersih. So ridiculous was the crackdown that wearing yellow was sufficient cause for arrest. And yet Queen Elizabeth received the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in a bright yellow dress two days ago in London.
The Bersih protest calling for clean and fair elections descended into chaos when the police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse protestors. The documented beatings and recorded brutal treatment on video tape was completely unprovoked and put Malaysia on the same international platform as the repressive Arab regimes in the Middle-East.
The BN government should clean up Malaysia’s image by owning up its mistakes such as firing tear gas into Tung Shin Hospitals, insulting the Hindus and the Indian community by calling the revocation of Bersih Datuk S. Ambiga’s citizenship, detaining Datuk A. Samad Said because his poems is considered a weapon and apologising for the brutal crackdown.
It is good that Najib has admitted that the rally attracted 15,000 demonstrators and not the 5-6,000 demonstrators claimed by police. However this is not enough as more needs to be done such as withdrawing charges and releasing immediately all those arrested such as the PSM 6 including MP of Sungai Siput Dr Jeyakumar, for Bersih related activities.
The Bersih rally was a paradigm shift or a transformational event that attracted all Malaysians. In many of the Bersih stories told by ordinary Malaysians marching on 9 July, many amongst the 30,000 crowd was so outraged by the repression of the police as well as moved by the solidarity and support shown by other Malaysians that they felt part of the nation called Malaysia. Finally every one felt 1Malaysia regardless of race or religion or even political affiliation, whether one is rich or poor, male or female, old or young.
Even Marina Mahathir defiantly marched. Everyone marched because they wanted to be “Bersih!”.
The 13th General Elections Will Be Decided By The Economy, The Choice Between The Economy For People Vs The Cronies.
The 13th General Elections will be decided by the economy, the choice between the economy for the people Vs the cronies. The Malaysian economy is not even as Tony Pua puts it, a tiger that has lost its roar. It is more like a cat that has even lost its meow.
The next elections will be fought by who can best deliver policies and solutions to those who suffer most. The bottom 60 per cent of the rakyat has an average household income of less than RM3,000 a month, while the bottom 40 percent lives on less than RM1,500 a month.
While commodity and food prices have increased alarmingly in recent times, real income, especially for the lower strata, has stagnated. This has resulted in a dire situation whereby the bottom 40 per cent of our population earns only 14.3 per cent of the total income while the top 20 per cent shares 50 per cent of the total income. In addition, household debts in Malaysia are now 77% of our GDP, which makes us the second highest in Asia after Japan.
What is sorely required are policies and actions that will directly affect those in the bottom 60 per cent especially those living on less with average household income than RM1,500 per month. These are the Malaysians who really need help. DAP remains strongly committed to minimum wage and to economic solutions that are sustainable, especially environmental friendly. We must ensure that resources utilised today must be available tomorrow.
Keynote Speech By DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng During The DAP National Leadership Retreat In Seremban On 16 July 2011.
—- Mandarin Translation —–
国阵应该停止破坏马来西亚的经济名誉，勿再发表“任何人因参与净选盟集会，以及接受外国非政府组织捐款的人士，若被证实涉及威胁国家安全的活动，国家银行可冻结有关人士的银行户头”这种言论。净选盟已经澄清，他们从两个美国组织即国民民主研究院（National Democratic Institute）及开发社会研究院(Open Society Institute)接受的捐款，是用在其它活动，与709集会游行毫无关系。