Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak,
The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) was most disappointed to read that you have completely abrogated your responsibilities with regards to those who have been arrested or detained in connection with BERSIH 2.0, saying that you will leave it to the police to decide on their release. You also said that it was up to the police whether the arrests of people wearing BERSIH T-shirts or displaying BERSIH paraphernalia would continue.
In light of the intercession of DYMM Yang di Pertuan Agong and the subsequent concessions made by the BERSIH 2.0 steering committee, your non-committal position is weak, indecisive and most ungracious.
Over the last two weeks, we and all the Rakyat have witnessed our elected government, in particular the Ministry of Home Affairs, and Polis di Raja Malaysia, trample on our civil liberties in a bid to crush the BERSIH 2.0 spirit.
PDRM have arrested people on the most spurious charges, like wearing yellow clothing or having T-shirts bearing pictures of old CPM members. They have floated the idea that Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) is waging war against the Agong by plotting to revive communism. They have attempted to link BERSIH 2.0 movement to this allegation.
The Deputy Prime Minister accused “major powers” of supporting BERSIH 2.0. Disregarding the clearly worded demands of the movement’s planned “Walk for Democracy”, the Home Minister declared the movement illegal claiming that it was inciting people to create an atmosphere of unrest.
The upshot of the relentless spinning by your administration and PDRM is the arrest of more than 200 people, including opposition politicians and activists, in connection with the BERSIH 2.0 rally, and that number appears to be growing by the hour.
Of greatest concern is the detention of six members of PSM under the Emergency Ordinance (EO), including Sungai Siput MP Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, PSM deputy chairperson M Saraswathy, central committee members Choo Chon Kai and M Sukumaran, Sungai Siput branch secretary A Letchumanan, and PSM Youth leader Sarat Babu.
We were very disturbed to hear reports that the detainees, in particular, the PSM members, had been ill-treated while in custody and deprived of their right to legal representation.
Datuk Seri Najib, these actions by members of your Cabinet as well as the PDRM are completely unacceptable and have tarnished your administration not just in the eyes of the Rakyat but also the international community.
The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement urges you to step up as the head of the elected government and do your part in restoring good sense and civility to your administration. Show the Rakyat that you, your cabinet and PDRM respect the Federal Constitution and the laws of the country which emanate from it. Release all the detainees unconditionally and drop all unfounded charges against them. Stop the harassment of BERSIH 2.0 and its supporters.
Understand that BERSIH 2.0 is a civil society initiative and that it has the support of the majority of Malaysians who desire nothing more than clean and fair elections. Opposing BERSIH 2.0 sends the message that you are against the most fundamental democratic principles that underpin the formation of our beloved nation.
RAJA PETRA KAMARUDIN, CHAIRMAN
HARIS M. IBRAHIM, PRESIDENT