(Speech at the opening of the new Triang DAP branch building in Triang, Pahang on Tuesday, 22nd May 2012 at 3 pm)
I was in the Kuala Lumpur court complex this morning where the Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and PKR leaders Azmin Ali and Badrul Hisham were charged in connection with the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28 which could result in their five-year disqualification from elective office and disenfranchisement in losing the civic right to stand for elective office whether as MP or State Assembly member if fined over RM2,000.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be the biggest loser in the prosecution of Anwar, Azmin and Badrul, the first case to be charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA), as it will totally discredit his various transformation programmes, in particular his Political Transformation Programme.
Pakatan Rakyat MPs have warned in Parliament that Najib’s promises to amend or repeal undemocratic and draconian laws and provisions contain the seeds of greater repression as the new laws and replacements provide for even more repressive measures – as in the case of the prosecution of Anwar, Azmin and Badrul under the PAA.
The prosecution also sends out a very clear message to Malaysians, and in particular to the hundreds of thousands of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, class, gender or age who had gathered peacefully in Kuala Lumpur on April 28, armed at most with salt and water bottles to protect themselves from indiscriminate police shooting of tear gas and chemically-laced water cannon, with the unmistakable message to the Najib administration that they want clean elections for a clean Malaysia.
Najib’s message to them is one of utter contempt for their message to want to have clean elections and a clean Malaysia!
Najib should realise that he will have to pay a very heavy political price in the forthcoming general elections with such arrogance of power and contempt for the legitimate and ordinary aspirations of Malaysians transcending race, religion, region, class, gender or age.
Najib should take note that the former Solicitor-General II who headed the prosecution team against Anwar in the Sodomy II trial, Datuk Mohd Yusuf Zainal Abiden, has joined Anwar’s defence team headed by Karpal Singh.
If the Prime Minister cannot read and understand the implications of Yusuf’s joining the Anwar defence team, then he is not as politically astute as he should be.
The prosecution of Anwar, Azmin and Badrul is in fact the latest in the BN demonisation campaign against Bersih 3.0, polarising the ground instead of starting a process of national healing. I would reiterate my call to Najib to end the demonisation campaign of Bersih 3.0 to reagain public confidence and credibility or be prepared to pay a heavy political price in the forthcoming general elections.