Bersih rally provides lessons to Malaysian gov't

08:53, July 13, 2011      

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By Jia Ning Tan

Last weekend's rally in Malaysia posed a question to the government: should it look into the electoral system or are there lessons to be learned?

On Saturday, floods of activists of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections or Bersih joined an illegal street demonstration in Kuala Lumpur, demanding for an electoral reform.

The authorities put the figure of demonstrators at five to six- thousand people.

The situation returned to normal at 6 p.m. on the day and a total of 1,667 demonstrators were arrested, including the organizers of the rally but were released by Sunday.

Meanwhile, thousands of activists living abroad also gathered in about 30 different cities around the world demonstrating for the same cause, making the rally the largest one over the past four years.

Prime Minister Najib Razak repeatedly denied any shortcomings in the country's electoral system in Malaysia.

He noted earlier that if the government could manipulate electoral results, then the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional ( Malay for National Front) would not have lost five states in 2008 General Election, would not lose the two-thirds majority in parliament and PAS (the opposition) would not have been administering Kelantan for the past 21 years.

"We even display the electoral list for voters to check," he added.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad echoed his view, condemning the rally as politically-motivated.

"Its objective is to tarnish the government's name and the police, so that the opposition will win," Mahathir said earlier this month.

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Source:Xinhua
 
 
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