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709 Bersih 2.0 >>>

This lockdown will make more peope hated BN

I suggest Bersih to have weekly rally to see weekly lockdown. GDP will decrease at 1-2% with this kind of brainless lockdown.

Malaysia to Lock Down Largest City to Block Rally

Matthew Pennington

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Malaysian police said they will shut major roads and suspend public transportation into Kuala Lumpur’s city center to thwart opposition-backed activists, who vowed Friday to press ahead with a banned rally for electoral reforms.

The escalated political tension presents a major challenge for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s long-ruling coalition ahead of general elections widely expected next year.

Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Amar Singh announced late Thursday that major roads into the city would be shut for 22 hours starting midnight Friday, affecting bus and rail transit services. He said police have also obtained court orders to bar dozens of opposition and civic group leaders from entering the city’s central business district on Saturday.

The atmosphere was tense in the city Friday, with dozens of police officers patrolling unusually quiet streets and riot police trucks stationed at strategic locations.

“The police plan to lock down downtown Kuala Lumpur is unprecedented since 1969 when racial riots occurred,” said James Chin, a political science lecturer at Monash University in Malaysia.

Chin said the opposition alliance led by former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim hopes to receive a boost from the rally ahead of the national polls. He said two large anti-government rallies in 2007 helped Anwar’s alliance win more than one third of the parliamentary seats in 2008 polls in the government’s worst electoral setback.

“I think the government has overreacted by cracking down so harshly. There could be a blowback in the next general elections among urban voters,” he added.

More than 200 people linked to Saturday’s demonstration have been detained in the past few weeks.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that the U.S. has been communicating to Malaysia the importance of respecting human rights, including freedom of expression and assembly.

“We consider it incumbent on all sides to refrain from violence, particularly if we’re going to have another rally tomorrow,” she told a news conference Friday.

The rally’s organizers, the Bersih coalition of 62 civic groups, insisted supporters would gather at a downtown stadium Saturday to demand changes in election laws to curb fraud, and urged Najib to call off the clampdown that “fits the style of dictators.”

“No matter how badly we are repressed or prosecuted, the peaceful voice of the (people) will be heard in Kuala Lumpur come the 9th of July,” the coalition said in a statement Friday.

Anwar, among those banned from entering the city, said opposition leaders would attend the rally.

The restrictions make a large rally unlikely, but protesters may try to gather in small groups, political observers say.

Bersih earlier this week agreed to move the rally to a stadium instead of marching through the streets after rare mediation by the king. But a new dispute broke out after the government refused to let them use Merdeka Stadium in the city center, citing safety issues.

Activists hoped to draw 100,000 people for the country’s largest political rally in four years.

The opposition has long accused the ruling coalition of manipulating election results to maintain its nearly 54-year rule, but the government says current election laws are fair. Authorities have accused Anwar of endorsing the protest to undermine the government.

The mandate of the current National Front-led government expires in mid-2013 but many analysts expect elections to be called next year amid signs that the opposition has lost momentum since the 2008 polls.

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Amirul Sudin says:

We have witnessed on 9 July those STUPID, GILA UmnoB/BN n polis – firing tear gas n water cannons at unarmed RAKYAT, their BOSSES, who just want a peaceful rally 2 express their wishes 4 a clean electoral system

They cannot suppress d wishes of rakyat who wnt real democracy & clean electoral practices.

Rakyat n voters must make sure UmnoB/BN b terminated in d next GE, enuf of bullying

Steve says:

We must thank John Malott, former US ambassador to Malaysia, for highlighting the seriousness and urgency of the political problem in Malaysia that needs international attention and action. The persecution, imprisonment, and torture of opposition parties and politicians in Malaysia is totally unacceptable and must stop immediately. In John’s article, he rightly highlighted the corruptness and lack of integrity in Najip and UMNO “Mr. Najib has undermined the authority of the king, who gave Bersih and its concerns credence”. Clearly Najip is not fit to be PM and legal action must be taken against Najip and UMNO for all their corruption and crimes against the rakyat. John Malott, thanks again and all fair-minded and peace-loving Malaysians salute you, and we hope that more international help will come. The citizens of Malaysia have been persecuted by the very institutions (police, judiciary, election commission) that are meant to serve the taxpaying citizens, and these institutions are now fully controlled by the corrupt UMNO through the appointment of greedy and corrupt officials aligned to UMNO, whom do not have the interests of the rakyat in their minds and hearts.