Wear black tomorrow to protest Najib, Bersih urges Malaysians

Protesters hold signs and gesture during an anti-GST rally in Seberang Jaya May 1, 2015. — Picture by KE Ooi
Protesters hold signs and gesture during an anti-GST rally in Seberang Jaya May 1, 2015. — Picture by KE Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — Bersih 2.0, in calling for fair elections and for the repeal of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), has urged Malaysians to dress in black tomorrow as a sign of rejection of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration on the anniversary of his second term in office.

The election watchdog Bersih 2.0 said their “Operation Black 505” tomorrow also shows their protest of the arrests of several opposition leaders, activists and participants of the rallies on May Day in Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, that demonstrated against the broad based consumption tax.

“The rakyat must answer repression with resistance,” said Bersih 2.0 in a joint statement.

“Otherwise, the rakyat will have tougher days to come under the tyranny of Najib’s minority government, the police and the Election Commission,” Bersih 2.0 added.

The “Operation Black 505”, where Malaysians are also urged to wear black ribbons or to attach black cloths to vehicles, buildings or personal items, is scheduled as Rompin polls are held tomorrow, just before Permatang Pauh’s by-election on Thursday.

The election watchdog said tomorrow’s event will also represent three demands from the people to Putrajaya, apart from being a solidarity initiative for the “victims of police witch-hunts”.

They are the repeal of the GST; eliminating fraud, malapportionment and gerrymandering in constituency redelineation in Malaysia; as well as the establishment of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission to end power abuse by the authorities.

The election watchdog said that electoral fraud especially needs to be addressed to prevent “minority governments” from being formed, pointing out that Barisan Nasional had retained power in the 13th general election despite losing 53 per cent of votes.

The highly-anticipated May Day rally by civil society movement #KitaLawan last week drew thousands to the streets of the capital in a massive show of protest against the GST that came into effect on April 1.

Police began their crackdown on protesters, including former Bar Council president and social activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and several Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers, shortly after the rally ended.

They were detained under the Sedition Act and Section 143 of the Penal Code that covers participation in an illegal assembly.

At least 29 people were arrested over the rally, where police said they also seized “smoke bombs”.

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