Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nazri warns Bersih not to take to the streets

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz warned the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) that it will have to face the law if it takes to the streets again.

He was referring to some 30,000 people who took to the streets during the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 last year, demanding clean and fair elections, in the face of a massive crackdown by the authorities.

Commenting on a threat by Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan on Tuesday to take Bersih to the streets again over the PSC adopting only four out of its 41 proposals, Nazri said Ambiga does not represent the people and has no business making demands.

“They do not have any business to go to the streets. You go to the streets, then you face the law,” warned Nazri.

“Ambiga cannot demand that Bersih’s suggestions be accepted. Who is she? She is a nobody... an upstart!... a trouble-maker! We, the elected representatives are the ones who represent the people,” said Nazri, who is de-facto law minister.

“I can’t even attack her as she is a nobody. If I do that, it would not look good on me; I am a minister. It will look like I am bullying her.” Nazri said Ambiga and her group have no locus standi to represent the people.

“Who are they? Who are the NGOs supporting them? I don’t know them. They just represent, what, 50, 100 people?” he asked.

Speaking at a press conference after the monthly assembly of the Legal Affairs Division in the PM’s Department, Nazri said the EC is an independent body and even the legislature cannot impose something on it.

Ambiga had at a press conference on Tuesday warned the government not to discount the possibility of Bersih 3.0 rally if it fails to implement “necessary” reforms ahead of the next general election.

Nazri said if anyone wants to speak for or represent the people, they should become an elected representative and speak up in Parliament.

“If (Ambiga) wants to be influential and be the voice of the people, she needs to be in the legislative system and use it to influence change and bring improvement,” he added.

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