Bersih delegation visits Major Zaidi Ahmad to express support

A Bersih delegation visited Major Zaidi Ahmad to express their support for the air force officer’s predicament as he faces seven charges for going public about the easily washed off ink used in the last general election. Anil Netto reports.

The Bersih delegation

The Bersih delegation, from left: Anil Netto (Aliran), Maria Chin Abdullah (Empower/Bersih chair), Toh Kin Woon (Lim Lian Geok Foundation/Aliran/Bersih northern region coordinator), Major Zaidi Ahmad, Adam Adli (Bersih secretariat), Mustafa Basri (Ikram). Another member of the delegation Mandeep Singh of Bersih is not in the photo.

The six-member delegation met Zaidi at his home in Bertam/Kepala Batas yesterday.

Among the battery of charges that Zaidi, 46, faces at a military court trial are speaking to the media without authorisation, violating Malaysian Armed Forces Council orders by lodging a police report, and sending a couple of text messages related to the issue.

Major Zaidi Ahmad

Major Zaidi Ahmad could lose his pension and long-service benefits

If the soft-spoken air force pilot is convicted and sentenced to even a day’s imprisonment, the father of four young children stands to lose his pension and long-service benefits.

The Bersih team who visited Zaidi were able to empathise with his predicament. They know what it is like to face charges. Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee members are being sued under the Peaceful Assembly Act for alleged damages caused at the Bersih 3.0 rally on 28 April 2012.

Bersih empathises with Major Zaidi Ahmad

Bersih empathises with Major Zaidi Ahmad

Apart from the cost of repairs to police vehicles among other items amounting to RM122,000, the government wants general damages, interest and a declaration that the rally violated the Act. About 20 lawyers are representing the 15 Bersih members and they will be faced by five government lawyers.

Facing charges: Major Zaidi Ahmad and Adam Adli

Facing charges: Major Zaidi Ahmad and Adam Adli

Among the Bersih delegation was well known student activist Adam Adli, now with the Bersih secretariat, who himself faces four other charges: allegedly ‘rioting’ outside Parliament, allegedly uttering seditious remarks, and two charges under the Peaceful Assembly Act related to the Black 505 rallies. Like Zaidi, Adam Adli’s family lives in Kepala Batas.

On 14 February, a group representing retired servicemen, Pahlawan, reportedly claimed that the armed forces were wrong in charging Zaidi with violating regulations in lodging a police report on the indelible ink.

Despite his predicament, Major Zaidi seemed calm and composed, and appeared to take heart from the outpouring of support from many Malaysians.

All eyes will now be on his trial scheduled for 8-10 April.

Anil Netto

Anil Netto, the honorary treasurer of Aliran, is constantly amazed at how Aliran miraculously keeps afloat financially. A former accountant, he believes in social justice for all and environmental stewardship.

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2 Responses

  1. Najib, is this also a part of the Chinese tsunami ? No doubt you have lost the support of the Chinese Malaysian but more than that the quick diminishing support of the well informed and well educated Malays. Soon the support of the less informed and less educated rural Malays will follow for sure. And it will be reflected in the next GE, for sure, in the next GE ! You should not have followed the many policies that the egregious Mahathir started before he resigned instead you should have reversed the many damaging policies he implemented. Please remember that whatever policies you may want to implement in this country that almost half of the country’s population are non Malays and their welfares and well beings must always be part of your consideration in whatever policies you wish to implement. Only then you will not only have their support but also the support of the majority of the people which you are not getting right now. Please also remember the problems you are facing were not created overnight and so they will take sometimes to have them revered and addressed. If ever there is anyone to be blamed for these atrocities is the egregious Mahathir and don’t be mislead by all the controversies he is trying to create.
    The sole purpose of these is just to divert your attention from looking into the numerous (wrongdoings) he has committed during his time as the P.M. and most of all to impede you from indicting him from them.
    You may think that may offend and loose the support of the many of his supporters in doing so. But if he has so many supporters why isn’t he getting that from all his campaigns during the past by elections and the recent GE ? I retaliate he is, in his twilight years, just trying to divert your attention from probing into (his wealth) and most of all from having him indicted. As simple as that !

  2. grkumar says:

    The major must be aware of his legal obligations to the armed services (the force) he swore to serve in. If by breaching his obligations he seeks to make a point, a valid and constructive point that could not have been made through some other forum or means without breaching his obligations as a member of the uniformed services (the force) then it would be justifiable and controversial enough for Bersih and its allies to make an issue about it. If not he brought it upon himself fully aware of its consequences including losing his pension which is a consequential loss for his actions.

    It is people like the major who allow their emotions and political beliefs to co mingle with their professional obligations as soldiers that creates the basis for undemocratic actions like coups and street riots (something Bersih is known for) as a substitute for good alternative policies and the ballot box.

    On this one I am with the government and not with the major.


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