Bersih 2.0 is shocked, angered and saddened by the on-the-road assassination of Bill Kayong, the PKR candidate for the N71 constituency in the recently concluded state election.
It is an indicator of the breaking down of law and order and, possibly, even the escalation of political violence.
We urge the police to pursue his assassins in full force. Whoever ordered and executed the murder of Kayong must be brought to justice, and the motivation of his assassination must be made known. There must not be impunity.
If Kayong’s murder is politically motivated, he would be the first candidate or ex-candidate being murdered since the murder of Negeri Sembilan Speaker Mohd Taha Talib by then Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Mokhtar Hashim, eight days before the 1982 general election.
If election-related murders – common in countries like India and the Philippines – become part of our political culture, a long shadow is cast on our electoral process.
Sadly, we need to remind the police that the murder of K Murugan, a political aide to the PKR parliamentary candidate for Tapah in 2013, Vasantha Kumar, remains unsolved today after three years. Murugan went missing on 1 May 2013 and his body tied with wires was found in a pond in Batu Gajah on 5 May 2013, polling day.
The police must ensure that no person risks life or bodily injury for participation in the political process.
Bersih 2.0 extends our deepest condolences to the family of Kayong, an avowed supporter of free and fair elections. Our paths crossed his in many events, the latest being the Bersih 4 rally. He gave his utmost assistance in selling Bersih 4 T-shirts to raise funds to transport participants from Miri to attend a rally in Kuching.
His tireless contributions to the Orang Asal communities will be sadly missed and difficult to replicate. His tragic demise is a great loss to the nation and to the Orang Asal communities.
Bersih 2.0 will work our best to realise Kayong’s wish for free and fair elections in Malaysia in his remembrance. We will keep watch to see justice done for Kayong.
Bersih 2.0 steering committee