Aliran condemns the latest unjustified and unwarranted ban on Bersih 2.0 Chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan by the Sarawak authorities on the eve of polling.
The high-handed entry ban is the fourth in the run-up to the Sarawak state election that is hotly contested by parties from both sides of the political divide. This un-called for ridiculous decision is politically motivated to deny the people a free and fair election, which is the corner-stone of democracy.
This undemocratic act of the authorities patently criminalises the right of a Malaysian citizen to conduct legitimate political activities in the country. It frowns upon any citizenry’s attempt to ensure a playing field that is as level as it should be. It demeans the democratic process and vilifies people of good character who mean well for the country.
It also suggests to what extent a desperate regime under threat would go to in order to protect its narrow vested interests even if it means having to violate the basic democratic and constitutional rights of the citizenry.
Such an obvious and blatant disregard for a free and fair election and the free movement of the citizenry should not miss the attention of the Election Commission – and we await with abated breath for the august body to do the needful. But we must also be prepared to accept the fact that nothing may come out of this as the Election Commission, unbelievably, has not seen any corrupt practice so far in Sarawak!
Considering the fact that the EC is not capable of bringing to book all those indulging in corrupt practices and thereby corrupting the electoral process, it is all the more imperative for Bersih 2.0, the election watch-dog, to be around in Sarawak to monitor the election. It is an honest and fair task that Bersih 2.0 will be undertaking. Why does the state authority fear a body that keeps track of the ugly side of the Sarawak politics?
The Sarawak authorities must revoke the entry ban immediately in the name of justice and democracy even if they, unlike other Malaysians, don’t fully understand these vital concepts.
Aliran Executive Committee
15 April 2011