Bersih wants violent politicians out
Writer: Gan Pei Ling
Published: Fri, 29 Mar 2013
KUALA LUMPUR: An election watchdog is calling on voters to punish politicians who condone political violence by voting them out in the upcoming polls.
Bersih 2.0 co-chairpersons Datuk A Samad Said and Ambiga are calling on voters to name and shame candidates who remain mum or make excuses for political violence.
Co-chairperson of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) Datuk S Ambiga said the coalition is alarmed by escalating political violence in the lead-up to the elections.
“Bersih 2.0 is appalled that political leaders are condoning the violence by making excuses for the perpetrators or by staying silent,” Ambiga said at the launch of the “Reject Political Violence” campaign last Saturday.
Political ceramah nationwide have been disrupted by thugs and attempted assault on the speakers according to media reports.
Ambiga said Bersih 2.0 will name and shame the culprits on social media like Twitter and Facebook.
The watchdog is also expected to launch a code of conduct for candidates in the 13th general election later this week.
Ambiga said the code of conduct will be based on international standards such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
“We call on candidates and leaders of all political affiliations to show their commitment to clean and fair elections by openly condemning political violence and endorsing the code of conduct,” she said.
The coalition also hopes voters will write to their candidates and urge them to endorse the code of conduct.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had blamed Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for the rising political violence last Saturday.
“I see it getting worse and the way to deal with it (is for) all the relevant parties (to work together). I know the police have made plans to ensure the general election process goes through safely but the police on the ground are never enough.
“If they (opposition) want democracy and freedom, then why disrupt the process by making allegations like insulting the police and calling them names?
“Maybe, it is to create anger or provoke a reaction,” he was quoted as saying in online news site The Malaysian Insider.
Hishammuddin’s statement earned him brickbats from PR top leaders on Tuesday. DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said it was unbecoming of a minister tasked to protect internal security to make such statements.
PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu said as the Home Minister, Hishammuddin should adopt a non-partisan stand against political violence. “But instead he said we should expect more violence,” he said.