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Malaysia: Bersih May Stage Another Protest


PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA: The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) may have another street demonstration if government extends the tenure of Election Commission (EC) chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman.

Bersih spokesperson and PAS central committee Zulkifli Ahmad led Bersih representatives to Prime Minister Department Tuesday (18 Dec) afternoon and they have submitted a protest against the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2007 that seeks to extend the retirement age of members of Election Commission (EC) from 65 to 66.

On 20 Nov, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Aziz tabled for first reading the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2007 that seeks to extend the retirement age of members of Election Commission (EC) from 65 to 66. Parliament passed legislation on 11 Dec to increase EC members' retirement age from 65 to 66. Rashid's contract ends this month.

Zulkifli Ahmad said Bersih was not giving warning to government, but to "remind" the government.

He added there were many kinds of protests, demonstration was one of it.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice presedent Sivarasa Rasiah said the protest which was submitted to Prime Minister has clearly stated that :"Bersih wants to remind Prime Minister, if the tenure of Election Commission chairperson is extended, we would not guarantee that people would not demonstrate."

He said this was a serious issue, if Prime Minister ignored it, undoubtedly it would "invite" people to take action. Commenting on what kinds of action, He said "let us wait and see".

Sivarasa said Bersih held a peace demonstration, but police unleashed tear gas and water cannons without giving any warning. (AP)

MySinchew 2007.12.18

 

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