Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chapter 100~ Politics!

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) expects to benefit more from the July 9 Bersih rally than the first demonstration in 2007 due to greater support from all races now, says PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu.

The electoral reform protest four years ago saw up to 50,000 people take to the streets of Kuala Lumpur, which has been partly credited for the opposition’s record gains in Election 2008 when the loose pact swept to power in five states and won 82 parliamentary seats.

Our chances now are brighter as there are blogs and Facebook,” said Mohamad in an interview with The Malaysian Insider.

“The support for Bersih is very strong from all races,” added the newly-elected PAS No. 2, who is more popularly known as Mat Sabu.

The Islamist party has promised to bring hundreds of thousands of supporters to the Bersih rally in the capital on July 9.

Mohamad said the march for free and fair elections ahead of a general election, which is expected to be called early next year, will spur people to fight electoral fraud.

As the Najib administration cracks down on the rally, Bersih 2.0 has taken the fight online in an operation codenamed “Ops Kuning”.

The group aims to reach 50,000 supporters on its official Facebook page and 10,000 followers on Twitter.

At the time of writing, Bersih 2.0 has 20,498 fans on its Facebook page and 3,945 Twitter followers.

On the Facebook page, many users called on Malaysians to march for change and fight against corruption.

“But the challenge that we face is in the postal vote system. Pakatan Rakyat can’t do anything right now about the monopoly and fraud in postal votes,” said Mohamad.

“Postal voters should be those who are our overseas students and workers, as well as our police and army who are working overseas. But now, postal votes are for the entire police force, the army and their wives, which is illogical and not right,” he added.

The nation’s security forces are largely seen as reliable vote banks for Barisan Nasional (BN).

Bersih 2.0 wants to hand a memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to demand free and fair elections, which include reform to the postal ballot system.

The government, however, insists that elections are already free and fair, citing the opposition’s historic gains in Election 2008.

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