THE Yellow Shirts and its rival Red Shirts must be stopped. The planned Bersih 5.0 rally is just a month away, and it is worrying to think of the safety of its participants.
Over the week, many have been calling for Bersih 2.0 – the so-called electoral watchdog to host the rally in a stadium to avoid unwanted aftermath, for instance, serious injuries to the supporters.
This apparent concern among the people resurfaced after a video of a Bersih-convoy participant being attacked by Red Shirt followers in Sabak Bernam, Selangor had gone viral last week.
I think almost everyone who is following the issue had seen the video.
It was obvious that he (Yellow Shirt) did not provoke any of them, but one red shirt supporter ended up giving him a flying kick.
For the record, the Red Shirts started out by stating that they were defending the Malay honour in September last year.
Nevertheless, looking at this video, one cannot see how they are actually upholding the Malay customs.
That was absolutely brute and barbaric, and they have caused injury to the particular participant.
In short, they have gone overboard in their fight against the Yellow Shirts.
But wait, Bersih participants in the past were not short of aggressiveness.
Remember this incident?
Street rallies can easily end up being intense no matter how peaceful the organizers said it would be.
The authorities tolerated these rallies but the organizers kept doing it by breaking the laws.
For instance, in April 2012, the Bersih 3.0 rally had turned violent where Bersih lost control of the crowd and its supporters started to undo the human barricade.
It was supposed to be a sit in assembly, but the organizers failed to do so, even after continuously stating that they would not do such a thing.
To top it off, Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin, has shamelessly put the responsibility to the police to ensure the safety of its supporters at the coming rally.
Maria went on to say that the organizers are confident that the assembly will turn out peaceful, and that Bersih 2.0 knows what it is doing.
She even said that the organizers put the security of their supporters first before anything else, well, after she admits that it is not 100% their responsibility.
Maria must be out of her mind. It is indeed Bersih’s responsibility to ensure the security of all of the rally attendees.
How could she be so confident to host a rally, if she is not (100%) sure that she could contain the safety of the supporters?
All in all…
The Bersih rally and the Red Shirts must be stopped.
I do believe in the freedom of expressions and I am all for the fight against electoral fraud. However, such rallies and confrontations between the two groups will only cost people’s safety.
Those who are adamant and still wanted to attend the rally should be extra careful.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that street rally will only create chaos and violence.
Balqis Rayhana is an independent analyst and Malaysian Access reader. Article written is strictly her personal view. Malaysian Access does not necessarily endorse the opinions given by any third party content provider.