By Debra Chong
KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — Putrajaya has declared “war” on Malaysians keen for electoral reform, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said today after several anti-Bersih flyers bearing the Information, Communication and Culture Ministry’s official logo were found in the backseat of a taxi.
The prominent lawyer-activist had sent out pictures of leaflets purportedly distributed by the government to taxi drivers that paint the electoral reform movement as “pengacau” (rabble-rousers) despite two ongoing public inquiries into the chaotic April 28 rally in the capital city.
“I’m surprised and appalled by the continuing attempts to demonise Bersih. It is improper in view of the ongoing inquiries, both Suhakam’s and their own.
“It looks like the government has declared war on Bersih. That means they are effectively declaring war on the rakyat,” she told The Malaysian Insider over the phone.
The flyer featured photographs of Bersih supporters dressed in the signature yellow T-shirts attacking police vehicles on one side, with the words “Hidup Biar Beradab Bukan Biadap!” (Live Civilised, Not Like Savages!).
On the flipside, the flyer stated: “Fikir-fikirlah dan jangan meyokong kumpulan pengacau yang degil dan jangan diperalatkan.” (Think carefully and don’t support stubborn rabble-rousing groups and don’t be manipulated).
Judging from the publication code printed on the lower half of the page, the leaflets have been in circulation since May this year as part of a public awareness campaign.
MORE TO COME