Saturday, March 23

Only 500 at Bersih 3.0 in Kuching


PEACEFUL: Bersih 3.0 rally in Kuching was a peaceful sit-in protest.

KUCHING: Only about 500 people showed up for the Bersih 3.0 rally at the Old Courthouse here yesterday, despite the organisers claiming they could attract supporters numbering thousands.

The two-hour sit-in protest started with a one-kilometre walk from Hilton Hotel and concluded peacefully at 4pm in front of the Old Courthouse facing the Kuching Waterfront.

Bersih 3.0 is calling for electoral reforms ahead of the upcoming 13th general election.

Some of the civil movement’s demands include cleaning up of electoral roll, reforming postal votes, use of indelible ink, free and fair access to mainstream media, and stopping corruption.

Among those present were state DAP secretary and Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen, state PKR chairman Baru Bian, state PKR vice chief See Chee How, state DAP vice chairman Chiew Chin Sing, state DAP treasurer Violet Yong and national PKR women vice chief Voon Shiak Ni.

Assistant Youth Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, when asked for his comments on the Bersih 3.0 rally in Kuching, said it showed there was lukewarm response to the rally masterminded by the opposition.

He compared the rally to the programmes officiated at by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Kuching which attracted crowds of more than 10,000 though it was held on the same day as the Bersih 3.0 rally.

“The majority of the people are getting tired with all the gimmicks played up by the opposition. They like to throw all kinds of accusations against the Election Commission (EC). In the state elections last year, they won more seats and they said it is because the people in the state wanted change. But in seats they lost, they accused EC of not being transparent, BN buying votes, phantom voters and so on.”