After nearly six weeks of touring Sarawak, the Bersih 5 convoy is set to reach the outskirts of Kuching on Sunday without incident.
PKR’s Batu Lintang Assemblyman See Chee How and other members of the group calling for free and fair elections will light the Bersih 5 torch when the convoy reaches Kota Padawan on Sunday morning.
The convoy began its journey in Miri on Oct 1 and has passed through major towns and uban centres, including Bintulu, Sibu and Sri Aman.
Commenting on the convoy’s relatively peaceful journey, See attributed the lack of confrontation, like that witnessed in Peninsular Malaysia, to the absence of Umno’s presence in the state.
“We don’t have this type of problem because, most importantly, we don’t have Umno here. Because that is the root of racism in Malaysia,” See told reporters here today.
“If you don’t have Umno, you won’t have this kind of racist people around.
“We must get rid of Umno,” added See, who was commenting on the Red Shirts movement, led by Sungai Besar Umno division leader Jamal Yunos, which has been clashing with Bersih convoys as it moved through Penang, Johor and Selangor.
See said the group was grateful there were no incidents.
“Media reports said they tried to obstruct and disturb the Bersih convoy almost every weekend. We don’t have that kind of problem in Sarawak.
“We can show others that a citizen’s movement can be carried out peacefully. This is something special for Sarawak and we can show off to the whole country.”
On Sunday, See will be accompanied by other Bersih members, including deputy national PKR Women’s chief Voon Shiak Ni and Rise of Sarawak Efforts (Rose) spokesperson Ann Teo, who is also Bersih 5.0 coordinator for Sarawak.
The Bersih committee is still in discussion with the police and local authorities to resolve the location for the Bersih gathering on Nov 19.
The group had previously applied to the Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) for use of the amphitheatre in Jalan Budaya here but BDKU rejected the group’s application.
Teo has appealed to Chief Minister Adenan Satem, who was reported as saying he had no problems with peaceful rallies, for help.
Teo said the organising committee will stick to the amphitheatre for the rally, regardless of whether permission is granted.
Bersih had initially applied to DBKU for the use of Padang Merdeka, but it was rejected on the grounds that it is near the Sarawak River, where the Sarawak Regatta will be held from Nov 18 to 20.
Source : Richard T.W.@FMT Reporters Online