'ABU video clear testimony of xenophobia' - S.Ambiga

Hafidah Samat

"I have a lot of regard for him but this is totally unacceptable and I'm going to talk to him" -  S. Ambiga

BERSIH co-chairman S.Ambiga makes it clear the now infamous video by Asalkan Bukan Umno (ABU) -- the alliance calling for a regime transformation in Putrajaya -- is nothing short of xenophobic and that it does not sit well with foreigners who have been issued MyKad to exercise their rights to vote at the 13th General Elections.

Calling the video (see below) "offensive",  Ambiga that ABU leader Haris Ibrahim's remarks are totally unacceptable and will inevitably cause fear and confusion among vulnerable voters.

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Ambiga added that an electoral process which is marred by violence does no credit to the elections.

"The video is disturbing and I urge Haris to withdraw it before things turn for the worse. And in my opinion - the worst case scenario - Haris will frighten people off at the polls. And what we should stress on is to have a peaceful electoral process. We can't interfere with any voters," Ambiga said.

"I have a lot of regard for him but this is totally unacceptable and I'm going to talk to him," she said.

She said a voter who comes across as a suspicious and possibly dangerous at the polling stations, citizens should note it down for further action by the elections petitions.

The ABU video features Haris warning foreigners with MyKads ABU troops would be ready for them that on polling day. He also warns party hoppers that they will be 'hunted down' and that there would shortly be a by-election. Haris also asks PM Najib is he is 'ready to die'.

READ: Activist to Najib: Are you ready to die?

ABU also issued a "200-day deadline" call for Pakatan to deliver on reforms if they are elected into power, or face the wrath street rallies.

To this, Ambiga's comment is pretty straightforward.

"We should leave that to to the politicians. As far as vulnerable civilians are concerned, they should be protected," she said.

We also spoke to Malaysian Bar Council president Christopher Leong, who said every citizen has the right of freedom of speech, expression and assembly.

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"Thus, each and every citizen who may be dissatisfied with such performance or answers may express their dissatisfaction in various ways, one of which is to have demonstrations or rallies. This right must however be exercised peacefully. The peaceful exercise of such rights cannot be termed as holding politicians to ransom," he said.

Leong also said Haris' statement that party hoppers would be 'hunted down' is not necessarily a death threat.

"It could as easily be interpreted to mean that pressure would be brought to bear by him on such elected representatives to step down or resign their seats, thereby facilitating a by-election," Leong added.

Asked about the seemingly overt death threat on PM Najib Razak, Leong said "if it's a death threat then it's obviously wrong and cannot be condoned.

"There is no place for violence or threat of violence in the run up to the elections, during the elections and post elections. Even if one were of the view that they were willing to sacrifice themselves for a good cause or to prevent a wrong, violence is not the answer. An electoral process which is marred by violence does no credit to the elections."

He said that the Bar Council is unanimous with Najib and Pakatan de facto leader, Anwar Ibrahim's calls for a peaceful election.

"Any violence or fear of violence may hinder or mar the electoral process and therefore taint the election results. This must be avoided. The voters must be allowed to exercise their constitutional right to vote in an informed and secure environment," said Leong.

In another development, Yahoo! Malaysia has received mixed reactions on its Facebook page since the ABU video was uploaded on April 5.

One comment from Lau Kokhun reads, "we need ABU badly to change real transformation. UBAH."

A response from Khaw Willy calls, "for the real brighter future for long term future. we need a constantly aware and fighting spirit for demand a healthy Democratic country system. Thus we need people to execise democracy right in all time."

"A man of integrity, conviction and patriotism. we are proud of you, Haris" was the cry of patriotism by David Pok.

Adrian Jackson in his commented, "hats off Haris, u are indeed a true Malaysian!"