Gerakan president Koh Tsu Koon Koon (picture), a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said measures taken by the police during the rally had given the public the “impression” that the government was “too restrictive”, and that this was not true.
"Certain announcements, measures by the police, for example, they have given the people the impression that we (the government) were too restrictive. When the PM offered a stadium and they chose Stadium Merdeka, police said no for whatever reasons.
I am surprised it has taken Koh, a minister in the PM's department, to come out with the truth. The truth to him is the government did not object to the use of Stadium Merdeka but the police did. It was obvious both PM Najib Razak and Minister Rais Yatim had objected to the use of stadiums in Kuala Lumpur including Bukit Jalil and Stadium Merdeka. They had wanted Bersih to hold its demonstration at the Shah Alam stadium instead.
It does not take a Princeton grad to be able to link the decision to the federal government's refusal to recognize the movement and it's planned peaceful demonstration.
If the government was not too restrictive, it would not have arrested activists, politicians and members of public for merely wearing yellow t-shirt. If the government was not draconian, the PSM6 would not have been arrested and charged with frivolous act of treason and other allegations linked to communism (despite the end of cold war more than two decades ago).
Koh's lame attempt to defend the government and his boss is only contributing towards his already irrelevant and ineffective leadership of Gerakan, a self-proclaimed conscience of Barisan Nasional.
Koh should be reminded that consistency is key in building leadership credibility.
What the government should do is to apologize for it's undemocratic and draconian reaction towards a peaceful gathering. I am sure PM Najib does not need a 'credible' Koh Tsu Koon to come to his defence.
The police chief must now come out to refute the allegation made by Koh to ensure that the force did not act unconstitutionally. The police force are public servants and they must act responsibly to uphold democratic values enshrined in the federal constitution.