KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — Khairy Jamaluddin accused the city police today of reigniting tensions over the Bersih rally by getting a court order barring him and 90 others from entering the city on Saturday.
The Umno Youth chief arrived home from a volunteer mission to Gaza this evening to find himself “outlawed from the city he lives in.”
“Instead of working on a solution they have taken the solution away,” the Rembau MP said of the court order that denies Bersih’s hopes of holding its rally in Stadium Merdeka.
Although Umno Youth and Perkasa had threatened to hold counter-rallies this weekend against the electoral reforms movement, the youth wing had stood down after Bersih accepted the government’s offer to move its street rally to a stadium.
“The court order has escalated the situation. Now my supporters, Perkasa supporters and Bersih supporters are all upset.
“The situation is in limbo. Nobody knows what is next,” he said, adding that the Umno Youth leadership would meet tomorrow morning to discuss its options.
Earlier today, Khairy had posted on micro-blogging site Twitter that he has “just landed back in KL after trying to break Israeli blockade of Gaza only to find that I’ve been blockaded from KL. Excuse me if I say WTF?”
The post drew numerous replies from others, most of whom were as “perplexed” as the first-term MP.
Bersih chief Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan had also questioned the Inspector General of Police’s sincerity in meeting Bersih this afternoon while Kuala Lumpur police obtained court orders to bar leaders of the electoral reforms movement from entering the city this Saturday.
The Bersih chief told The Malaysian Insider that Tan Sri Ismail Omar made no mention of the court order that prevents a whopping 91 persons from the movement, Umno Youth and Perkasa from entering the capital, despite the meeting taking place at the same time the order was sought.
The court order also allows city police to shut down roads, effectively paralysing any attempts to rally on the day.
Bersih had insisted after leaving Bukit Aman today that it will not move its rally away from Stadium Merdeka on Saturday, stating that it was too late for its supporters to change their plans.
It also demanded that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who proposed on Monday that Bersih move its street march to a stadium, instruct Stadium Merdeka to allow the coalition of 62 NGOs to hold its rally in the historical venue.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong had stepped in on Sunday to defuse tension by advising the Najib administration and Bersih 2.0 to hold consultations over the issue of free and fair elections.
Despite Bersih meeting Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin on Tuesday and accepting Najib’s offer, the prime minister said yesterday that the now outlawed Bersih would still have to make an official application to the police.
The police have continued to make arrests in connection with the rally, most of which revolving around yellow T-shirts with the word Bersih emblazoned on them in a clampdown that has seen over a hundred arrested in the past two weeks.