Rally organiser finds herself blacklisted

Yong Kai Ping (Malaysiakini)
Nov 9, 07     

An activist involved in the banned mass rally tomorrow was barred from appearing in an interview at a state-owned RTM radio station this morning.

This appeared to be part of a government directive to the media to blacklist leaders of rally organiser Bersih, the coalition for clean and fair elections. It is also learnt that editors have been told not publish any statement issued by the polls reform organisation.
Human rights activist Elizabeth Wong (left) was today told that her name was on a blacklist in relation to tomorrow’s rally for free and fair elections, and was thus banned from all RTM stations, including Traxx FM.
Wong was to have represented Suaram, one of 67 NGOs in the Bersih coalition, to talk about the issue of human rights on the radio station between 11.15am and 12 noon today.
However, an hour before the programme, Wong received a phone call from a Traxx FM staff asking the human rights activist whether she had “anything to do with Saturday’s protest”.
“I said Suaram was one of the main organisers and they apologised that the appointment had been cancelled,” said Wong.
According to Wong, Traxx FM had contacted her two weeks ago to do the show.
She was subsequently asked to submit 18 questions on the issue of human rights which the radio station could use during the programme and these were approved yesterday.
“The programme staffer was rather apologetic to have received the instruction this late, but I had to burst out laughing,” Wong said.
“I’ll look at it as a badge of honour, but I’m too shy to wear it, since so many others in Bersih have been working heaps harder than I have for Saturday’s gathering.”

‘Meet at alternative spots’

In a late development today, Bersih issued a statement informing the public to gather at four locations in the city at 3pm should the designated venue, Dataran Merdeka, be sealed off by the police.
“The four meeting points are the Sogo department store, Masjid India, Masjid Negara and Pasar Seni (Central Market),” said Bersih committee member Tian Chua.
“Everyone is advised to gather at these four spots to wait for instructions from the organisers.”
However, he said that if Dataran Merdeka was not “closed to the public” then rally participants should proceed there directly.
Chua also said that those coming to Kuala Lumpur from other states should do so early as the police are expected to block all the major roads into the capital.