Nov 17, 07
The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) denied that they were involved in circulating claims that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abdidin had approved of a mass rally last Saturday.
“Bersih wishes to put in on record that we have never said at any time that the memorandum handed over to the King was handed over with His Majesty’s tacit or expressed approval,” said Bersih in a faxed statement today.
The King’s, in a statement released by palace official Wan Mohd Safiain Wan Hasan yesterday, expressed regret over the claim that he and the palace had supported Saturday’s rally.
During the rally, an estimated 40,000 people marched to the gates of Istana Negara before a petition calling for free and fair elections was handed to palace officials.
Tuanku Mizan said he viewed the matter “very seriously” and called for a rare press conference yesterday which was given by Wan Mohd Safiain.
Bersih thanks King
However, Bersih stressed that Tuanku Mizan’s subjects are free to petition to the King on matters of public interest, including free and fair elections.
“We are sure His Majesty would surely agree with our position,” the group said.
In the statement, Bersih also expressed gratitude to the palace for receiving the petition durnig the rally as well as requesting a list of Bersih delegates who would be handing over the petition.
“Finally, Bersih wishes to record again our thanks to His Majesty for receiving the memorandum through his appointed representative on 10 November 2007.
“As citizens of Malaysia, it is our expectation that His Majesty will continue to play the role that he has been entrusted with under the Federal Constitution, and in so doing, to protect the rights and interest of all Malaysians and to ensure the integrity of our institutions”.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had slammed Bersih for attempting to ‘drag’ the King into politics.
Bersih never claimed King gave consent