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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs         4  July 2011

Malaysian government offers site for rally

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The Malaysian government is willing to provide a venue such as stadium for Bersih 2.0 to hold their rally, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said the government would not have any objection if the organiser from the beginning said they would assemble in a stadium from morning to night and later leave peacefully. “Go on, assemble in the stadium and yell and shout till you are drained,

“Do it, its okay no problem but don't do the street demonstration because it could bring a risk that is very harmful to our country,” he said at the Prime Minister's Department monthly assembly Monday.

Najib said if they were so adamant in submitting a memorandum and the like or even to show dissent in a democracy, they could deal with the authorities.

“Deal nicely and we are willing to prepare a stadium for them to assemble.

“But when they refused and instead insisted on having a street demonstration, there must be because of other intentions,” he said.

He reiterated that street demonstration was not the answer to any issues which actually could be settled in other ways

Najib said there were parties who were not happy with the election system and claimed that the electoral rolls did not guarantee a free and fair election.

“If that so, how come we lost in five states in 2008 and now the Election Commission is studying the possibility on introducing the biometric system to counter accusation on phantom voters.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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