The Malaysian government’s crackdown on an electoral reform group shows utter disregard both for free expression and for the democratic process. Governments that elected Malaysia to a second term on the UN Human Rights Council might feel duped.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch
The Malaysian government, instead of responding substantively to Bersih’s eight-point electoral reform program, has begun an apparent campaign to discredit the coalition and to scare off Malaysians who had considered participating in the July 9 march.
"Prime Minister Najib Razak should be welcoming efforts to reform the country’s elections instead of jailing those urging reform," Robertson said. "By continuing these scare tactics, the Malaysian government is seriously damaging the country’s reputation abroad."