Oct 28, 2016 08:51 AM EDT

Opposition Challenges Bersih Rally In Malaysia

The various countermoves from the opposition and the Malaysian government to block the Bersih rally in Kuala Lumpur scheduled on November 19, 2016, are not discouraging its organizers from pursuing their goals.

From the time that the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections also known as Bersih in Malay which means "clean," launched its first rally on Nov. 23, 2006, it has faced many challenges from opposition groups and counter movements.

The coalition is made up of civil organizations that are pressing the government for clean elections, protecting democracy and the right to dissent, have a clean government and provide empowerment for Sarawak and Sabah. Many people are perplexed why any group would oppose the good aspirations of the coalition.

The latest attempt to block the road to the Bersih in Kuala Lumpur is the plan of the federal government to blacklist law firms linked to Bersih and prevent them from rendering legal services to the government and its government-linked companies. Minister Abdul Rahman Dalan of the Prime Minister's office said that the government is planning to take legal action against lawyers linked to the Bersih movement.

Such government actions are implied accusations that the Bersih movement is out to topple the BN government through illegal means.

Nur Jazlan Mohamed, the deputy home minister, reminded that Bersih that the movement is not supported by the people and the red shirts would step up activities to stop the Nov. 19 rally.

The Bersih movement always holds peaceful rallies which have been targeted by the red shirt groups whose aim is to disrupt the rally and blame the resulting chaos on Bersih. In the past, the Home Ministry, with all its arms and ground forces, has not attempted to stop and prevent the red shirts from disrupting the Bersih rallies.

Of course, both groups are blaming each other for creating trouble during Bersih rallies. Rally organizers expect the same situation to happen on the upcoming Nov.19 Bersih rally.

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