JERIT Ride for Change Day 10 – Roadblocks (again) & a ridiculous DIGP Statement

2 emails from JERIT Coordinators:

  • 2 Roadblocks experienced by the North Team…. but no arrests and detention yet. Otherwise smooth riding & lunch hosted by YB LeeBoon Chye at Gopeng.
  • An absolutely ridiculous press statement issued by Deputy IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar had urged to public not to participate in the JERIT’s campaign claiming that it is an unregistered organization, and we do not have permits and if the public takes part it is a criminal offence…..

Sori ah, Tan Sri, these kids have parents’ consent to join campaign, have at least 4 state governements’ endorsements (direct from MBs) and is a coallition of registered organisations…. & please enlighten the rakyat since when does cycling and convoy of vehicles need police permit (if they do not obstruct traffic)… maybe u should charge some of them instead of just harrass, detain & release for fun.

The Rakyat supports JERIT’s “Ride for Change”!!!

Full texts of Press statements below…..

Today’s campaign is fairly smooth except for 2 road blocks in the northern route , Simpang Pulai and Gopeng. YB Lee Boon Chye ( Gopeng Member of Parliament) hosted lunch for the northen team before they moved on to Kampar an Tapah. In the southern region , the southern team submitted a memorandum with the JERIT demands to the Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar’s representative , Dato Firdaus bin Harun ( Political Secretary) and also to the Pakatan Rakyat representative YB  Loke.
The only other obstacle faced today is the statement by the Deputy  IGP warning the public  not to participate in the campaign and claiming that JERIT is an illegal organisation and so on. The normal allegations when they feel threatened by a succesful campaign supported by the rakyat. This statement gives an indication that the JERIT cyclists might have problems reaching the parliament. But we are not giving up. we have fought all the way long to reach this far with support from concerned groups, individuals, media and bloggers, and we  are not giving up at this stage. The struggle will go on and all your support is crucial in ensuring the success of this campaign.
Both the northern team and southern team will be reaching Selangor this weekend. Next Thursday we will be in Parliament. Join us in the parliament on 18/12/2008 at 10.30 am to welcome the cyclists and at the same time to submit the memorandum to the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader
People the Force of Change. !
Sekretariat JERIT
Press Statement 12/12/2008



Today the Deputy IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar had urged to public not to participate in the JERIT’s campaign claiming that it is an unregistered organization, and we do not have permits and if the public takes part it is a criminal offence.

There are a few matters that the JERIT secretariat would like to clarify regarding the Deputy IGP’s statement.

  1. JERIT is a registered organization just like SUARAM, Tenaganita and few other NGOs who are not registered under the Society Act but another act. Thus, JERIT is also registered under a different act. Furthermore, JERIT is a coalition of different coalitions such as the students coalition, factory workers coalition, plantation workers coalition and also NGOS. Coalitions like JERIT, BERSIH or Gabungan Mansuhkan ISA need not be registered as it’s a coalition of different organizations
  2. Regarding the participation of youths, we would like to emphasize again and again, parents have given consent for the youths to take part in this campaign. Many organizations also feel that the participation of the youths is good as they are doing something worthwhile for the nation during their school holidays. Furthermore, SUHAKAM and BAR Council have endorsed this campaign. JERIT feels that SUHAKAM and BAR Council have more credibility and their endorsement carries more weight compared to the police’s statement.
  3. On the issue of this campaign is used by certain political parties for their interest, we would like to reiterate here that this campaign is to highlight the aspiration for the people. In the early part of this campaign, we sent letter to all political parties, asking for endorsement for this campaign. Only Pakatan Rakyat parties, and PSM endorsed this campaign. Many NGOs and MTUC also endorsed this campaign. So what is the problem if the endorsing groups participate and support the campaign
  4. The Deputy IGP also mentioned that some JERIT members have been arrested under the Printing and Publications Act. We really hope that whoever arrested will be charged in court as we have a good case to show the police is wrong whereas the police have got no case at all against us.
  5. Finally, the Deputy IGP said that taking part in this campaign is a criminal offence ( The STAR) as the campaign is illegal. Well, in that case the Selangor Chief Minister launched this campaign and the Kedah Chief Minister , Penang Chief Minister and Perak Chief Minister participated by hosting the cyclist team and receiving the memorandum presented by the cyclists. So is the Deputy IGP going to charge all 4 Chief Ministers for criminal offence for supporting this campaign?

This campaign is an awareness campaign which is supported by the Rakyat. Wherever we go we are supported by the people in the local area. Furthermore, we have sent letters to all Chief Ministers that we will be submitting memorandum, and so far either the chief minister or his representative have received the memorandum from the cyclist. On the 18th of December 2008, we will be sending a memorandum to the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader. We have sent a letter to them informing about our programme.

So we don’t see why the police have to get all worked up on this campaign.

The country is moving towards greater democracy where the people want change. This was clearly reflected in the March 08 elections. Not only that, even the Prime Minister is promoting that more democratic space needs to be created. In that sense, it looks like the police force is still in colonial times with oppressive and suppressive attitudes.

It is time that the police force should learn to adopt a more open and democratic approach by respecting the civil and political rights of the people. They should change their mindset and not constantly create a fear culture which will suppress the democratic rights of the rakyat.

Statement released by JERIT Secretariat


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