Global Bersih decries threat to revoke protesters' scholarships
Global Bersih has condemned Putrajaya's alleged attempt to scuttle Bersih rallies in more than 70 cities overseas by issuing threats to revoke the scholarship of participants if they are government-sponsored Malaysian students.
"Global Bersih condemns the rising number of threats and intimidatory incidents against Global Bersih solidarity rally organisers as well as would-be participants around the world.
"Reports of Malaysian scholarship students abroad receiving threatening official letters that raise the revoking of their scholarships and warnings against participating in any Bersih-related activity is deeply disappointing and counter-productive," it said in a statement today.
Furthermore, Global Bersih claimed Malaysian embassies have also given inaccurate information to overseas police about the rallies.
"We are also appalled that a number of Global Bersih solidarity rally organisers have been approached or have had to meet their respective local police forces because of misleading reports by Malaysian embassies about the allegedly disruptive Bersih rallies across the world," it said.
Global Bersih stressed the rallies are in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and are in accordance with local laws.
"We wholeheartedly reject all efforts to discredit our gatherings in almost 70 cities around the world. We denounce all attempts to smear, provoke, incite fear, intimidate and threaten our events and participants," it said.
Coinciding with Bersih 4 rally
The Global Bersih rallies will coincide with the Bersih 4 rally in Kuala Lumpur this weekend which is aimed at calling for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's resignation while demanding sweeping reforms.
Najib is being plagued by scandals including his handling of state-owned debt-ridden1MDB and the deposits of RM2.6 billion into his personal bank accounts.
Najib has denied taking public funds for personal gain while his supporters claim the money was a political donation from the Middle East.