It was not so long ago that Greg Sheridan suggested that Najib Razak was the best person to lead Malaysia and meet Australia’s interests. It was also not so long ago that successive Australian Prime Ministers – Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard – hailed Malaysia’s as a vibrant democracy, and Najib Razak, its leading light.

There is broad consensus from research on a range of Islamic countries that democracies acts as an important hedge against extremism and terrorism.

The Australian government and the people of Australia will need to make a very important decision in the next few days – if it wants to be on the side of democracy – for its own sake, and the people of Malaysia who are demanding for a more genuine democracy, or an authoritarian regime, that is stifling these demands to remain in power and lurching the country towards extremism.

The Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, is said to have warned, in Malay in order to avoid coverage in international media, of “crushed bodies, broken bones, and dead bodies” in response to the protests. There are also claims police had undertaken “live fire” exercises with the Malaysian Army involving a drill called “Disperse or we shoot you”, although this is regarded as an attempt at pre-emptive intimidation by the government.

– Extracted from Bernard Keane, “Malaysian PM to reformers: ‘Crushed bodies, broken bones, dead bodies‘” Crikey, 8 July 2011

Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan and opposition leaders will be arrested should they enter certain parts of the city on Saturday.

The police had obtained a court order to restrict 91 inviduals, including Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali, from setting foot in several places on that day. Other notable names on the list were Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, PAS spiritual adviser Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang.

– Extracted from Patrick Lee, “Arrest looms for Ambiga, opposition leadersFree Malaysia Today, 7 July 2011

Putrajaya has frozen temporary bus permits for travel across the peninsula to Kuala Lumpur, in what is seen as an effort to limit the turnout for Saturday’s Bersih rally.

Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar confirmed the directive is effective tomorrow, saying the commission did not want traffic congestion in the capital city.

– Extracted from G. Manimaran, “Putrajaya freezes bus permits for Bersih weekends“, The Malaysian Insider, 7 July 2011