July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally is really a Pakatan Rakyat effort to win back the political momentum it once enjoyed after the March 2008 tsunami but has since lost to Barisan Nasional in a series of by-elections – except Sibu.
Even the Sibu by-election was won by the DAP with a slim 300-vote majority.
Although the party went on to win 15 urban seats in the Sarawak state election, the state Barisan Nasional managed to win a two-thirds majority, clinching most of the rural seats and losing only the urban seats to the DAP.
To recapture the political momentum is the unstated goal of the Bersih 2.0 rally going into the 13th general election, which is near, going by the latest hint dropped by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at a closed door meeting of the Sabah Barisan Nasional on Wednesday.
PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the man behind it, senses that a major public rally, which would galvanise the public mood, shake the Barisan Nasional and prepare Pakatan Rakyat for seizing Putrajaya, is the best chance of getting the political momentum back.
In tandem with that goal, Bersih 2.0 has lost its public face as an independent NGO and increasingly showing its Pakatan Rakyat face, even as police step up their action to stop the rally, which they have termed illegal and a nuisance.