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‘Insolent Bersih holding King to ransom’

 | July 4, 2011

Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali lashes out Bersih leaders for 'demanding an audience with the King with regard to the July 9 rally.

KUALA LUMPUR: Calling Bersih 2.0 leaders “insolent”, Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali accused them of holding the King to ransom by “demanding” an audience with the latter before deciding on whether to call off the July 9 rally.

“That’s rude and uncalled for, We at Perkasa have written many times to meet with the King on several issues but we’ve never gotten that. But we never threatened the government,” he said.

“How can you organise a rally and then when the King asks for peace, you threaten and say if you don’t meet us then we won’t cancel. We at Perkasa could have organised a 200,000-people rally on the issue of Malay scholarships but we didn’t because we love peace and we respect the King,” he said.

Bersih steering committee chairperson S Ambiga said earlier today that they would adhere to the advice given by the King to seek consultation instead of resorting to street demonstrations, before deciding on their next move.

She had said that if the Yang di-Pertuan Agung told them to, they would cancel the rally.

Ambiga’s statement came following Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin issuing a rare edict last night in an apparent bid to defuse tension.

“I urge that amid the political fervour of a section of the people to bolster democracy in our country, it must also be ensured that this demand does not bring destruction to the country,” he had said in the statement.

‘Don’t meet them’

Ibrahim asked the King to ignore Bersih’s request to seek an audience with him.

“I say (to the King), don’t do it, it will set a precedent. Then everyone will start planning rallies and when the King urges them not to do it, they will demand to see him. The King should not lower his standards as such,” said the vocal Pasir Mas MP.

“Bersih should cancel their rally first, let things cool down before seeking to meet the King, that should be the way” he added.

Ibrahim also said that Perkasa respected the King’s edict and would obey accordingly, but if Bersih was adamant on going ahead with its rally, then Perkasa would most likely follow suit.

“We feel that the King’s view is the same as Perkasa’s view. His comments were aimed at Bersih. From the beginning we said that if they cancel we will cancel. Now we will dance to Bersih’s rhythm. If they go A, we go A, if they say B, we’ll follow,” he added.

Ibrahim said that if Bersih decided to go ahead, then it would amount to rebelling against the King, and going against the Rukun Negara principle of obedience to the King.

He said Perkasa would make its final decision on whether to go ahead with its demonstration after holding its executive committee meeting on July 6.

“But if we proceed, we perhaps will do so in an orderly manner, maybe in a stadium or a special spot. Those are some of the options,” he said.

Possibility of violence

Ibrahim also expressed concern over the possibility of violence if the July 9 rallies continue. He pointed out that there had been some comments made in several online portals that he deemed seditious.

Reading out a reader’s comment in FMT, Ibrahim said that a person by the name of “Tian Pua” had urged people to bring sticks and parangs to fight police on July 9.

“These are very dangerous words and the website should filter and not allow such things to be published,” he said.

Ibrahim added that his NGO was ready with 15,000 t-shirts for their “peace warriors”, and stresed that they would only be assisting security forces to keep the peace.

Asked if his plan to continue Perkasa’s rally would also tantamount to treason, Ibrahim said he would be forced to.

“If Bersih has a rally, the whole world will think the government is weak, investors and tourists will run away. I must do my duty to register that not everyone is for Bersih. We go down to protect the image of the nation,” he said.

Ibrahim said if Bersih held its rally in a stadium, he would welcome that.

“At least people will feel more at ease. You know, I’ve been invited to two weddings on the 9th and 10th and those people are asking me if they should cancel their weddings. It has become (as bad) as that,” he said.

In another development, Umno Youth today said it would call off its plan to hold a counter-protest to Bersih’s July 9 rally only if the election watchdog respects the King’s call for dialogue from both sides.

Kelab Putera 1Malaysia chairman Azeez Rahim, co-organiser of the “Patriot” counter-rally with Umno Youth, said the group was willing to “stand down” in respect of the King’s wishes but warned Bersih not to carry on with the rally.

Also read:

Bersih wants audience with King

Umno Youth sets condition to call off rally


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