Two Umno divisional leaders condemned Bersih 3.0 rally for losing sight of its goal when it turned violent in yesterday's rally.
GEORGE TOWN: The Bersih 3.0 rally lost its sight of its objective when sections of the protesters charged at the police at Dataran Merdeka and began vandalising properties yesterday, two Penang Umno divisional leaders claimed here.
Their action merely confirmed suspicions among some Malaysians that the rally was just a political tool exploited by Pakatan Rakyat to gain mileage, the duo said.
The two also charged that Bersih was not entirely about cleaning up the electoral roll or fighting for fair elections, but was rather an avenue to promote Pakatan’s cause.
The protest was also to find a tailored-made excuse if Pakatan loses in the next general election as it can now blame the Barisan Nasional and the Election Commission.
Pakatan must also explain how did the ruling BN coalition lose its two-thirds majority in the last election if the roll was tainted, in the last election, they said
Bukit Bendara Umno division head Abdul Jalil Ariffin said the rally which reportedly drew between 10,000 and 25,000 people, only accounted for less than 1% of the country’s population.
It does not represent the views of the silent majority as Malaysia has a population of some 27 million, of which half are eligible to register to vote, Jalil said in an interview.
Only some 10 million voters participated in the 2008 election.
Jalil said BN is not likely to be intimidated by the presence of the crowd on Saturday.
“The laymen out there would think that if Pakatan cannot handle some 25,000 people, how is the party to manage some 27 million Malaysians.”
Furthermore, Pakatan is essentially part of the government, as it controls Kedah, Kelantan, Selangor and Penang, he added.
‘Don’t blame the police’
Jalil said the coordinators cannot shift the blame to the police because people were injured while properties were damaged.
He also said that it is unbecoming of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to participate in street rallies, as this would lower the prestige of his office.
In most countries, when a leader is elected to office, his job is to resolve problems and not create more, Jalil said when commenting on Lim’s attendance at the Penang Bersih rally yesterday.
Lim has again forgotten to differentiate his role as a chief minister from that of an opposition, he said.
Bukit Gelugor Umno division head Omar Faudzar also said the protesters had introduced a gangterism culture by assaulting policemen.
He said Pakatan must respect the law and it should have held the rallies elsewhere as Dataran Merdeka has been declared off-limit to Bersih and the public.
Omar said the policemen had to act firmly because the protesters were demolishing the barricades.
Pakatan must also answer why the demontrators did not listen when told to disperse peacefully, he added.
Omar also criticised his uncle, former tourism minister Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, for attending the rally.
“He [Abdul Kadir] was not there for political reasons. It was personal. When he was the tourism minister, he despised street protests because it affected tourism.”