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Hold snap polls to avoid more protests, Najib told

 | May 4, 2012

The prime minister is likely to face stiffer response from the rakyat if he continues to delay calling for the general election, says Penang Malay Congress chief.

GEORGE TOWN: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was asked to dissolve Parliament and hold snap polls if he does not wish to see a repeat of the violence-laced Bersih 3.0 demonstration.

The outspoken Penang Malay Congress president Rahmad Isahak said if the general election is not held soon, there is likely to be more, even bigger, demonstrations.

Independent watchers estimated last weekend’s crowd to number between 50,000 and 80,000, as a sea of yellow T-shirts descended on Kuala Lumpur to stage a sit-in protest at Dataran Merdeka.

According to Rahmad, the majority of the protesters were young and professionals and this signals a huge divide in the country.

“It is simply the old versus new ways. We cannot carry on blindly, knowing fully well that the faultlines in this country are growing bigger.

“A fresh mandate is needed for any political party with aspirations to govern,” Rahmad said in a statement.

He said people are challenging the legislation passed in Parliament about peaceful public assembly, adding that they are also confused over how to define what is a legal or illegal protest.

Rahmad believes gatherings would continue to be held until an election is called. The image of the country, he said, would erode globally if such gatherings turned rowdy and violent.

Rahmad said true power in any democratic nation lies with the people and the leaders are just “temporary conductors”, whose roles are only revelant during the term of a general election.

Therefore, the mandate must be returned to the people once again now to decide who they want as their “conductors” in leading the country.

Turning a blind eye

In another development, Rahmad also urged Penang DAP to disclose if it is fielding any Malay candidates in the next election.

He said an early announcement would put to rest allegations that the party is turning a blind eye to the plight of Malays here.

Generally, Penang Malays who predominantly live in pockets of village settlements admist development projects, believed that they have been sidelined.

Rahmad claimed that the Malays have lost confidence in the ability of PKR and PAS to voice out the grievances of the community.

Therefore, they are banking on DAP to listen intently to their woes. Fielding their own Malay candidates, will be step in the right direction for DAP in Penang, Rahmad said.


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