PETALING JAYA: Companies that provide funds for the Bersih 5 rally next month are to be blacklisted from government contracts, according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
“The time to be soft and tolerant has ended,” he was quoted as saying today after Mingguan Malaysia editors had called for government action against sponsors of reform group Bersih.
As a minister in the prime minister’s department, Rahman Dahlan has responsibilities over the Economic Planning Unit and the Public-Private Partnership Unit. The two agencies handle government projects.
He said he would request the two agencies to scrutinise all companies that seek contracts from the Federal Government.
“Companies that are evidently supporting this illegal gathering will be blacklisted immediately,” he said, according to Malay Mail Online. “Companies that help a movement that jeopardises the economic safety of the country will be ostracised.”
His remarks came in response to the Awang Selamat column in the Mingguan Malaysia newspaper today which urged the government to penalise companies supporting Bersih.
Awang Selamat, a pseudonym for the paper’s editors, said companies who had reaped huge profits from government contracts were now conspiring to overthrow the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.
Bersih, an electoral reform group, plans to hold a street rally in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 19 to demand the resignation of prime minister Najib Razak and to call for political reforms.