PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 today claimed that the backing it has received from the Malay community, who were largely absent in last year’s Bersih 4 rally, is encouraging.
Its treasurer Thomas Fann also hoped that the support the group has witnessed in the convoys leading up to Bersih 5, scheduled to be held on Nov 19, will lead to a good turnout.
“When we drove by villages and honked, many recognised us and showed their support by waving back and honking. The support is there,” he told reporters at a press conference here today.
Fann was asked to comment on whether the Malay community would turn up for the rally next month after PAS said it would sit this one out again, like they did last year.
In the first three Bersih rallies, PAS had mobilised the majority of the Malay participation.
PAS Secretary-General Takiyuddin Hassan had previously said the party would not participate in the rally as Bersih currently had other objectives which were not in line with PAS’ stand.
The Islamist party had decided not to participate in last year’s Bersih 4 rally, following the demise of Pakatan Rakyat, and observers felt this was the reason why only a small number of Malays joined the gathering.
Bersih 2.0 deputy chairperson Shahrul Aman Mohd Saari said he also noticed that more Malays were coming forward to support the rally, an observation he made based on ceramahs the group held in Johor recently.
He added that many of those who attended the ceramahs, particularly the women, were asking a lot of questions. This, he said were signs that they have connected with the grassroots.
“We have invited PAS to join us for the rally, but we are not too worried if they don’t show up.”