PETALING JAYA: As former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is an unpredictable man, it should not be a surprise if he shows up at the Bersih 5 rally on Saturday, said his right-hand man.
Khairuddin Abu Hassan said this was despite Mahathir saying he would be in Sudan on the day to fulfil a prior commitment he had made.
“Umno leaders shouldn’t get too excited at the news of Mahathir’s absence. They must remember that Mahathir is a man of many surprises.
“The travel time from Sudan to Malaysia is not that great. Anything is possible as we still have 24 hours before the Bersih 5 gathering begins,” he said in a statement issued this morning, adding that unexpected surprises could be “wonderful and exciting”.
“Have confidence in Mahathir’s capability when it comes to this,” said the former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chief.
Mahathir, in a pre-recorded interview with Radio Bangsar Utama on Wednesday, had said he would not be attending the rally due to a prior engagement overseas.
He, however, expressed full support for the gathering, which is calling for, among others, institutional reform,and Prime Minister Najib Razak’s resignation.
The 91-year-old had also urged the public to support the rally, a call echoed by Khairuddin who refuted claims that Mahathir was afraid to join the rally which had been declared illegal.
He said the word “fear” did not exist in Mahathir’s life.
“To uphold the truth, and to protect race, religion, and country, Mahathir is willing to face any obstacle and risk,” he said.
“Besides, whether he can come, or not, is unimportant, as he has expressed support for it. His spirit alone is enough for us to make sure the gathering is successful.
“The public should come out in large numbers to show the power of the people in a peaceful and legally correct manner. Let us paint the dataran area yellow with our presence.”
The rally is deemed illegal by the authorities as Kuala Lumpur City Hall had forbid it from being held at Dataran Merdeka.