Analysts fear riots from Bersih rally

(The Malaysian Insider) – KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — The July 9 Bersih rally is causing concern in two political analysts, who fear it may be used by unsavoury elements to create full-scale riots in the city.

Prof Dr Ahmad Atory Hussain of Universiti Sains Malaysia said it takes just a small section of the crowd, which organisers expect to be in the hundreds of thousands, to spark chaos.

“The organisers might say the assembly will be peaceful, but one individual is all it takes to cause mob behaviour,” the sociologist was quoted in a Bernama Online report.

Ahmad also voiced concerns that any potential clash may lead to intercommunal unrest.

He did not, however, share his thoughts with regards to the identities of the possible instigators.

Another pundit, UTM political science lecturer Che Hamdan Mohd Razali, expressed doubt that Bersih’s motives are as transparent as the group claims, and voiced suspicion that the rally was intended to goad authorities into heavy-handed reaction.

“I see the assembly is meant to provoke. It is also to build up anti-government sentiment among voters for the coming general election,” he said in the same report.