Najib: Let illegal rally be a lesson to the people

(The Star) – KUALA TERENGGANU: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is grateful that the illegal rally did not cause serious harm to people and property.

The Prime Minister also said he was glad that the majority of Malaysians, especially those living in Klang Valley, did not take part in it.

“I hope the incident today (yesterday) will serve as a lesson for everyone that street demonstration not only brings hardship to the people, it could also lead to possessions being destroyed,” he said after presenting prizes to the winners of the Bakti sports competition here yesterday.

Najib also said the so-called demand by Bersih protesters for a clean and fair election was merely to serve their ulterior motive.

“Had the event turned serious, they would fully exploit it by giving an impression that Malaysia had no political stability with instances of police brutality.

“Bersih supporters even changed their slogan to reformasi during the illegal rally, which is not at all related to their initial demand,” he said.

“It is proof that this illegal rally is politically-motivated and the demands for electoral reform are just an excuse for them to organise such rallies.”

The Government, he stressed, was always open to any discussion including a clean and fair election, as it had always practised such a system.

“If there are other issues, the rally organisers can discuss with the Election Commission and the Government.

“But illegal rallies and street demonstrations are out of the question,” he said.

If everyone were to go to the street to express their views, then chaos would reign, he added.

“What will happen to our country if there are daily street demonstrations?”

He said the Government had always wanted the rakyat to choose a government through a fair process.

Najib also quashed talk that the rally was a success, saying that the number of people who turned up was small compared with the organiser’s initial estimates.

“However, we know there are certain media outlets, not the mainstream media, which love to exaggerate the event.

“If it was 5,000, they would say there were 10,000 or 20,000.”

On the arrests of several key leaders including Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, Najib said it was up to the police to take action on them whether they were pro or against the government.