‘Bersih just a political tool for Pakatan’

Two Umno divisional leaders condemned Bersih 3.0 rally for losing sight of its goal when it turned violent in yesterday’s rally. 

(Free Malaysia Today) – The Bersih 3.0 rally lost its sight of its objective when sections of the protesters charged at the police at Dataran Merdeka and began vandalising properties yesterday, two Penang Umno divisional leaders claimed here.

Their action merely confirmed suspicions among some Malaysians that the rally was just a political tool exploited by Pakatan Rakyat to gain mileage, the duo said.

The two also charged that Bersih was not entirely about cleaning up the electoral roll or fighting for fair elections, but was rather an avenue to promote Pakatan’s cause.

The protest was also to find a tailored-made excuse if Pakatan loses in the next general election as it can now blame the Barisan Nasional and the Election Commission.

Pakatan must also explain how did the ruling BN coalition lose its two-thirds majority in the last election if the roll was tainted, in the last election, they said

Bukit Bendara Umno division head Abdul Jalil Ariffin said the rally which reportedly drew between 10,000 and 25,000 people, only accounted for less than 1% of the country’s population.

It does not represent the views of the silent majority as Malaysia has a population of some 27 million, of which half are eligible to register to vote, Jalil said in an interview.

Only some 10 million voters participated in the 2008 election.

Jalil said BN is not likely to be intimidated by the presence of the crowd on Saturday.

“The laymen out there would think that if Pakatan cannot handle some 25,000 people, how is the party to manage some 27 million Malaysians.”

Furthermore, Pakatan is essentially part of the government, as it controls Kedah, Kelantan, Selangor and Penang, he added.

‘Don’t blame the police’

Jalil said the coordinators cannot shift the blame to the police because people were injured while properties were damaged.

He also said that it is unbecoming of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to participate in street rallies, as this would lower the prestige of his office.

In most countries, when a leader is elected to office, his job is to resolve problems and not create more, Jalil said when commenting on Lim’s attendance at the Penang Bersih rally yesterday.