Bersih leaders a ‘motley crew’ of former enemies: Azalina

Azalina Othman Said

(The Sun Daily) – Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has labelled opposition leaders behind Bersih 5 rally, today, as a “motley crew” of former enemies driven by self-interest and not the greater good of society.

In a statement, Azalina said despite Bersih boasting themselves as the bastion of free and fair elections, they have proven to manipulate the public by being a political opposition movement disguising themselves as an independent “civil society”.

“Their penchant for large scale street protest as part of a political display have inevitably triggered other counter-rallies that could potentially spiral into a state of lawlessness.

“If it was really the people they truly cared about, they would not break Malaysia’s laws and bring chaos to our capital, negatively impacting businesses and the people who are trying to go about their daily lives‎,” she said.

As Malaysia is modelled on a Westminster style Parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy, Azalina stressed that the party with the largest number of members in the House of Representatives forms the government.

“The opposition must respect and uphold the people’s decision. Any dissatisfaction must be voiced through a proper channels as suggested by the Prime Minister.

“It is unlawful for any party to try to unseat a democratically-elected government via street protests. They should play by the rules of our democracy and wait until the next election so that the majority of Malaysians can again choose their government via the ballot box,” she added.

She also advised any coalitions or movement, be that Bersih or any others, not to abuse the fundamental rights conferred under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution and right to assemble peacefully and without arms under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

“The Peaceful Assembly Act is one of the efforts initiated by the government to undertake the transformation of the existing legal framework in relation to the constitutional rights of citizens to assemble.

“Although the Federal Constitution and the Peaceful Assembly Act are protecting the right to peacefully assemble, the right is not an absolute one and there are limitations which are necessary for a democratic society, national security, public safety, prevention of disorder and crime, as well as for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others,” she added.