GEORGE TOWN, March 7 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has denied warning Pakatan Rakyat (PR) elected representatives against taking part in the Kita Lawan rally today.
He explained that some of the PR assemblyman, including himself, could not attend the rally in Kuala Lumpur today because they had to be in Penang for a state-organised senior citizens’ appreciation programme.
“Yesterday, I did say some of them would be travelling to and fro like Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, but this was not reported,” he claimed, and blamed media controlled by the Barisan Nasional coalition for allegedly “twisting” his words.
He said as long as they travel to and fro and ensured there are people here to facilitate the distribution of the cash to the senior citizens, then there is no problem for the assemblymen to travel to Kuala Lumpur for the rally.
He stressed that Penang PR will fully support any programme that’s organised to fight for justice for Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He added that his personal attendance was required for the senior citizens’ event in Penang to ensure the programme, now into its sixth year, ran smoothly.
“We arranged the distribution of the funds earlier and letters to the recipients were sent even before the rally was announced, so we couldn’t cancel it,” he told reporters today after visiting one of the banks where the recipients are receiving their cash.
Lim pointed out that the programme involved 160,000 senior citizens, indicating that it wasn’t a small programme that could be easily cancelled.
He added he had informed PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail that some of the Penang PR assemblyman may not be able to attend the rally because of the pre-arranged social programme.
“She understood our reasons and I’m sure that if you were to ask Anwar, he would agree that this social welfare programme for the people is important as the programme also involves his constituents in Permatang Pauh,” he said.
The #KitaLawan rally at Sogo in Kuala Lumpur today was organised by Anwar supporters to demand for Anwar’s release after his sodomy conviction and five-year jail sentence was upheld by the Federal Court on February 10.
The #KitaLawan hashtag movement is a group formed in solidarity with Anwar with a number of its members comprising student leaders.