Only 50,000 turned up for Bersih 4 rally, deputy home minister says

Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said it was impossible for more than 50,000 people to converge in the city as well as around Dataran Merdeka as 'it would have been too crowded to fit everyone.' ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said it was impossible for more than 50,000 people to converge in the city as well as around Dataran Merdeka as 'it would have been too crowded to fit everyone.' ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31— Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed has rubbished claims that half a million people had participated in the two-day Bersih 4 rally, saying today approximately only 50,000 had turned up.

Nur Jazlan said it was impossible for more than 50,000 people to converge in the city as well as around Dataran Merdeka as “it would have been too crowded to fit everyone.”

“Even today’s Merdeka parade, you see 13,000 people and Dataran Merdeka was full, how can they say hundreds of thousands of people were there and other parts of the city?” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

“50,000 people at the most, if you say its more than that then it is rubbish. Impossible, probably politicians adding up figures,” the Pulai MP added.

He also accused the Bersih 4 organisers of having “pro-opposition” political agendas.

“Just listen to them speak, and you can see everything has been made political,” Nur Jazlan said.

Electoral reforms group Bersih 2.0 declared today its fourth and biggest rally a success, claiming that as many as 500,000 people had participated in the two-day event that took place peacefully here at the heart of Malaysia’s capital city.

Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah said Bersih 4 was an “historic” achievement that proved a mass protest does not necessarily have to end in violence.

Bersih 2.0 kicked off a 34-hour overnight rally downtown near Dataran Merdeka on Saturday at 2pm.

An aerial view of the crowd gathered at the Bersih 4 rally in Kuala Lumpur, August 30, 2015. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
An aerial view of the crowd gathered at the Bersih 4 rally in Kuala Lumpur, August 30, 2015. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

The rally called for institutional economic and government reforms and also Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s resignation as prime minister over his administration’s handling of debt-stricken state investor 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The 34-hour long Bersih 4 rally saw tens of thousands gather at the fringes of Dataran Merdeka throughout the weekend while hundreds remained to sleep on the streets on Saturday night.

The rally ended peacefully despite previous threats by Putrajaya of a crackdown after declaring the rally and its paraphernalia illegal.

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