Dr M: Sept 16 ‘Red Shirt’ rally unnecessary, Bersih 4 wasn’t about race

The Bersih 4 rally has been branded by its opponents as a demonstration dominated by the Chinese to challenge the political power of the Malays. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
The Bersih 4 rally has been branded by its opponents as a demonstration dominated by the Chinese to challenge the political power of the Malays. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

SUBANG JAYA, Sept 9 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today warned against the so-called Himpunan Maruah Melayu on September 16, citing previous unrest in Bangkok, Thailand to illustrate the dangers of rival protests.

He also criticised the supporters of the protest for saying it was necessary to counter the Bersih 4 rally last month for purportedly being dominated by the Chinese.

"There is no need. This isn't a question about race, it is about overthrowing the government,” the former prime minister told reporters after arriving at the Subang Airport today.

"Why need a Red Shirt rally? It is like in Bangkok; Yellow Shirt against the Red Shirts. This is our problem, we can solve it ourselves," he said.

Coincidentally, some 100 supporters wearing red T-shirts gathered earlier to greet the former prime minister upon his return from Czech Republic

The September 16 rally is organised by an unnamed group as is alternately called Himpunan Maruah Melayu and Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu.

Gabungan NGO-NGO Malaysia chairman Datuk Jamal Md Yunos was quoted  by Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia as claiming that the rally was a result of the “many slogans insulting the Malay leadership” during the 34-hour Bersih 4 rally held in the run-up to the Merdeka Day celebrations.

The Bersih 4 rally has been branded by its opponents as a demonstration dominated by the Chinese to challenge the political power of the Malays.

The August 29 to 30 rally was also slammed by Umno and PAS leaders after photos circulated on social media of alleged Bersih 4 participants stepping on a superimposed image of Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak hugging PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Noor Rashid Ibrahim on Monday said rally will not be permitted to proceed due to “security implications”, but the event continues to receive unofficial support from Umno leaders.

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