KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 16 — Many among the thousands who painted the city’s streets red today said they were there to defend the country against purported Chinese domination, with some expressing anger against the minority group for allegedly insulting their Malay-Muslim leaders and stealing their rights.
Although organisers of the Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu rally previously said the event was not meant to be racially-tinged, some participants openly admitted their objectives were to fight for the rights they claimed were trampled on by the “big-headed” Chinese.
One attendee, Muhamad Ridzuan Sulaiman, said the Malays now play too small a role in the economy, which he alleged is Chinese-controlled.
“For instance, if I wanted to open a shop next to a Chinese owned shop, they would use black magic to curse my shop,” he told Malay Mail Online as rally participants began packing up to leave Padang Merbok this evening.
The 21-year-old said although he believed the rally was not expressly anti-Chinese, it was organised due to Malay frustration over certain actions by the country’s ethnic minorities.
“The other races are just waiting for the Malays to fall,” lamented the youth who expressed interest in joining Malay nationalist party Umno.
The sentiment was echoed by another rally participant, 62-year-old Che Hassan from Pasir Puteh, Kelantan.
“We’re not exactly angry at the Chinese. But we’re so angry at the DAP. They are insulting our Malay-Muslim leaders.
“They are messing around with the rights of the Malays, like what they did in Bersih 4. They insulted our leaders there, but here, we have done nothing. We didn’t stir up any issues like they did,” the man said.
City dweller Aziah Mat Dohun told Malay Mail Online that when given the opportunity, the Chinese would “grab the rights of the Malays”.
Asked to explain, the 57-year-old said: “They insulted our ministers. They had the gall to do that because we let them, and because we let the illegal rally Bersih happened.”
She said today’s rally was not meant to pick a fight as it was hoped that the event would result in some positive changes for Malaysia.
“The Chinese must not be ‘besar kepala’ (big-headed),” she said.
Most of the thousands who had earlier swarmed the streets of the capital have now left Padang Merbok, although a sizeable crowd is still lingering at Petaling Street where riot police had earlier fired water cannons to disperse protesters.
The mass event organised by silat group Pesaka had turned chaotic at intervals earlier in the afternoon when protesters stormed past police barricades to march through the streets.