KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has said the recent protests against the government were likely to spread due to the failures of the Perikatan Nasional administration.
He expressed regret and disappointment at the arrest of several youths by the authorities in Batu Pahat, Johor, saying they were only expressing their discontent towards the government.
“The pressures by the authorities on youths protesting in front of Parliament last month is also regrettable,” Anwar said in a Facebook post.
The PKR president also expressed his appreciation over the efforts of various lawyers and MPs in offering these youths legal support.
“What we are witnessing now is the clear failure by the Perikatan Nasional government in all respects, along with their attitude when dealing with such criticisms and protests, which serves to reflect on the government’s weakness.
“The government’s refusal to convene Parliament is also highly regrettable, while the democratic process continues to be trampled and tarnished,” Anwar said.
On March 27, around 100 demonstrators gathered outside Parliament to protest the Election Commission’s delay in allowing 18-year-olds to vote and the suspension of the federal legislature.
Among those who attended were former education minister Maszlee Malik, and activists-turned-politicians Maria Chin Abdullah and Tian Chua, along with several NGOs like Bersih 2.0 and Demokrat Nasional showing their support for the movement.
On April 30, another 100 youths from Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat symbolically broke their Ramadan fast in front of Parliament, in protest over the suspension of both Houses.
On Thursday (May 13), a video of several groups of people in cars and motorcycles blocking a busy intersection in Johor went viral. They held up burning flares and a banner with the words “Kerajaan Gagal” (failed government).