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A Azim Idris
Parti Amanah Negara deputy chairman Salahuddin Ayub says Umno leaders had previously accused Malay rally-goers of the first Bersih protest — which saw a high turnout from the community — as being lapdogs of the Chinese. — TRP file pic
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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3, 2015:
Claims that the Bersih 4 rally was racially motivated are malicious and outright racist in nature, says Parti Amanah Negara deputy chairman Salahuddin Ayub.
Joining the chorus of Opposition politicians slamming such claims, the former PAS vice- president argued that the rally was attended by protesters from all races.
“I want to stress here that the rakyat had participated in the Bersih gathering over their awareness and clear conscience to demand free and fair elections and to oppose injustices in the administration, such as corruption and abuse of power.
“It is completely unfounded to claim that Bersih 4 attempted to provoke racial issues by laying it against the backdrop of the May 13 (1969) tragedy,” the former Kubang Kerian lawmaker said in a statement today.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Tajudin Md Isa had recently confirmed that several dozens of police reports were lodged following the rally.
Anti-Bersih 4.0 movement chief Datuk Jamal Md Yunos claimed there was a hidden agenda by the Chinese during the Bersih 4 rally, as even MCA Youth had encouraged people to join the two-day rally.
Jamal, who is also the Sungai Besar Umno division chief, said more than 80% of the Bersih 4 participants were Chinese, who showed unwavering support for the “illegal” rally.
He said the Bersih 4 rally could spark racial issues that could threaten national security, similar to the racially-sparked May 13 riots.
Salahuddin said he would not have participated in any one of the series of Bersih rallies if it had clear or apparent intention to overthrow the government through violence, or to abolish the powers of the Malay monarchies, or question rights stated in the Constitution.
He pointed out that Umno leaders had accused Malay rally-goers of the first Bersih protest — which saw a high turnout from the community — as being lapdogs of the Chinese, claiming that the Malays were out to topple the government while the Chinese were busy with commerce.
“Amanah wants to clarify that our participation in Bersih 4 was to join tin he rakyat’s demands and that the racial issue did not arise as it was made out to be.”
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