Yel­low-red ral­lies worry PM

> Po­ten­tial Arab Spring­like clashes would lead to chaos, says Na­jib

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

TOKYO: Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Ab­dul Razak has ex­pressed con­cern over a pos­si­ble clash be­tween red shirt and yel­low shirt pro­test­ers at the Ber­sih rally to­mor­row.

“If one side wants to protest, the other which wants to pro­tect the gov­ern­ment, is com­pelled to come out ... but I don’t want any phys­i­cal clash. Even the Arab Spring was her­alded as an era of change but in­stead, it brought mis­ery to the peo­ple who were in­volved,” he said.

The Arab Spring was a series of anti-gov­ern­ment protests, up­ris­ings and armed re­bel­lions that spread across the Mid­dle East in early 2011.

Fed­eral Ter­ri­to­ries Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Tengku Ad­nan Tengku Man­sor re­it­er­ated on Wed­nes­day that Kuala Lumpur City Hall will not al­low Dataran Merdeka to be used as the venue for the rally.

Speak­ing to Malaysian jour­nal­ists here on Wed­nes­day at the end of his three-day work­ing visit to Ja­pan, Na­jib said the rakyat would be able to pick their choice of gov­ern­ment when the gen­eral elec­tion is held, Ber­nama re­ported.

“The best time is to de­cide when the time comes. We will not be cowed by street protests ... there will be an elec­tion and peo­ple can make their choice and we will abide by the de­ci­sion of the rakyat,” he said.

The next gen­eral elec­tion, Malaysia’s 14th, will be­come due in June 2018.

Na­jib said any other way (of re­mov­ing the present gov­ern­ment) would be un­con­sti­tu­tional and would lead to chaos, as hap­pened in sev­eral other coun­tries.

“You can­not in­dulge in any kind of phys­i­cal clash. That is not go­ing to be good for us and that is not the cul­ture we will want to be ac­cepted as our way of life,” he said.

Mean­while in Kuala Lumpur, HAIKAL JALIL re­ports that Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi has is­sued an ul­ti­ma­tum to both Ber­sih and the Red Shirts group to stop the gath­er­ing, or face po­lice ac­tion.

Ah­mad Zahid said stern ac­tion would be taken against those who breach the law, re­gard­less of who they sup­port.

“Dur­ing the 2017 bud­get wind­ing up speech, I have stated that ac­tion would be taken against both par­ties, be it red or yel­low,” he said.

“Both par­ties need to stand down and put a stop to their gath­er­ing. That is the best thing to do,” he said at the Par­lia­ment lobby yes­ter­day.

Ah­mad Zahid stressed that po­lice will not hes­i­tate to take ac­tion in the event of clashes be­tween the two groups.

“The po­lice will not com­pro­mise with any party on the ac­tions that will be taken,” he said.

Ali says those in the pub­lic ser­vice are gen­er­ally aware they can­not take part in such gath­er­ings.

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