Yellow-red rallies worry PM
> Potential Arab Springlike clashes would lead to chaos, says Najib
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.