PETALING JAYA: Hours after Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said street demonstrations are not part of the Malaysian culture, Maria Chin Abdullah (pix) reminded everyone that it was through that means that the country gained independence.
The Bersih 2.0 chairman even suggested to the Prime Minister that Umno would not have survived today if it had not gone out to the streets to demonstrate.
“Street demonstrations have always been our culture. If you even remember how we won our independence, we were on the streets.
“Right from the beginning of our history. It is part of our right to dissent,” she told a press conference, here, today.
“We wanted to show them (British) at that time that we wanted change, and now to show to the government that people are serious about it,” she added.
Maria said she was also confident that the turnout for the Bersih 5 rally tomorrow would be huge, despite the threats hurled by Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos and his Red Shirts.
In urging the public not to give in to the threats, she pointed out that the booking of buses in other states has been very encouraging, and that the official Bersih T-shirts were “selling like hot cakes”.
Meanwhile, former Bersih 2.0 chairperson Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan has called on the police to exercise their power under Section 18 of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 to direct the Red Shirts to hold their counter rally at a different location or time.
She explained that under the provision, the officer in charge of a district shall give an alternative for any counter assembly if it is evident that they will cause conflict between participants of the two assemblies.