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‘Minimum force’

By Friday July 15th, 2011 No Comments

LONDON: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the government’s security response to the recent Bersih 2.0 rally “is quite mild”.

He said although 1,600 people were arrested, they were released after eight hours and were treated well.

In an interview with CNN’s John Defterios, in conjunction with the prime minister’s visit to the United Kingdom yesterday, Najib said: “There was no undue use of force. And, you know, the demonstrators were dispersed using minimum force.” To a question by Defterios on what was behind last Saturday’s rally, Najib replied: “It is basically politics because there is democracy in Malaysia.” He added that the government was committed to electoral reforms. “And it will come up to see that we are all for fair and clean elections.

“And as you (Defterios) know, the last general election, you know, the ruling party lost five states. And we were deprived of a two-thirds majority.” When Defterios reiterated “so, five of 13 states overall?”, Najib replied: “Five of 13 states and not a fair, clean election? We wouldn’t have lost five states. But we are committed to making better.” Asked by Defterios about Malaysia’s new economic model, Najib said the government must be focused in terms of what it needed to do.

“I am very confident because we have got very, very concrete plans, you know, to get there.

“This is not something which is quite macro or quite abstract. It is something that is very, very specific.

“We have the numbers, we have the projects, we have the type of investment and we have the number of jobs we want to create. And all of these things are for real.” Najib was also asked about the country’s economic growth which exceeded seven per cent last year and the government’s projection of between five and 5.5 per cent growth this year.

To this, he replied: “Put it this way, if nothing unforeseen happens, we should be able to get five or six per cent. But there are concerns. There are uncertainties. You know, things could happen that you don’t expect.”

Source : New Straits Times

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