KUALA LUMPUR: Street demonstrations must not be made a part of the Malaysian culture, the Prime Minister said.
The people should not have to live in chaos and uncertainty, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
“We are peace-loving citizens and we want to live in a nation that has a bright future,” the Umno president added when addressing thousands of people comprising party grassroots leaders and representatives from Malay-based non-governmental organisations yesterday.
The special session was organised by Umno to explain to its members and supporters the latest issues, particularly the current political situation and the illegal rallies on Saturday.
The large attendance resulted in many having to stand or listen to Najib’s speech from outside Dewan Merdeka in the Putra World Trade Centre.
Also present were Deputy Prime Minister and Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, vice-presidents Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and Wanita chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil.
Najib also called on the country’s “silent majority” to no longer remain silent and voice their support for the Government.
“They must stop being the silent majority. There are many ways in which you can voice your opinion including using the social network.
“I think it is about time people stand up and be counted how they feel about things. However, this does not mean for one moment that we (the Government) are not committed to democracy and the rule of law,” he said.
Explaining the illegal rallies, Najib said he was asked why he had offered the organisers to hold it in a stadium, adding that this was because he respected democratic practices.
“However, I did not offer Merdeka Stadium to them. They can do it in stadiums located in opposition-ruled states. Merdeka Stadium is a national symbol,” he said.
He added even though the organisers had initially heeded to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s advice not to hold street demonstrations, they still proceeded with it and went against their word to hold a peaceful rally.
“They wanted to show the world that the Government does not respect human rights and there is no democracy in Malaysia,” he said, adding that the Election Commission had already started improvements to the election process even before Bersih’s demands for free and fair elections.
Source : The Star