Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin became the unlikely star at the Bersih 5 rally today, as he delivered a message of unity and urged opposition parties to put aside their differences.
The thousands of people here outside the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) cheered at the pause of Muhyiddin’s every sentence, as he hit out at the government administration he was once a part of.
“We need a government that is not autocratic. We need a government for the people that is concerned for the people!” he said to cheers from the crowd.
Dressed in a Bersih 5 T-shirt, the former deputy prime minister said that the onus was on opposition parties to get their act together for the next general election.
“I must appeal to all of you (to) set aside all our differences so that we may face (BN) on a one to one basis.
“We want an honest and clean government,” he said.
The cheers for Muhyiddin from the audience were even louder than for former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who spoke before him.
Tens of thousands in yellow hit the streets at the Bersih 5 demonstration organised by polls reform group Bersih 2.0, protesting against corruption.
Dr Mahathir urged Malaysians to reject a government that oppresses its people and uses laws to silence criticism.
The man who — during his tenure as prime minister, was accused of curtailing civil liberties — said the attendance of thousands of ordinary Malaysians at the street demonstration showed that people wanted a change in government.
“Thousands have showed up to express their dissatisfaction…I thank you for coming even under difficult circumstances.
“This is our struggle. We want a government which does not abuse the law,” Dr Mahathir said in a soft but clear voice to the thousands of Bersih supporters in front of KLCC here.
The former prime minister said the use of certain laws against key opposition and Bersih leaders ahead of the rally showed that the current government is undemocratic and does not listen to its people.
“I’ve been in politics for 70 years. I’ve never seen this big a rally in all those years,” he said.
Maria Chin Abdullah, head of polls reform group Bersih 2.0, was detained today under an anti-terrorism law, the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012. Several other pro-Bersih activists and opposition politicians were arrested last night, purportedly to prevent rioting.
Source : SHAZWAN MUSTAFA KAMAL@The Malay Mail Online