Leaders of the Bersih reform group have rejected accusations that the Bersih 5 rally in the capital yesterday had been hijacked by former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad or that he had stolen the show.
Bersih steering committee member Thomas Fann welcomed Dr Mahathir’s participation at the rally and said the former premier had cut short his attendance at a meeting in Sudan, arranged last year, to fly home for the rally.
Fann said many other ordinary people had also given speeches at the demonstration outside the Kuala Lumpur City Centre shopping complex.
However, Fann sounded a warning against anyone attempting to derail Bersih’s quest of institutional reforms.
Another steering committee member, Wong Chin Huat, said Dr Mahathir had managed to bring out more support for the street demonstration.
He said no one could derail Bersih’s struggle for reforms. “Those who are trying do so will be abandoned.”
Dr Mahathir was at the centre of media attention yesterday and figured prominently in press reports abroad for turning up and speaking at the rally, wearing a yellow Bersih 5 t-shirt.
Many Malaysians were surprised to see Dr Mahathir calling for support of street demonstrations after his own government clamped down on the Reformasi movement in the late 1990s.
Source : Minderjeet Kaur@FMT Reporters Online