Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad succeeded in co-opting the Bersih 5 rally as his platform and completely ignored the imprisonment of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, said Khairy Jamaluddin.
Khairy, who heads the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional’s Youth wing, then hailed Dr Mahathir for allegedly fooling opposition leaders and Bersih 5 rally-goers.
“Congratulations to Tun M, he successfully made Bersih his platform; all opposition leaders have absolutely been played by him,” he was quoted saying yesterday afternoon at the BN Federal Territories Youth Convention by New Straits Times‘ news portal.
Khairy, who is also the Umno Youth chief, sought to contrast the Bersih 5 rally with the BN youth convention.
He said the BN event focused on issues affecting Malaysians such as public transport, education and housing and politics was not raised then, unlike the rally which he alleged was hate-filled against the BN.
“At the end of the rally yesterday, the real issue disappeared. Nobody spoke of Anwar Ibrahim.
“Everything was about Tun M,” he claimed.
Yesterday, rally organiser Bersih 2.0 insisted that its rally was not “hijacked” by Dr Mahathir who took to the stage during the Bersih 5 rally and arguably stole the show.
According to Bersih 2.0’s steering committee members, the polls reform group welcomed the former prime minister’s presence as it appreciated the participation of all regardless of political background, insisting that no one would be able to derail its agenda of institutional reform.
Dr Mahathir, who was accused of curtailing civil liberties during his time as prime minister, said at the Bersih 5 rally that the attendance of thousands of ordinary Malaysians at the street demonstration showed that people wanted a change in government.
The veteran politician claimed the use of security 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.
Besides the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman, his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir and president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin were also present, with the latter becoming an unlikely star and even received bigger cheers than Dr Mahathir.
Source : The Malay Mail Online