KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 ― By allowing Umno members to take part in the “red shirt” rally this September 16, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is as good as giving tacit support for the controversial gathering, said DAP MP Teresa Kok.
The Seputeh MP said Najib could have cited his 1Malaysia concept and discouraged people from joining the rally but had instead allowed members of his party to participate in the event.
“Najib has therefore not only given the wrong message to Umno members and Malaysians, his motive should be questioned.
“Is he trying to hijack the rally and make it into a pro- Najib rally?,” she asked.
She said the rally was obviously racist and was causing tremendous worry among Malaysians.
“Yet why did Najib say after chairing Umno Supreme Council meeting last night that Umno would not ask its members not to attend the rally?,” she said.
At a press conference yesterday, Najib said Umno was not supporting the rally but added that the party would not bar its members from taking part as it is a “free country”.
The September 16 rally, organised by an unnamed group and alternatively called Himpunan Maruah Melayu or Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu raised a storm, and is ostensibly to counter the alleged Chinese domination of last month’s Bersih 4 rally for institutional reforms.
Although police declared it illegal, the rally has received unofficial support from some government officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Opposition Islamist party PAS, Malay-rights group Perkasa and Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) are among those who have distanced themselves from the rally.
Kok also took issue with MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai who she claims accused DAP of hijacking Bersih 4 rally, spreading racial hatred, and blamed the party for the Najib and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang photo stomping incident.
She said Liow was using the racial approach to mislead and create hostile feelings among some Malays towards DAP.
“Liow Tiong Lai’s continued baseless attacks against DAP and racialising the Bersih 4 rally at this time clearly has a political agenda — to escalate the hostile racial feelings against DAP and Bersih.
“Why must he be so irresponsible to dance to the racist tune of the extremists? ,” she said.