Anwar says BN acting like Hitler, Stalin
PETALING JAYA, April 30 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today accused the Barisan Nasional (BN) government of emulating the likes of World War II dictators Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin for blaming the chaos at Saturday’s Bersih rally on the “innocent masses who are now deemed criminals.”
The opposition leader referred to statements by BN leaders and coverage by media linked to the ruling coalition, specifically pointing to yesterday’s New Sunday Times’ front-page headline “A day of shame”
“We shall not be intimidated by continuous lies spawned by the state and Umno-controlled media. This is the classic response of authoritarian regimes. Innocent masses, victims of oppression, now deemed as criminals.
“Just like in the time of Hitler, Stalin and the dictatorship in Myanmar previously, the ones who protest are criminals, the oppressors are clean from any allegations,” the PKR de facto leader told a press conference.
The former deputy prime minister said “the way Umno-BN reacted to 300,000 people who gathered with courage and determination, representing the sentiment of millions, was disappointing.”
“April 28, 2012, shall go down in the nation’s history as Hari Merdeka Rakyat, the people’s independence. Their message cannot be mistaken. A free country cannot be enslaved anymore,” he added.
The crowd at the electoral reform movement’s third rally in just over four years was larger than a previous gathering held on July 9 last year where a clampdown by the government saw Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration being widely condemned by the international press.
The prime minister soon announced a raft of reforms including a parliamentary select committee on electoral improvements and the Peaceful Assembly Act that came into force on Monday.
But the findings of the panel were criticised for being cosmetic, leading to Saturday’s planned sit-in at Dataran Merdeka, which police say drew up to 50,000 and was the first major test for the assembly law the Umno president said would allow public gatherings in accordance with “international norms.”