Malaysia

DAP never asked Chinese to avoid Bersih, says Guan Eng

DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng (centre) together with DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang visit a patient at the Tung Shin Hospital in Kuala Lumpur July 10 2011. The hospital was involved in yesterday’s rally as protesters fled into its grounds to escape the riot police’s tear gas, water cannon and batons. — Picture by Choo Choy May DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng (centre) together with DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang visit a patient at the Tung Shin Hospital in Kuala Lumpur July 10 2011. The hospital was involved in yesterday’s rally as protesters fled into its grounds to escape the riot police’s tear gas, water cannon and batons. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — The DAP did not send out any text messages asking the Chinese not to attend yesterday’s Bersih rally, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said today..

He stressed that the only messages sent out by the party were those encouraging people to turn up at the rally for free and fair elections.

“This is a lie. No DAP leader sent out (messages) asking the Chinese not to go out and to let Malays fight each other,” said Lim (picture).

“Anti-Bersih elements are trying to sabotage the relationship (between component parties) in PR but this will not work.”

The Penang chief minister pointed out that almost 5,000 mainly DAP supporters had gathered in Pudu to show support for the election watchdog and its eight reform demands yesterday.

Lim was speaking to reporters after paying his respects to the family of Baharudin Ahmad, who died yesterday after collapsing during the rally.

Baharudin, 56, had fallen down after running away from police firing tear gas and water cannon before being taken to Kuala Lumpur Hospital, where he died.

His brother, Kassim Ahmad, 72, blames the police for allegedly withholding medical aid for 90 minutes, during which time Baharudin is said to have had difficulty breathing.

It is understood that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is looking into possible legal action against the police for his death.

Bersih claimed a turnout of 50,000 for yesterday’s street demonstration which went ahead without police permission after protracted negotiation with the authorities.

The coalition of 62 NGOs decided to take to the streets despite previously accepting Najib’s offer to move the street rally to a stadium after the government refused to allow the gathering to take place in Stadium Merdeka.

 

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