Expect ‘unceasing violence’ if Pakatan loses elections, says Dr M
KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad warned today that violence from protestors at the April 28 Bersih rally is only the beginning of “unceasing violent demonstrations” should Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lose an election that must be held within the year.
The former prime minister said in a blog posting that the opposition will continue with their protests until the results of the 13th General Election are rejected and a new government is formed.
“Then they will try to hold a new election which they will manipulate,” said Dr Mahathir, who is still influential in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN).
The long-serving prime minister’s statement comes just days after Putrajaya launched legal action against Bersih and PKR leaders over the April 28 rally for free and fair elections which had spiralled into chaos as protestors and police clashed on the streets.
Bersih leaders were sued by the government for RM122,000 of repairs to 15 vehicles allegedly damaged during the rally for free and fair elections while opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and two party leaders were charged with taking part in an illegal street protest.
“The massive and violent Bersih protests were preparations to reject the GE13 results if the opposition fails to win it. Their loss will be followed by unceasing violent protests until the election results are rejected.
“If they are allowed to take power using their violent methods, then democracy will be extinguished and a horrible fate awaits this country,” wrote Dr Mahathir, who was PM for 22 years until his resignation in 2003.
Both Dr Mahathir and current prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak have accused the opposition of engineering a coup via the Bersih protest.
The April 28 rally that saw tens of thousands gather at six different locations before heading to Dataran Merdeka was peaceful until about 2.30pm when Bersih chief Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan asked the crowd to disperse.
But the former Bar Council president’s announcement was not heard by most of the crowd who persisted to linger around the historic square which the court had already barred to the public over the weekend.
Just before 3pm, some protestors breached the barricade surrounding the landmark, leading police to disperse the crowd with tear gas and water cannons.
Police then continued to pursue rally-goers down several streets amid chaotic scenes which saw violence from both sides over the next four hours.
Several dozen demonstrators have claimed that they were assaulted by groups of over 10 policemen at a time and visual evidence appears to back their claim but police also point to violence from rally-goers who also attacked a police car.
The police car then crashed into a building before some protestors flipped it on its side.