Malaysia

Ibrahim Ali: I was misunderstood

Ibrahim making his speech Sunday which he claims has been Ibrahim making his speech Sunday which he claims has been KUALA LUMPUR, June  21 — Under attack for his race riot insinuations over the Bersih rally, Datuk Ibrahim Ali came out saying he’s “misunderstood” and his statement on the Chinese was advice and not a threat.

Repeatedly blaming The Malaysian Insider for twisting his statement on Sunday out of context, an angry-looking Ibrahim told Parliament reporters he is willing to be investigated for sedition since he has done nothing wrong.

He explained that when he told the Chinese community to stay home and stock up on food on the day of the Bersih rally, he was not insinuating that they would be attacked or that the gathering would turn into a bloody racial clash.

“I said it was better for the Chinese to stay home and if they need to, stock up on food... what does that mean? That means that usually, when there are street protests, I do not see the Chinese participating.

“The Chinese never participate in street demonstrations as far as I am concerned. So this demonstration, I foresee that it will be the Malays from PAS participating and then Umno and us so it will be a clash among the Malays... so in order to avoid from it spreading to the other races, I said that it is better for the Chinese to stay back, that is all,” he said.

The Malaysian Insider reported the Pasir Mas MP as saying on Sunday during he launch of Perkasa’s counter-protest against Bersih that the Chinese community should stay indoors on July 9 and stock up on food as “anything could happen”.

Datuk Ibrahim Ali (back to camera) remonstrating to reporters at Parliament today over his “Chinese” remarks two days ago June 21 2011. — Picture by Jack OoiDatuk Ibrahim Ali (back to camera) remonstrating to reporters at Parliament today over his “Chinese” remarks two days ago June 21 2011. — Picture by Jack Ooi

Several lawmakers across the political divide have lambasted Ibrahim for turning the rally, which calls for free and fair elections, into a racial issue.

“TMI twisted my words to say that if the Chinese come out there will be problems and we will attack them and that is why they should stay at home. I did not mean that... that is the meaning of the idiot of The Malaysian Insider,” he said.

Ibrahim was later interrupted by a man claiming to be a member of the “rakyat” who accused him of “threatening” the Chinese with his statement.

“I am talking to the reporter. You want to talk to me, you talk to me after this. Do not interrupt me. I can see you after this... bloody idiot,” he said.

Ibrahim also claimed later that he received information on the opposition’s plans to overthrow the present federal government once chaos erupts during the Bersih rally.

“This is what I anticipate. I was told by some groups who came to see me that they were told to bring food when they come out on July 9.

“So what happens when things go out of control? They want to create a temporary government and they will present a list of names of those who will take over,” he said.

Pakatan Rakyat component parties and activists are gearing up to march on July 9 in the second such rally by election watchdog Bersih.

The first rally in 2007 saw up to 50,000 people take to the capital’s street, before they were dispersed by police armed with tear gas and water cannon.

 

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