Malaysia

Muhyiddin says opposition using Bersih rally to topple BN

BEAUFORT, June 18 – The opposition is hiding behind the planned Bersih 2.0 rally with a plot to topple the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.

The Umno deputy president (picture) said the opposition’s agenda was to create a momentum among the people to hate the government by raising various issues beyond the call for clean and fair elections.

“They are trying to use street demonstrations against the government to achieve their road to Putrajaya,’’ Muhyiddin told reporters after opening the annual meeting of Beaufort Umno.

The Bersih 2.0 electoral watchdog group has called for a rally in Kuala Lumpur on July 9 to demand the Election Commission (EC) clean the electoral roll, reform postal vote, use indelible ink, free and fair access to media and have a minimum 21 days campaign period.

The group which comprises opposition parties, non-governmental organisations and activists are also asking the government to strengthen public institutions, stop corruption and dirty politics.

But Muhyiddin pointed out that if the elections had not been free and fair, how could the opposition win so many parliamentary seats and four state governments in 2008.

“If it is not free and fair, how could they make electoral gains. If they win they keep quiet and if they lose they claim unfairness, why the double standards. I think their motive is a short cut to Putrajaya,” he said.

The three parties that later formed Pakatan Rakyat (PR) – PKR, DAP and PAS – won 82 federal seats and four more states in Election 2008 which saw BN losing its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority for the first time ever since becoming a coalition in 1974. That victory came after the first Bersih rally in 2007.

Umno and Malay rights group Perkasa have denounced the rally, saying it would lead to chaos,  have an impact on tourism and is a threat to national security. Several police reports have also been lodged against the rally.

Umno Youth has also announced it will hold its own rally against the Bersih rally, joining Perkasa which was the first group to counter the rally.

The police have said it will not issue permits for any rally on that day and will mount operations to prevent gatherings in the city.

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