KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has refuted his daughter's claim of police violence during last month's Bersih 3.0 rally for electoral reforms.
The former prime minister had written in to the English language daily The Star to refute his daughter Marina Mahathir's latest column in the newspaper published yesterday.
"Many who were hurt were not beaten by the police. The demonstrators, too, attacked anyone they thought were watching or recording what was happening," Dr Mahathir (picture) was quoted as saying by The Star.
“And there were the red shirts, the specially trained hooligans from PAS whose job was to use force," he added.
In her Musings column yesterday, Marina wrote: “And, if as our home minister insists, nobody ordered the police violence, what made them do it, and to such a disproportionate extent?
“Sixty-five people wound up in hospital, out of which only two were policemen. Surely this says something.”
Dr Mahathir explained why Marina, who had taken part in both Bersih 2.0 and Bersih 3.0 rallies, was not hurt.
“That is because she did not try to break the barriers erected by the authorities. She sat down when she reached the barriers. Had all the demonstrators followed her example, no one would be hurt," he said.
He added Marina should have known that in other places “barriers were pushed aside, the police cars had windscreens stamped on and broken, and overturned.”
Earlier this month, Dr Mahathir had claimed the Bersih 3.0 demonstration in Kuala Lumpur, which was led by the opposition parties, was aimed to discredit the government because they are not confident of winning the next general election.
He said a landslide victory for the BN in the next general election would enable the rakyat to continue to enjoy progress and prosperity.