Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has finally broken his silence over the Bersih 4 rally, criticising organisers for timing the demonstration in a way that it would clash with the Merdeka celebration.
Najib did not mention Bersih 4 specifically but noted that there was "a planned protest" that will be held at the time and place where the Merdeka parade rehearsal would be held.
"Even if they want to gather, choose a time and place that will not be provocative.
"Whatever differences in opinion or ideology between us, national day should not be a stage for political conflict," Najib says in an audio recording uploaded on his blog this afternoon.
He said the Merdeka celebration should be a time where rakyat put aside their differences and celebrate it with patriotism.
He pointed out that national heroes who have fought for the country's independence right down to school-goers have prepared hard for the Merdeka parade.
"Would it be appropriate for this (Bersih 4) gathering to be held at the time and place so close to our Merdeka Day?
"Think about it," Najib says.