PKR vice-president Tian Chua thanked Dr Mahathir Mohamad for showing support to Bersih 4 this evening but said this does not mean the people have forgotten the past.
Tian Chua, who coincidentally bumped into Mahathir when the latter arrived near Dataran Merdeka, had helped usher the elder statesman through the crowd.
"I had the opportunity to greet him and shake his hands but there wasn't enough time to exchange any words.
"Mahathir has a right to express his support (for Bersih 4) but it does not mean the rakyat has forgotten that part of the problems today is due to the system which he built where democratic space was closed.
"This contributed to the people's uprising today," he told Malaysiakini .
Tian Chua escorting Mahathir was ironic as the former was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) during the former premier's rule in 2001.
Mahathir's government had at that time accused Tian Chua and several activists, of trying to topple the government using "bombs, grenade launchers, Molotov cocktails, ball bearings and other dangerous weapons".
However, Tian Chua said Mahathir's presence at Bersih 4 today was an admission that the popular movement he and other activists were pushing for was right.
"Mahathir has finally conceded that in an authoritarian system without democratic space which was in part caused by decades of Mahathir's rule - the best channel to correct the situation and make a change is through people's power.
"This to me is a victory for Malaysians as it (Bersih 4) managed to attract widespread support.
"Even Mahathir must concede people's power is the most effective channel," he said.