PKR vice president Tian Chua today bucked expectations in urging police to allow the Sept 16 rally by Malay rights pressure groups.
Police this morning said the rally, which is to counter the Bersih 4 rally on Aug 29 and Aug 30, will not be allowed due to security reasons.
“I wish to express my disappointment with the police for disallowing the red shirt rally. The police should abide by the Peaceful Assembly Act.
“Although I'm disgusted by the provocative propaganda used by the red shirt demo, the society shouldn't be overly alarmed or frightened […].
“Let the red shirts go ahead with the rally, they too have rights provided by the laws and the federal constitution. Police should not stop them,” the Batu MP said in a series of tweets.
Organisers say the rally is to defend “Malay dignity” and to counter the Bersih 4 rally, which they claim was dominated by the Chinese community and insulted Malays.
One of the Bersih 4 rally's aims was to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
Some protestors were photographed stomping on a photo of Najib and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.
'People more mature now'
Police yesterday said they have launched a sedition probe into posters of the Sept 16 rally, which features a man in a silat pose and the words ‘ tanah tumpah darah ku ’.
The line from the national anthem denotes loyalty, but literally reads ‘the land on which my blood spills’.
Veteran activists calling themselves ‘Otai Reformasi’ on Saturday lodged a police report urging police to stop the rally for allegedly inciting violence.
Chua, who was part of the Reformasi demonstrations of 1998, however believes this is an over-reaction.
“Besides being tolerant toward our adversary, we must also have confidence in the rationality and conscience of the people and society.
“I believe that the vast majority of the population doesn't condone the stand of the red shirts and doubt they would pull a big threatening crowd.
“The non-Malay community should trust the majority of the Malays that the idiotic actions of the red shirts have no mass support. There is no reason to be worried,” he said.
First pass first: PKR Wanita
PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin said the red-shirt protesters would have to confront the movement first as they were targeting Chinese Malaysians following the Bersih 4 rally.
“This is a tactic to steer away from the 1MDB and RM2.6 billion scandals. Unfortunately, the minorities have been made the scapegoat again.
“As a Malay, I will protect my non-Malay friends from harm. To those red-shirt protesters who wish to 'mandi darah', please know that you have to confront Wanita Keadilan first.
“Bersih is not a racially-motivated event. It is the people's power to demand for free and fair elections. Only those who are losing their grip on power would add a racial spin to it to deter Malaysians from exercising their rights,” she said.
Calling a halt to the racialising of issues, Zuraida ( photo ) who is also Ampang MP, said Malaysians were a peaceful lot and that the provocateurs were only a handful.
Rght-thinking Malaysians, she said should reclaim their right to peace and harmony.
“The picture-stomping incident is not something that is encouraged but it is an isolated case. In fact, the stomping could even be staged by BN to discredit Bersih organisers and the protesters.
“On the other hand, a death threat against the Chinese community is something that clearly spells incitement of racial hatred towards a certain group of people,” she noted.
She said she believed the majority of Malays were peace-loving people who rejected violence.