Pakatan Rakyat (PR) had hoped for an Arab-style revolution to overthrow the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) at the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat (People’s Uprising) rally in the city last Saturday, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today, revving up his allegations against the opposition pact ahead of Election 2013.
The still influential former prime minister (picture) has repeatedly accused the PKR-DAP-PAS alliance of attempting to evoke hatred of the government in an attempt to take it down, similar to the public uprising that swept the Middle East two years ago.
“They want to topple the government, and so they had a rally, but this government is unlike the Arab government.
“We are not a dictator government. This government is elected by the people,” he told a news conference in Cyberjaya, referring to the PR pact that had backed a giant rally at the landmark Stadium Merdeka in the national capital.
The mammoth gathering organised by both political leaders from PR and non-partisan members of various civil society groups is seen as a final showcase of election issues before the 13th general election.
It has also been dubbed the “112 rally” by some, referring to the date, and the “Shamsidar rally” by others, referring to PKR deputy president Azmin Ali’s wife who was reported to be a key witness in a defamation suit against Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“This is not a way to demonstrate. You must have strong reasons for such rallies, but this demonstration was about Shamsidar.
“Whenever there is a case in court, they want to organise demonstrations,” Dr Mahathir said.
The country’s longest serving PM of 22 years said Malaysia is democratic and allows demonstrations, but added there should be strong grounds before one is held.
Last year, the 87-year-old claimed in his blog posts and in speeches that the slew of public rallies, all backed by PR, were attempts to further destabilise and cause disarray in the country should they lose the polls.
Several bloggers have alleged that the rally was to stop Shamsidar Taharin from turning witness for Senator Datuk S. Nallakaruppan in his suit against Anwar, which has been fixed for case management this Friday.
Lawyers for Anwar, however, have debunked the claims, while The Sun newspaper reported today that Shamsidar will take the stand on January 18.
Police had yesterday placed the size of the rally crowd at 45,000 at its peak, revising down its figures from the 80,000 that it had earlier claimed on Twitter by mistake.
But organisers and PR leaders believe that at least 500,000 attended the mammoth event, said to be the largest that the city has seen in years.
An independent online research house, PoliTweet.org, has said the crowd was closer to 150,000 people, based on its preliminary study of the event.
Spin Doctor M, Please lah, do not treat us like idiots or as if we are mentally challenged. Enough of your ludicrous theories and far-fetched grandfather stories.
Malaysians are not Arabs. The Arab Spring can never turn into a Malaysian Spring which you secretly hoped would happen to prove your theories right so that you could say "I told you so"!
Yes, many among us want to see a change in the government. But, that would be through civilised and democratic mechanism via the ballot boxes, not the way you wished your naysayers would do. If our ways and actions are portrayed as toppling the government, so be it.
All the rallies organised by civil society groups so far are manifestations of realities on the ground. They summed up the sentiments and frustration of the people. And the feelings of discontent are growing by the day. Perhaps you had sensed them too and felt the jitters. The ripples of Tsunami 2008 have now reached the heartlands and also the shores of East Malaysia. Some even say there would be an earthquake come the GE13. Perhaps they know better.
BTW, there is no hatred among us, just unhappiness that scandals upon scandals, corruption upon corruption, abuse of power and position upon abuse of power and position are still rampant and unchecked.
The rallies are meant to raise awareness of the masses regarding the policies and practices that had compromised the people and nation, and the numbers proved the rallies to be great successes. You surely do not like the numbers, and the reality hit you guys so much so that you are driven into denial mode!
Tell Ah Jib Gor to call the election soonest lah.
Why don't you organise one rally to explain your wealth is not from corruption. I am sure the whole nation is interested to join in.
Maybe we should pity this guy as he is showing the second stage of dementia as he is confusing the Arab spring with our peaceful rally.