Wednesday, June 13, 2012
SALT and mineral water bottles, which were used as “shields” by demonstrators in the April 28 Bersih 3.0 rally, should not be taken lightly because they can become powerful tools to topple the government.
Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz says Bersih demonstrators used tactics similar to the Arab Spring
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Deparment Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said salt and mineral water bottles could be as powerful as mobile phones, which had brought down the powerful regimes in Egypt and Tunisia.
“So, don’t underrate the power of salt and bottles ... the influential governments of Egypt and Tunisia fell because of the mobile phone,” he said in reply to a supplementary question from Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) yesterday.
(Salt is used to neutralise the effects of tear gas fired during riots).
Lim had asked whether the government was prepared to apologise for claiming that the rally was an attempted coup by the opposition.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said the rally was an attempt by the opposition to overthrow the government.
“Will the prime minister apologise and withdraw the claim? Can salt and mineral water bottles overthrow the government?” Lim asked.
Earlier, to Lim’s original question, Nazri said the rally in Kuala Lumpur was an attempt by the opposition to overthrow the government.
“The attempt was carried out through such tactics used at Tahrir Square in Egypt, Green Square in Libya and Martyrs’ Square in Syria,” he said, when replying to another supplementary question from Lim, who asked the government to prove that the rally was the opposition’s attempt to topple the government.
Nazri added that the reluctance of the organisers to compromise and the provocative and violent acts of demonstrators showed their real objective of seeing the authorities respond in upholding the law and protecting public interest.
“They used the incident to show to the Malaysian and international communities that the Malaysian government acted violently against the supposedly peaceful rally.”
He added that the opposition was trying to create suspicion on the clarity of the country’s electoral system.
“If they lose the election, they can say that their allegations on the electoral system are true.”
Despite the rally Malaysia’s foreign direct investments were not affected, said Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir.
“However, the persistent trend of illegal gatherings and violence may have a long-term effect on the economy,” he told the House.
To a question by Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (BN-Lenggong) on the impact of the rally towards the economy, Mukhriz replied: “Our economy was not directly affected as we have a strong foundation and investors are convinced of our economic stability.
“But in the long run, if the demonstrations continue, the country will lose its image as a peaceful and democratic nation.”