Thursday, September 10, 2015

Don’t use rally to incite racial tension, PM tells public

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak  has reminded those wanting to participate in the red-shirt rally on Sept 16 not to use it as a platform to incite racial tension.

The Prime Minister said the participants must not allow the rally to threaten the country’s peace and the good relations among the different races.

He reminded them to adhere to the law and instructions of the police, including on the venue of the gathering, at all times.

“We cannot and will not allow anything to spoil the peace and harmony of our country and surely it cannot be used as a platform that is racial in nature.

“This we reject because Umno stands on the principle that we, as a party along with our partners in Barisan Nasional, believe in racial diversity and good race relations.

“This is one of important basis in ensuring the strength of our country,” he said at a press conference after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting.

He said this was also the stand made by the Cabinet yesterday, adding that those who want to organise and participate in any assembly must be lectured on the rule of law and instructions by the police.

Najib said that while Umno was not involved in sponsoring the red-shirt rally, there were party leaders representing non-governmental organisations who felt they should be involved in the gathering.

Asked whether the party would ask its members not to attend the Sept 16 rally, the Umno president said: “No, it’s a free country, for as long as they observe the law. Nobody is above the law, including Umno members.”

The planned rally, organised by a Malay-based non-governmental body, is to be held for 12 hours on Sept 16 here to “counter” the Bersih 4 rally on Aug 29 and 30.

In GEORGE TOWN, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said he had instructed his men not to allow any rally to be held in Kuala Lumpur on that day and urged the organisers to think of a more suitable place to hold the gathering.

“Just like Bersih, we will not allow the gathering to go on – be it in Bukit Bintang or elsewhere – for safety reasons. Although it is their right to gather and express themselves as enshrined under the Federal Constitution, we also need to think of the safety, order and welfare of the public.”

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