Sunday, 27 September 2015

The racial undertones at the "red shirt" rally were supported by Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Najib & government behind ‘red shirt’ rally

Najib, government behind ‘red shirt’ rally, says Dr Mahathir


Published: 26 September 2015 5:48 PM | Updated: 26 September 2015 7:08 PM

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad continues his attacks against the Najib administration, saying that most of the people at the recent 'red shirt' rally were from Umno and Felda. – The Malaysian Insider pic, September 26, 2015.

The racial undertones at the "red shirt" rally were supported by Datuk Seri Najib Razak, retired statesman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today, adding it appeared the government were also behind the staging of the rally.

Dr Mahathir said he felt that after watching a speech Najib made about the rally, it appeared as though the Umno president was urging rally-goers to show that the "Malays could do what the others were doing".

"I didn't see the others shouting the way the 'red shirts' were shouting. The 'red shirts' were being racist.

"I was at the yellow shirt gathering, they were not shouting about race, they were saying the prime minister must go, that's all, and yet, the prime minister was saying, 'we can be as racist as they are'," Dr Mahathir said, referring to the Bersih 4 rally in Kuala Lumpur on August 29 and 30 which he attended.

He also said that it was obvious that the "red shirt" rally held in Kuala Lumpur on September 16 had government support, because protesters turned up in Felda buses and were given money and food.

"It looks like the government was behind the rally, a lot of them were Umno people and Felda people.

"Only those in charge of the government can do that," he said at a press conference after speaking at a peace forum at the Holiday Inn in Malacca, which was organised by the Malacca Bar.

Earlier, when addressing questions from forum participants on race and religious tensions in the country, the former prime minister said that while Malaysians got along quite well, the government of the day was encouraging racist sentiments.

"To some extent, we have reached some accommodation among the races but what I see happening today is the government actually encouraging racist sentiments, this is very very bad," he said.

He reiterated, however, that the country has been mostly peaceful for the last six decades, except for the racial riots in 1969.

"Of course we are not going around hugging and kissing each other, but in some countries, it is not safe to even walk in the streets.

"There is no quarrel among the races, we feel secure and we have developed faster than many others," he added.

He also took the audience back in time, reminding them that while the country's fathers realised that the people were different, they wanted to share wealth and power in a fair manner.

"Initially, the Malays being the indigenous people wanted to have everything for themselves. They said this country is theirs, others are people who came from other countries.

"But others also made their claims.

"But if we go to the claims of each one, we will fight each other and destroy everything and get nothing.

"We have to give up something to get something," he said.

He added that the fact that the different races today were still unhappy meant that something had been done right.

"If we find one race too happy, then it is a sign that race has been favoured," he said to laughter from the crowd.

The retired statesman also admitted as his failing the fact that he was not able to get the people to accept one language for the country as a glue to hold the people together.

He added, however, that despite lacking the glue, the country had held together much better than many other single-ethnic countries. – September 26, 2015

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