Former UMNO deputy minister Saifuddin Abdullah today (Sept 19) hit out at Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak and the police for practising “double standards” towards last month’s Bersih 4 rally and the recent “red shirts” rally.
Mr Saifuddin, who is CEO of the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation, said they had been quick to vilify the Bersih 4 rally-goers, yet much leeway was given to those who joined the “red shirt” rally.
“From the prime minister to the police to many others, you can see, when they talk about Bersih, when they talk about the ‘red shirt’ rally, we can see so clearly their double standards.”
“UMNO, the prime minister said Bersih is ‘democrazy’, but the red shirt rally to him is good and legal. This is even though they are both the same, they are both peaceful rallies,” Mr Saifuddin told The Malaysian Insider when met on the sidelines of IDEAS’ conference on liberalism in Bangsar today.
He said the police were also wrong to have raised the issue of permits, since they were no longer necessary under the Peaceful Assembly Act.
“How the police treated Bersih 4 and the ‘red shirt’ rally is also different. One has a permit, one didn’t get a permit. But under the PAA, the issue of permits does not even arise. Why are you using this inconsistent argument?”
He added that the Inspector-General of Police had no right to deem Bersih 4 illegal because there was no permit.
Mr Saifuddin also told reporters that UMNO must take a stand against division chiefs who had come out with controversial statements.
He narrowed in on Kota Bharu UMNO division chief Mohd Fatmi Che Salleh, Sungai Besar UMNO division chief Jamal Md Yunos and Ketereh UMNO chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa. The demonstrated racial rhetoric by Najib is a damning cloak of hypocrisy.