By : Hamzah Nazari and Sean Augustin
Kuala Lumpur – Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said they will “wait and see” after calls were made by some quarters for more protests if Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is jailed after the Court of Appeal overturned his acquittal in the latest sodomy trial.
“When they go and tell the police that they want to rally, they will be told where to hold the rally so as not to cause disruptions. We will not cross the bridge till we come to it. We will reassess that when the time comes,” said Wan Junaidi.
Barisan Nasional (BN) Titiwangsa Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) should not have aired their personal problems at the anti-GST (anti-Goods and Services Tax) rally, yesterday.
“If the Opposition leader can’t respect the laws of this country, how can the rakyat (people) trust him to lead the government in the future?
“Anwar’s case is his personal matter and he should not bring the rakyat into it,” said Johari.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) accused Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) of displaying its “political trickery and astuteness against DAP” by converting the rally yesterday into a “Support Hudud” gathering.
The party’s Religious Harmony Bureau chairman Datuk Ti Lian Ker said the Islamist party hijacked the anti-GST rally by displaying banners that read “Support Hudud”.
PAS spiritual leader Datuk Seri Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, he pointed out, also claimed that the syariah-based law had support by showing a photo of the crowd.
Ti, who is also the party’s central committee member, went on to accuse PAS of belittling and showing little regard for the secular DAP despite the latter having won more seats in the last general election.
“I call upon DAP to immediately stop ‘dancing with the wolves’ and seriously cease all association or cooperation with PAS in due respect to the spirit of the firmness of their former chairman, the late Karpal Singh,” said Ti in a statement.
However, political analyst Professor Aruna Gopinath said hijackings of rallies were a common practice and cautioned those attendees to be open-minded, listen and form their own conclusions.
“Rallies are platforms for some to highlight their own issues. That’s the only chance they have to push their own ideas across the board because sometimes papers do not highlight them,” she said.
Aruna said sometimes there are also fabrications and in a multiracial country such as Malaysia, racial and religious issues come up, such as hudud, or unresolved issues such as the custodial death of Teoh Beng Hock have left some people wondering.
“Listen. Be a good listener and make your own judgments,” she said.