KUALA LUMPUR – Perikatan Nasional component Gerakan has played down the motive of today’s #Lawan protest, saying it is more of a politically motivated push than a youth-based demonstration against the government per se.
Lauding the bravery of those who took part in the two-hour peaceful rally in the federal capital, the party’s acting Youth chief Wong Chia Zhen in a statement said he believes the protesters have been “used”.
“I am confident that these groups have been used by certain quarters for their personal agenda, especially at a time when the country is facing a political crisis.”
Hundreds of Malaysians, most of them youth, thronged the Dataran Merdeka area to protest against the PN government’s Covid-19 handling and demanding Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s resignation.
The demonstration, organised by Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat (SSR), went ahead despite police’s warning yesterday that action will be taken against those who violate the standard operating procedures.
The force today said rally participants will face action as gatherings are barred under National Recovery Plan (NRP) SOPs aimed at curbing Covid-19.
The protest comes amid the country’s worsening coronavirus situation – Malaysia today logged a record-high 17,786 infections – as well as a weak economy and a fresh constitutional crisis sparked by PN’s revocation of emergency ordinances without having first received the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s consent.
Given the sky-high daily virus caseload, said Wong, now is not a good time for the public to take to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with the government.
He also questioned SSR’s claim that the PN administration is cruel, saying the nation’s vaccination rate is among the fastest to rise in the region.
“There are times to hold a demonstration, but now is not the time. And, there are (other) ways to do it, like the #BlackCode campaign done on social media,” he said, referring to the push for permanent employment and better benefits for contract doctors.
He said the #Lawan protest only increases the risk of fresh Covid-19 clusters emerging.
“If, unfortunately, a new cluster is triggered by this demonstration, the event will be a black mark and it will be ridiculed for going against the very motive of its (SSR’s) own struggle.”
Don’t buy into slander against PN, components urge rakyat
Gerakan along with 11 other PN components, including MCA and MIC, called on the rakyat not to fall for slanderous news about the government.
Instead, the people should understand the situation from the government’s point of view, said the parties’ information chiefs in a joint statement.
They said many quarters have been creating fake news and exploiting the country’s rocky state of affairs for personal gain.
“The people have to be alert when it comes to these activities (fake news) and refer to verified sources to understand the real situation.”
The parties vowed to continue helping Muhyiddin lead Malaysia, focusing on NRP to protect public health and revive the economy.
They thanked the Agong for his wisdom in ensuring the people’s welfare is taken care of.
“We thank the leaders of government parties and MPs who have given their undivided support to Muhyiddin and his cabinet to continue leading the country in this challenging time.
“This is the true priority of the country right now. (Work) for the interests of the rakyat.”
The 12 parties are Gerakan, MCA, MIC, Bersatu, Sabah Star, PAS, Sabah Progressive Party, Progressive Democratic Party, Parti Bersatu Sabah, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, Parti Rakyat Sarawak and Sarawak United Peoples’ Party. – The Vibes, July 31, 2021