'Red shirt rally must be stopped'

'Red shirt rally must be stopped'

KUALA LUMPUR - The so-called red shirt rally on Sept 16 must be stopped because it is biased and full of racial overtones, says the MCA political development committee.

The committee - led by party president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai - said holding a Malay gathering in Petaling Street and Bukit Bintang, areas which are known to foreign tourists as Chinatown, would pose a danger.

"MCA is not against any legal gathering to voice the rakyat's views. However, the gathering, which is biased and full of racial overtones, must be stopped and condemned.

"The event has sent fear among the traders in these two areas, with many planning to take a day off to avoid any racial confrontation," the committee said in a statement here yesterday.

The rally, it pointed out, would further dampen the economy, especially at a time when it was slow and the ringgit is continuing to slide.

The rally, organised by a Malay-based group, is to be held for 12 hours.

The committee also called on people of all races to co-operate to fight against racial hostility and stay united to revive the country's economy.

"We resolve to strongly object to the gathering and the (party) president had, on Sept 2, expressed the party's stance to the Prime Minister and his deputy," it added.

MCA, it said, had been consistently preserving racial harmony since the nation's independence and would continue to protect the rights of all races.

The committee also urged the Chinese community to support the party's commitment to defend moderation and harmony as well as to stop the "confrontation and stand-off by the racist group".

It said MCA would only agree to such a gathering if the organiser were to drop its racially provocative stance and hold the event at a place away from bustling commercial areas, such as a stadium.

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