Former Malaysian minister to anti-Bersih rally organisers: What are you trying to prove?

PETALING JAYA - Former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz has slammed the people behind a planned rally on Sept 16, saying it serves no purpose.

"It serves no purpose for anyone to mount a counter-demonstration to Bersih 4, which had clear demands.

"What are they going to demonstrate for? Just what are they trying to prove?" asked the former Inter­national Trade and Industry Minister, referring to the planned red-shirt rally organised by a Malay-based non-governmental organisation to be held for 12 hours starting at Low Yat Plaza in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.

In her latest Facebook posting, the former Wanita Umno chief also hit back at those who tried to paint the Bersih 4 rally in a racial light, saying they were avoiding the real issue and took the easy way out by playing the race card.

"In the process, the issues that the rakyat are worried about and want to see expeditious resolution to are being simply marginalised and skirted around," she said.

She added that the issues faced by the country were about governance, transparency and integrity, not race.

"The people place priority on these things ... proper economic governance and the trustworthiness of those in positions of authority.

"Are they implying that it is all OK that we are facing the mess, that they support the actions that have led to national embarrassment?

"Just what are they proving by trying to get some Malays, especially from Umno, to be brought to Kuala Lumpur to demonstrate in red shirts?" she asked.

She also questioned if those who are being encouraged to take part in the planned rally were given the right information about what was really happening in the country.

"It would be better to have prayer sessions to pray to the Almighty to show the way to the truth, to pray that this country will be saved," she said.

Rafidah said doing what was right could save the country.

She said Malaysia was moving many steps backwards, regardless of what the growth statistics showed.

"And Sept 16 is Malaysia Day. A day to celebrate our unity in diversity.

"The planned demonstration goes totally counter to that and has the potential to create more chasms and divisiveness," she said.

In Butterworth, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the Bersih 4 rally was not about race, but corruption.

"Do not make race the issue because the event was all about lack of good governance due to corruption. People no longer have confidence in our institutions.

"Even if it had been a Chinese-dominated event, what is wrong with that? We are all Malaysians," she said at the launch of the new Jalan Baru PKR division yesterday.