Many Malaysians would rather celebrate New Year's Eve than join protest

Malaysian policemen guarding a roadblock during an operation in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR- Yes, times are not good and prices are going up and people have to watch their wallets, but that's not going to stop Malaysians from doing what they always do on New Year's Eve - celebrate!

Many in the Klang Valley said they would rather spend their countdown to the new year having fun rather than join a protest against the rising cost of living that is being planned to be held at Dataran Merdeka here.

Driver Abd Razak Sudin, 47, said having a rally to protest against price hikes was not the solution.

"If there's an issue, people should go to the Government or the authorities," said Abd Razak, adding that any rally would only disrupt peace.

"There is no point in shouting. Why not just sit at home and enjoy the company of our families instead?" he said.

Student Lau Yew Choy, 28, also said the last day of the year should be for reflection and celebration.

"We might break the law as protesters," he said.

Business development manager Yip Li Kai, 30, also said there was no point in having a rally especially when people were more interested in welcoming the new year.

"It wouldn't be successful as the Government didn't take whatever that was requested for in previous rallies into consideration," said Yip.

Student Manishaa Kuar, 18, said she was not interested in joining the illegal rally although it was "something worth fighting for".

"It is New Year's Eve.

"All I want to do is to celebrate with friends and family," said Manishaa.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz also said Malaysians were fed up with the many protests and demonstra­­­tions going on.

Describing the protests as a "nuisance", he dismissed the protests, especially tonight's rally, as being "nothing new".

"Demonstrations are now a common world phenomenon, they happen everywhere.

"People are used to them," he said.

"Besides, there are other events going on at Dataran Merdeka," he said.

The Umno lawmaker also took a swipe at opposition figures who had supported the rally, saying that they have to move on from their loss in the last general election.