Saturday, November 19, 2016
The Mahathir effect: the people deserted Bersih
Statement by Minister of Communications and Multimedia
19 November 2016
1. The turnout for today's rally is a serious setback for Tun Mahathir Mohamad and his new party, Pribumi, the junior partner in the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan coalition. The creation of Mahathir's new party was supposed to bring masses of new Malay supporters to Pakatan and Bersih 5.
2. Instead, those marching today were only about 3% of last year's Bersih rally. Namely, 15,500 today compared to the 500,000 Bersih claimed last year. Even if you take the figure supplied by Malaysiakini, today's total was no higher than 41,000 – less than 10% of the figure Bersih claimed last year.
3. So the vast majority of Malaysians have rejected the hypocrisy of Bersih, and rejected Pribumi. They can see it is a party of has-beens and failures, created only out of Mahathir's desperation for his son to become prime minister after UMNO rejected him.
4. The result of Mahathir and his cronies joining Bersih has seen the turnout drop by nearly 97%. Malays see through his selfish agenda and refused to attend. And the thousands of Chinese Malaysians who attended Bersih last year are so disgusted that Mahathir is involved they stayed at home.
5. Thankfully, democracy is now firmly entrenched in Malaysia. It cannot be overrun on the whims of one old man who has admitted to being a dictator when in power.
Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Salleh Said Keruak,
Minister of Communications and Multimedia,