Monday, August 8, 2011

#Bersih Hishammuddin: "power-hungry people" were willing to go the distance to grab power without going to the polls

Hisham: Opposition overlooks govt's efforts

PUTRAJAYA: The opposition will continue to stir up issues and create upheavals for political mileage, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

He said regardless of what the government did to make improvements, the opposition would always move the goalposts to ensure they kept up their criticisms of the government.

Citing the Bersih 2.0 rally last month as an example, he said the opposition ignored the initiatives and improvements the government had carried out and was trying to put in place.

The biometric voting system, he said was an example. "If the government had offered nothing, the opposition would have asked for a biometric system.

"However, since we offered the biometric system, they naturally asked for indelible ink (to vote). Also, when they asked for a stadium to demonstrate in, it was granted, but, suddenly, they wanted another stadium in the city.

"They will never demand for anything that can be delivered by the government," he told the New Straits Times.

Hishammuddin said the day leading to the rally was more stressful then what happened after it.

With the authorities resigned to the fact that it was a political event, the fear was that the demonstration could lead to street riots, he added.

"We knew that there may be other groups that would use Bersih as a platform to create more upheavals. The buildup to the day was tense as we needed to do what was right.

"It was clearer after that as their intention was never about fighting for democracy and free and fair elections."

He said the police were restrained in their actions despite their standard operating procedure allowing them to take sterner action.

He added that while it was the duty of the government to explain to the people about the demonstration, it was not easy as "these power-hungry people" were willing to go the distance to grab power without going to the polls.

He said handling the build up to the rally day was difficult as the opposition "triumphed" in its use of the new media.

"I must admit that they are better than us and we need to get our act together in using the new media."

He said there were people who would not hesitate to seize any opportunity and compromise everything for their narrow political ambitions.

"What we have in Malaysia is something other people would cherish. Unfortunately, there are people in Malaysia who do not appreciate what we have.

"A democracy with a single racial composition will not have this problem, but in a multiracial country like ours, our leaders must be careful."

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