Is the July 9 illegal rally apolitical?

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 (Bernama) — Is the illegal rally organised by a group of agitators, scheduled for July 9, really apolitical?

If so, the question arises why so many Opposition party members are present among the rally’s organisers. Also, why are these parties making the effort to bring their supporters onto the streets for this rally?

Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) de-facto leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, reportedly told members that he would ask former Bar Council president Datuk S. Ambiga to cancel the rally if the Government met Bersih’s demands.

This was denied, the following day, by Ambiga, who is organising chief of the rally. Moreover, Anwar, too, later said he was misquoted by the Press.

While some might believe that Anwar is not involved with the rally, there are skeptics. Political analyst Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said this move was being seen as an attempt at damage control, to prevent public opinion from going against PKR, and its suspected involvement with the rally.

Penang Gerakan legal and human rights bureau head Baljit Singh says it will be interesting to watch who would stand by Ambiga when she submits the memorandum to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.

He said Anwar’s statement that he could speak to Ambiga to cancel the rally created the perception that the Opposition pact, PKR-DAP-PAS, had influence over Ambiga.

Makkal Sakti, whose members took part in the Hindraf illegal rally in 2007, and tried to launch its own anti-Interlok campaign early this year, failed to win the support of enough people.

“It would be totally naive to say that Pakatan was not behind the rally,” said a Hindraf grassroots leader who did not wish to be identified.

He said PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu had pledged that about 100,000 PAS supporters would join the illegal rally, referring to it as ‘walk for democracy’. The PAS president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, too, has ordered all its members (numbering nearly one million) to join the rally.

He cited the instance of a Bar Council dinner in 2009, when Ambiga was president. Ambiga had hosted it at a hotel, and while it was reportedly a Bar Council function, politicians from the Opposition were invited, as well.

“Subsequently, it was revealed that the government had paid for the dinner. Why hold the dinner under the Bar Council, without announcing that the government sponsored the event,?” asked Wee. — BERNAMA

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