Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the Bersih 3.0 rally was just a preview of what the opposition could do if they fail to take Putrajaya in the 13th General Election.
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the escalated violence of the most recent Bersih rally was an indication that the opposition is anticipating a major loss in the upcoming General Election, and more demonstrations and more violence can be expected.
Saying the opposition would resort to anything so that it can to seize power, Dr Mahathir said:“Malaysian elections have been more clean than those in the authoritarian countries where results have always been obviously fixed."
He added that opposition parties have always won a respectable number of seats in elections at both State and Federal levels, unlike countries where elections are rigged.
“In fact whole states may be lost to the opposition,” he said. “And no matter how the Government party tried, it just could not wrest Kelantan from the opposition.”
Barisan Nasional governments have faced losses at both levels over the years, he said, adding that those losses do not follow any consistent pattern that would indicate the results of those elections had been manipulated.
“Compare this with the advanced democracies and it would be very clear that the results are quite similar to them,” he said. “The margins are never extreme one way or another.”
“So why the demonstrations and the demands for the elections to be clean and fair? Well, should the opposition lose in the States or at the Federal levels, then one can safely assume that the opposition will claim that the Government had not conducted the elections fairly, that the Government cheated,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said subsequent demonstrations would be “perhaps bigger and more violent” and that the opposition would demand fresh elections in an attempt to discredit and ultimately bring down a democratically-elected government.
“Seeing how repeated anti-Government demonstrations have brought down Governments in the Arab countries, (Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat) Nik Aziz of PAS now declares that over-throwing the Government through demonstration is ‘halal’,” Dr Mahathir said.
“Obviously PAS is already contemplating Bersih-type violent demonstrations as a way of seizing power if it loses the 13th General Elections. The country will then suffer from violent demonstrations frequently. This will affect business and growth. Already Nik Aziz (who is PAS spiritual leader) considers the present Government as oppressive and dictatorial and it is right to overthrow it,” he said.
The former Prime Minister said such demonstrations would bring unwanted attention from not only Western media but also foreign governments and the various NGOs that promote their policies around the world.
“The support of foreign Governments and NGOs would come in as we see in the Arab countries. Their agenda would be different but they would see opportunities for pushing their regime change, for putting their candidate in power as Prime Minister,” he said.
“This possibility is not far-fetched,” he continued. “The average Malaysian always thinks what happens in other countries will not happen here. But the Bersih 3 demonstration shows it can happen here.”
“We know that almost every demonstration in Malaysia has been organised by Anwar (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim - opposition leader). Now he is teaming up with Nik Aziz. Both see much to be gained by seizing power through unconstitutional means,” he said.
“And when they are in power we can kiss goodbye to peace, stability and economic growth in this beloved country,” he added.