PERMATANG PAUH: The Red Shirts rally, also dubbed the Malay Dignity rally, is not racist as has been claimed by certain quarters but a gathering of people supportive of the government, insisted Permatang Pauh Umno chief Zaidi Mohd Said.
Speaking to Malaysiakini, Zaidi said some 1,000 members of his division had committed to make the trip to Kuala Lumpur, leaving Penang on September 15 on their motorcycles.
Giving his word that his people would not break any law, Zaidi said, “This is actually a gathering to support the government. It is not racist.”
He also urged Barisan Nasional component parties to attend as a sign of solidarity with Umno.
When asked for his comments about Penang MCA Chief Chew Mei Fun stating that her party did not wish for the rally to take place anywhere in the country on Malaysia Day, Zaidi said that each party had their specific role to play and should focus on doing just that.
“Each of us have our own responsibilities. Chew Mei Fun has a role to play too, to ensure that the Chinese community return their support to BN.
“As an Umno leader, I have a responsibility to help BN garner Malay support.
“It is better that each of us do our own work. This is for the best.”
The Red Shirts rally took shape to counter the Bersih 4 rally held over August 29-30 that demanded among other things, for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
According to news reports all last week, organisers of the upcoming rally said that Malay leadership had been insulted during Bersih 4, which saw a huge turnout of Chinese, and which they claim was masterminded by the DAP. The stomping on a picture of Najib and PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang by rally goers was seen as adding insult to injury.
The Red Shirts rally has been prohibited by the police on grounds of security but organisers are bent on going through with it, arguing that the Bersih 4 rally was allowed to take place despite police declaring it illegal as well.