REPERCUSSIONS: Riyadh views gatherings in Mecca, Medina with grave concern
DEFENCE Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said yesterday the organisers of the gathering on April 28 would be held responsible should Saudi Arabia prohibit Malaysians from performing the haj and umrah.
He said Saudi Arabian security agencies viewed the gatherings in Mecca and Medina in support of the April 28 demonstration here with grave concern.
"Saudi Arabia is most sensitive to demonstrations or illegal gatherings held there.
"Once, when the people of an Islamic country held demonstrations in Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia refused to allow pilgrims from that country to perform the haj and umrah for three years," he said at the launch of a motorcycle convoy in conjunction with the 66th anniversary of Umno, here.
"I am most concerned that the organisers did not seem to know the sensitivity Saudi Arabia attaches to demonstrations. Is this the way to demand for change? We have to adhere to the laws of another country.
"I do not think Saudi Arabia will remain silent following the uploading of pictures on YouTube and Facebook.
"We have to bear in mind that their military intelligence is efficient as they often face such situations involving other countries."
Media reports indicate that Saudi Arabian authorities are investigating the gatherings in Mecca and Medina.
Zahid, who is an Umno vice-president, said street demonstrations were not proper for a country like Malaysia.
"I feel it is improper to seek influence by staging demonstrations or through street politics."
Zahid is leading a convoy of 66 motorcycles through Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Pahang.
The convoy is expected to arrive at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Friday and will be greeted by party president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Bernama