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KUALA LUMPUR: In an apparent breaking of ranks with the opposition stand of supporting the Bersih 3.0 rally, DAP’s Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim said he opposed the street demonstration.
Speaking during the debate on the royal address at the Dewan Negara yesterday, Tunku Aziz, 78, clarified that not all members of the opposition supported the sit-in.
“I declare that even though I am from the opposition, I oppose street demonstrations, based on principles.
“We may be part of a party or organisation, but that does not mean we should abandon our conscience. All of us should never do that.
“Some things we support, other things we must oppose.
“While living abroad, I witnessed demonstrations organised by so many organisations and realised that although they start peacefully, demonstrations will always end up in violence.”
The party vice-chairman cited the student protest in London last year that caused huge damage to businesses and properties.
“When London was besieged with the demonstrators, the country was in a chaotic state and I do not want Bersih 3.0 to have the same impact in the country,” Tunku Aziz said.
Speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby later, he said his opposition to the demonstration was because it seemed like they were encouraging people to break the law.
“We are supposed to be lawmakers. I think there is a contradiction here.”
“I am in favour of us assembling if that is not breaking the law, but breaking the law is something that I cannot support.”
Tunku Aziz said his stance was personal and did not reflect his party’s position.
“Well, I’ve told them that I am opposed to it. I am opposed to this on a personal basis as a matter of personal principle.”
He wondered who was going to take responsibility if something untoward were to happen.
“The person or the people who organises it will probably not be there. Who will be looking after the casualties, people who are injured, people who are trampled upon?
“The tendency is to blame the authorities and I think this is not fair,” he added.
Tunku Aziz said the organisers should consider the alternative venues that the authorities have offered.
“The whole idea is to protest. Does it matter where the protesting is done?” Tunku Aziz asked, adding that they should accept police advice on the venue.
“The law provides for us to assemble but what I am saying is, who is responsible for security in our country? The police.
“Whatever we do, we have to consult the police. If they advise us, you have to change your route, maybe you should do it somewhere else.”
He also said there were other ways to make a point without going on the streets.