Call off rallies on Nov 19, Malaysian DPM Zahid tells Bersih, Red Shirts

An anti-Bersih group dressed in red shirts hold their own demonstration in Penang.
An anti-Bersih group dressed in red shirts hold their own demonstration in Penang.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 and the pro-state Red Shirts have been issued a final warning by Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to stand down ahead of their planned rallies this Saturday (Nov 19).

Dr Ahmad Zahid reiterated that calling off the rallies was the best solution, and warned organisers of both groups that there would be no compromise should they go ahead with their respective gatherings.

"Action will be taken against both groups, whether red or yellow. So to prevent this from happening, both parties should call off their rallies.The police will not compromise in terms of action that will be taken against them under the law," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby here on Thursday.

Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said in his winding-up speech on the Budget 2017 debate earlier this month that Bersih and the Red Shirts should seek better channels to air their grouses.

He also said that if there was no yellow, which is the colour worn by Bersih supporters, there would be no counter-protest by the Red Shirts led by Sungai Besar Umno chief Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos.

Mr Jamal has openly threatened acts of violence against Bersih and has vowed that his followers would "do anything to stop the Bersih 5 rally".

Kuala Lumpur City Hall has issued a letter prohibiting both groups from converging at Dataran Merdeka for Saturday's rally.