KUALA LUMPUR: The Government acted within the law of the land to protect the people's safety, during last Saturday's illegal gathering, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said that the measures taken were to ensure the best interest of the rakyat were protected.
Najib was commenting on criticism over action taken by the authorities to disperse the crowd during the rally, especially after various foreign media shed a bad light on the event.
We would otherwise slip into anarchy. And we definitely cannot have that.
We had to manage things in such a way that there would be continued confidence from the rakyat on the Government.
As far as the Government is concerned, we will apply the law, he told reporters during a conference after launching the CIMB Foundation yesterday.
Thousands of demonstrators under the Bersih coalition of 60 non-governmental organisations and Opposition parties gathered at various parts of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday before marching to Istana Negara to present a memorandum calling for fair and free elections.
Najib added that such illegal gatherings could also give troublemakers an opportunity to cause unnecessary problems that could lead to violence.
Asked if the Government would impose the Internal Security Act on those who orchestrated the Bersih rally, he replied:
We hope it will not deteriorate to such a situation.
I also appeal to the public not to participate in such events in future.