Najib: BN parties 'agreed to disagree' on red shirt rally


KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional component parties have "agreed to disagree" on the issue of the Sept 16 rally.

Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, however, emphasised that what was important was for the participants and organisers to follow the law and police instructions.

“We have agreed to disagree as there were many views presented with some raising their worries while others objected to the rally, saying that Sept 16 is not a suitable date to hold a gathering.

“As chairman of Barisan, I respect the views expressed by our partners,” Najib told a media conference after chairing the coalition’s supreme council meeting. Present was Barisan deputy chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Najib said the most important thing was that the organiser and participants of any gathering must follow the law, particularly the Sedition Act.

They must also get police approval on the venue and on other matters.

“They cannot parade posters containing racial messages which can raise issues regarded as seditious or racial.

“There must not be any friction or conflict, and police have been asked to ensure tight monitoring including on the routes used.”

The Prime Minister said most senior Barisan leaders will be in Kota Kinabalu on Wednesday to celebrate the anniversary of Malaysia Day.

“Kota Kinabalu will be where we will express our commitment as a nation,” Najib said.

MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai when met by reporters later said MCA objected to the rally because its timing on Sept 16 was not right.

“The rally has racial undertones which we feel can jeopardise race relations among the people of this multi-racial country.

“The rally might also affect businesses and even economic growth because of the tensions it would create,” said Liow.

MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said his party had also expressed disagreement with the organising of such a rally.