Abdullah: It was an act of desperation

NST – 19 November, 2007
KUALA TERENGGANU: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday the attempt to involve the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in an illegal rally on Nov 10 was an act of desperation by the opposition parties. He said the king had clearly objected to the claims that he had backed the rally.

“It was a desperate act by the group (which organised the rally). They did it because they thought the elections were near,” he told reporters after visiting the Islamic Civilisation theme park on Pulau Wan Man.
On Friday, Comptroller of the Royal Household, Datuk Wan Mohd Safiain Wan Hasan, issued a statement stating that the king, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, was unhappy with the claims that he had supported the demonstration.
On Nov 10, a coalition of opposition parties and non-governmental organisations calling itself Bersih organised a rally of some 10,000 people to march to Istana Negara with an election reform petition.
The memorandum was submitted by Lim Kit Siang of the DAP, Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to an official at the gates of Istana Negara.
On a separate matter, Abdullah said he was briefed by Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo about the awarding of brooms to two state agencies for failing to meet tax collection targets.
“The move must be studied. If it does not bring about a positive impact, then an alternative method must be used.
“But if it is effective, then I’ll leave it to him to decide if he wants to continue with it.”