PAS denies implicating King in Bersih rally

Nov 19, 07   

Opposition party PAS has denied issuing any statements which implied that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abdidin and Istana Negara supported the Nov 10 Bersih rally.

In a statement signed by Roslan Shahir, the press secretary to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, the party stressed that the rally was organised by civil society groups to press for clean and fair elections.
“Through the Bersih coalition, PAS together with 60 NGOs and other political parties went to Kuala Lumpur (on Nov 10) to assemble peacefully and submit a memorandum to the King,” it read.
On Friday, the King, in a statement via a palace official, denied having anything to do with the protest which saw some 40,000 people taking to the streets.
His Majesty stressed that he did not lend his support to any quarters which had organised the rally or are involved in activities which flout the law.
Prior to this, PAS secretary-general Kamaruddin Jaffar claimed that Bersih had decided to submit a memorandum to the King after his Highness had given them his approval to do so.
Don’t create friction
Commenting on this, Roslan said Kamaruddin’s statement did not imply that the King was involved in the rally or that he agreed with the contents of the memorandum.
The Nov 10 memorandum was received by the King’s representative at the gates of Istana Negara.
“Bersih is open to any form of action which the King wishes to take with regard to the memorandum,” he said.
PAS also urged all quarters not to create friction between the people and the palace.
“PAS has, and will never, gamble on its loyalty to King and country.”
Yesterday, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the “attempt to involve the King in an illegal assembly” was an act of desperation by the opposition.
“It was a desperate act by the group (which organised the rally). They did it because they thought the elections were near,” he was quoted as saying.